Well, it must be the season of j'en sais quois. Or perhaps it's the season of je m'en fous! Whatever it is, I have clearly thrown caution to the winds with my recipe following and have gone madly, madly astray.
Think I exagerate? Read on, ardent friend.
What better dish to bring to a summer picnic than Smoky Black Beans? It's not potato salad, it theoretically pairs nicely with steak and/or chicken, and this particular recipe seems pretty low key and easy to make.
Let me just note that the recipe on epicurious differs ever so slightly from the recipe in the cookbook, which is to say that our esteemed editors want you to use FRESH orange juice, and someday I will tell you all I know about supermarket orange juice and then you will never want to drink it again but for the time being let's just say TAKE THEIR ADVICE and cut open a few juice oranges for this dish.
So I know you, readers, you're looking at this recipe on epicurious and thinking, well, where could she really have gone that far astray? Vegetable instead of olive oil? White instead of black beans? It's a simple recipe, after all!
Here is where: see that point where it says take 1 canned chile in adobo, minced? And add it to the beans?
Well, I was doubling the recipe, and also understand that I really have an aversion to saving things in cans (or de-canning them and freezing them or whatever) and so instead of fishing out TWO of the chilis in adobo (it really is a small can, kind of a mini-can) I just decided to use the whole can.
And actually there were really about 8 chilies in the can. All told. More or less.
But at this point I had taken the bit between my teeth and was convinced that 8 chilies would be not so different from 2, but in retrospect actually that's not quite correct. 8 chilies are hot!! This is how hot they were, in the dish--they made me cough, which did not however make me not appreciate how good the flavor of the fresh orange juice complemented the whole thing.
So at this point, readers, I had to make a decision...I could scrap this as a potluck offering and bring it into work (many hungry peeplz w/ adventuresome taste buds), or I could give it a try at the BBQ (and the hour was growing late).
I opted for the lazy way out, and brought it along with MANY warning about the heat level...and was rewarded by seeing lots of plates left around with tiny little mound of beans on them.
Hey, what can I say...this is New England.
BUT--it was not a total loss, since my husband (Italian/Jew from Long Island) came home from work and devoured a plate of this stuff with sour cream. Granted, this is a man who brings hot sauce to the table so it's not that unexpected, but it still made me feel as if although I was immoderate with the chilies, perhaps the target diners were too moderate with their palates.