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The Thick Man on Food: The Best Bean Dip (or Bean Burrito) You’ll Ever Make

beandip2

This recipe has been in our family for decades. I’m not sure where, exactly, it started, but what I do know is this is the dish that all of our friends would ask our dad to make whenever we had a party or sleepover. Since starting my own family I’ve tweaked the recipe just a bit and turned it into the best burrito you’ll ever make. My family loves it and it’s become a staple meal in our house at least twice a month. It’s also one of the few dishes my wife and I make that our super picky 4 year old will eat without complaint.

Trust me, that’s a ringing endorsement.
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

The set up is the same whether you want to make the dip or the burritos.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 hand mixer
  • 1 casserole dish (for dip)
  • 1 cookie sheet/baking sheet/whatever you want lined in tin foil (for burritos)
  • 31 oz of refried beans
  • 4 cups of shredded Monterrey jack/Mexican blend cheese
  • 16 oz of sour cream
  • 1 stick of philly cream cheese
  • 1 packet of enchilada mix
  • 20-30 drops of hot sauce (I prefer Louisiana)
  • 1 bag of tortilla chips (if you’re making the dip)
  • Large flour tortillas (if you’re making burritos)

What You Do:

Preparation for either dish is super simple. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

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Add the refried beans, cream cheese, sour cream, hot sauce (starting with 20 drops) and enchilada mix into the mixing bowl.

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Blend using the hand mixer until the cream cheese is thoroughly blended. Here is where you’ll want to do a small taste test to determine if you want to add more hot sauce. This is entirely dependent on personal preference.  My family likes spice so we usually do 30-35 drops.

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Next add 3 of the 4 cups of cheese and blend with the rest.

For Bean Dip:
Spoon the mixture into the casserole dish and top with the remaining cup of cheese. Place into the preheated oven and cook for 25 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve with chips. Party!

For Burritos:

IMG_3305Spoon the dip in a straight line horizontally across the lower third of the tortilla, giving yourself enough room on either side and on the bottom for folding.
(Be careful not to add too much filling, otherwise it’ll squirt out as you roll!)

IMG_3306IMG_3308IMG_3309IMG_3310Fold the left and right sides in towards the middle, and then roll up from the bottom.

IMG_3316Place each burrito on the cookie sheet/baking sheet/whatever that you lined with tin foil so that they’re touching each other and then sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top of each.

IMG_3317Place into the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Party!

Bonus: If you have a fryer you can make chimichangas by deep frying the burritos instead of baking them.

Enjoy!

J.R. Broadwater is the author of the non-fiction book Down with the Thickness: Viewing the World From a Fat Guy’s Perspective, the sci-fi detective novel You Only Die Twice, the fantasy novel The Chosen: Rebirthing Part 1 & 2, and the superhero tale Just Super, all available now in digital and paperback formats. Sample chapters and more information about these books can be found here. Kindle editions are all available for $0.99.

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The Thick Man on Food: Cafe Telegraph

You’re hungry, you’re feeling lazy, and fast food of any kind sounds disgusting but you don’t want to go the same sit down places you always go to. It happens to us all. So what do you do? Sure, you could check Yelp and rely on the opinions of strangers; but I ask you, dear reader, who knows more about food than a fat guy?  In this ongoing series I’m going to review local Saint Louis restaurants that my wife and I have discovered where you can be sure to find tasty food well worth your time and hard earned cash.

cafe telegraph

Where: Cafe Telegraph

Type of Food: Bar and Grill that specializes in pork BBQ.

Price: Middle of the road, but you get a ton of food for the money.

Fat People Friendly?: The booths are attached to the wall and will be a no-go for the extremely thick. Chairs at the tables are padded but get uncomfortable after a while.

Kid Friendly?: They do have a decent selection of food for the kiddos, and a few arcade games at the front of the store. Also, at Christmas time someone dresses as Santa Claus and comes through the restaurant periodically during the dinner rush to hand out candy. It was really sweet.

Review: My wife and I decided to give this little gem a try on a whim one evening when we were out with our son and didn’t feel like cooking. Boy are we glad we did. Cafe Telegraph has become one of our regular spots, and once you give their food a try it’ll become an out to eat staple you’ll want to tell your friends about. The menu offers a variety of typical Bar and Grill staples, like burgers and even Saint Louis style pizza, but the specialty here is the pork. They offer a variety of unique pork burgers that are both tasty and freaking huge. For example, the one pound Mary Mother Triple Bacon Burger made with ground pork and bacon, topped with two panko encrusted bacon strips, more crumbled bacon, onion straws, jalapenos, and gringo cheese dip (freaking delicious!) all on Texas toast. It comes with a side of your choice and costs $11.99. This was the first thing I ever tried and I could only finish half. Over the course of the last year my wife and I have tried quite a few of their various dishes, including their wraps, pasta, and various entree options like meat loaf and steak. Everything we’ve tried we’ve enjoyed. Especially the fried okra. It’s the best fried okra I’ve ever had. Ever!

porksteak

The Thick Man Reccomends: While you can’t go wrong with just about anything on the menu, the reason we go there once a week and have become Cafe Telegraph evangelicals to our friends and family is the Matt’s Big Bruiser Pork Steak. This monster is a 3 lb(!) pork steak with a sweet dry rub and two sides for $16.99. It’s slow cooked to perfection and practically falls off the bone. It is also the best BBQ I’ve ever had in my life. I say this as a man who grew up in Memphis, TN around Memphis BBQ.  Best. Pork. Ever. My wife and I split one of these bad boys whenever we go in and we both leave feeling stuffed. Two grown adults, one of them thick,  stuffed to the gills with delicious food for $17? That right there is a deal. We’ve dragged all of our friends and family out to Cafe Telegraph to give it a try, and they’ve all walked away with the same reaction. They’ve also all become regular customers. If you live in the STL area, or if you happen to come through, do yourself a favor and pay Cafe Telegraph a visit and give this a try. Tell them the Thick Man sent you.

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