Skillethead is responsible for the title of this entry. This week we decided to do a two-for: black bean brownies, where the black beans replace the flour, and a taco spaghetti pie thing, because I keep seeing recipes for similar casseroles and they look like they could be delightful but also kind of weird me out. I’m not sure why. Anyway, here goes:
Black Bean Brownies:
Original recipe – http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/black-bean-brownies
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup baking cocoa
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Place the beans, 1/4 cup chocolate chips and oil in a food processor; cover and process until blended. Add eggs, brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla, baking powder and salt; cover and process until smooth.
- Transfer to a parchment paper-lined 8-in. square baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: 1 dozen.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES: 12 servings
Start time: 6:10 PM
The actual start time was probably more like 6:25 because after I had everything set up and ready to go, Skillethead made me clean the blender base because it was “fucking gross.” I thought that was a bit of an exaggeration, and it’s not like the food touches the blender base anyway, but whatever.
Prediction for this recipe: the brownies will be super dense and mealy.
Beans: rinsed; chocolate chips, beans, and oil in the blender.
Once these ingredients are blended, it both looks and smells like some weird Oreo milkshake/refried bean Frankenstein:
It was pretty dense, so I figured I’d add the eggs first, blend it up, and then add everything else later. The eggs blended in well and thinned things out, as expected. I then added the cocoa powder, followed by the half cup of packed brown sugar and…
Yeah. There was too much cocoa powder in there anyway? I guess? Good thing I cleaned the blender. Skillethead found all of this absolutely HILARIOUS.
Once this stuff was blended, it did really start looking like brownie batter:
6:52 – In the oven to bake
Again, we didn’t buy parchment paper, we just buttered the crap out of the pan and this time it seemed to work fine.
The aroma in the kitchen was definitely bean-y. To quote Skillethead, “It smells like Betty Crocker took a shit in here.”
7:23 PM – They came out of the oven looking like (somewhat surprisingly) brownies:
In the end, these were not super dense or mealy; they were in fact pretty light and cake-y. They remind me a lot of Snack Wells (does that company still exist? If not, I’m showing my age). You can kind of tell they’re good for you, but they’re drowned in enough chocolate you can get past it and pretty much enjoy them. They taste a tiny bit like black beans, but I really think that’s only because we knew what was in them. They were actually better than some non-gluten-free brownies I’ve had in the past.
Verdict: Exceeds Expectations.
Part II – Taco Spaghetti Pie
Because man cannot survive on brownies alone, we also attempted this recipe:
2 lb ground beef
2 pkg taco seasoning
2 can(s) Rotel tomatoes and chilies, 10 oz each
1 can(s) tomato paste, 6 oz.
1 lb spaghetti
6 c water
2 c Mexican blend shredded cheese
Start time: 7:23 PM
First of all, 2 pounds of ground beef? Who the hell needs that much taco spaghetti? Aside from those fucking people on Duck Dynasty? I made a half-recipe and it was more than enough to fill a 9×13 casserole dish.
I’m not going to bother reproducing the full cooking instructions. Basically you brown the ground beef, stir in the taco seasoning, add all the other ingredients, and boil it until the water is absorbed. Then you dump the whole thing into a casserole dish, top it with cheese, and bake at 350 until the cheese is melted.
Most of you are probably thinking “well, this looks boring, it’s probably pretty good”, and you’re mostly right. It’s just the thought of baking cooked spaghetti after having tossed it in basically taco meat that weirds me out. I mean, I guess it’s basically Skyline Chili. Either a depression-era grandma trying to get rid of her leftovers or some dude who just did 15 bong rips definitely came up with this one.
The recipe went pretty much as expected. We browned the meat in a large pot, added all the other stuff, and boiled it. It’s my personal opinion that you should always cook tomato paste, so we added that right after the meat was done and browned it a little before dumping all the liquid on top. Skillethead decided to take over/supervise the operations, which resulted in a lot of very passive/aggressive bickering.
B: Is it boiling?
S: Well it’s hot as fuck, and there’s bubbles coming up. What do you think?
B: Fuck you! I meant is it simmering or is it fucking boiling? Whatever, I’m putting the lid on.
S: It needs to be mixed around
B: What the fuck do you think I’ve been doing? It still has like 15 minutes to cook.
B: Stop stirring, it’ll get all starchy
S: It’s not fucking rice, butthole.
S: I poured you a shot. Did you do it?
B: Is the glass fucking empty? Then I guess I did it.
8:08 PM – It had been cooking for quite a while and still seemed pretty juicy, and the pasta was starting to stick to the bottom. We decided to call it and just put it into the casserole dish.
2 cups of cheese, into the oven for about 15 minutes, and out:
The instructions were super vague towards the end, it just said “Until cheese is bubbly.” We left in in for about 20 minutes.
8:28 PM – Out of the oven.
It’s kind of hard to figure what utensil to use to serve this; we ended up using basically a giant spork to scoop it out of the dish.
It wasn’t bad. We felt that they VASTLY underestimated the amount of cheese necessary, it needed more salt, and maybe more sauce of some kind. Their “Test Kitchen” refers to the finished product as both “creamy” and “spicy”; I found it to be neither. It was, if anything, a bit slimy. We applied a bunch more cheese and salt, and then we watched Fantasia. Draw your own conclusions.
Verdict: Meh. I don’t think I’d bother making it again, but it wasn’t bad.
Added bonus: introducing Skillethead to Rotel.