This Black Bean Aioli is strictly inspired by Abuelas and Cuban food, bringing together everything that is right and good with black beans, creating a modern sauce that you can put on anything! And if anything equals croquettes, all the better.
This dish is definitely a little bit out there!
But let me tell you, it works as a fusion between cuban black beans, and aioli- coming together as a sauce that carries the cuban flavors to new directions. I made this for a client dinner last year in Jacksonville, the clients were Cuban and wanted something that reminded them of home, while remaining upscale. This was my solution.
Why it works
Cuban food has roots in several places, but the Spanish influence is undeniable, especially in the use of seasonings, garlic, paprika, and olive oil. These Spanish roots also show up in the black beans, which have….garlic, and paprika or bell peppers (surprise surprise).
Aioli has the same use of garlic and lemon, juice. And while the french were the ones to create mayonnaise, it was the Spanish that added the garlic.
By combining both, you get a really powerful and complex flavoring agent with a very versatile medium (mayonnaise). That way you can carry that flavor into other dishes without worrying about texture. The sauce makes it a very clean carrier of flavor.
I feel this dish is very South Florida, where both Aioli and arroz con frijoles (black beans) share common zip codes. It’s also a very personal dish for me. As a Cuban immigrant, who grew up in South Florida, I grew up eating between worlds: Between my grandmother’s black beans on weekend visits and aioli fries at Rokbrgr on Monday nights for the specials. Miami is a city that combines cultures by definition, making something new in the process.
Hence this sauce.
Knowing what makes good black beans is the secret to this sauce, and it’s the perfect excuse to spend time with grandma! The key players here are garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, and the black beans themselves. The mayo serves as a carrier, and since it’s very mild, it won’t impart its own flavor into the mix, letting the other ingredients work together.
No special equipment required either!
For this recipe, I used my Nutribullet (affiliate link) to blend everything together. Since I moved down from Jacksonville, and I left my vitamix there for my family to use, I’ve been using the Nutribullet as a small, specialized blender. No complaints so far!
But you can use a regular blender or food processor for this. I’ve tried it on both and it works well on either, so reach for what you have on hand.
Final product & uses
I really enjoy this sauce for the croquettes. If you go to your local bakery and buy a dozen, dip them in this and watch what happens. Croquettes won’t be the same after. However, this sauce works equally well anywhere you want to use mayo, especially on a burger!
Musing: It might be a fun vegetarian idea to do a black bean and mushroom burger with black bean aioli as a condiment! Something to talk about to the guys at Rokbrgr….
This Black bean aioli recipe is the interpretation of combining traditional flavors of arroz con frijoles and turns it into a sauce that you can dip anything in. It’s a fusion of cuban and european recipes to create something new and versatile that adds a flavor bomb to anything, from burgers to croquettes
Add red pepper flakes to give it a kick.
Bonus points, try it on tacos with beef & pork carnitas!
Keywords: Black Bean, Aioli, Sauce, Dressing, Dipping sauce
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