Cheesy, Spicy Black Bean Bake
Whether or not you’ve fallen for this cheesy white-bean tomato bake, we’d like you to meet its bolder counterpart, smoky and spiced, with lots of melty cheese. Black beans shine in a deep-red mixture of fried garlic, caramelized tomato paste, smoked paprika and cumin. The whole skillet gets coated in a generous sprinkling of sharp Cheddar or Manchego cheese, then baked until melted. The final result is what you hope for from a really good chili or stew, but in a lot less time. For a spicier rendition, add a pinch of cayenne with the paprika, or douse the final skillet with hot sauce. Serve with tortillas, tortilla chips, rice, a baked potato or fried eggs.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- ¼cup tomato paste
- 1 ½teaspoons smoked paprika
- ¼teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 1teaspoon ground cumin
- 2(14-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½cup boiling water
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 ½cups grated Cheddar or Manchego cheese (from about a 6-ounce block)
Step 1Heat the oven to 475 degrees. In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Fry the garlic until lightly golden, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste, paprika, red-pepper flakes and cumin (be careful of splattering), and fry for 30 seconds, reducing the heat as needed to prevent the garlic from burning.
Step 2Add the beans, water and generous pinches of salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top then bake until the cheese has melted, 5 to 10 minutes. If the top is not as browned as you’d like, run the skillet under the broiler for 1 or 2 minutes. Serve immediately.