Friday, January 26, 2018

Seven(ish) Layer Taco Dip



A few years ago I was supposed to bring a taco dip to a party, so I went looking for a recipe that looked good. And even though a lot of the dips seemed fine, the thing that bothered me was that they were all either hot OR cold.

And here are my problems with that, you guys: 

1.) Refried beans should not be eaten cold. 
They taste weird and lardy, and the pasty texture completely drowns out their delicious flavor.

2.) On the other hand, when you have a dip that is completely hot, then you can't include important components like guacamole or sour cream or pico de gallo or happiness.

So when I couldn't find a recipe that solved both of those problems, I just had to make one up on my own. The key is to heat the beans up first and then layer the rest of the cold ingredients on top, which works out beautifully.

I've made this a bunch of times, and every time it's been a hit and people have asked me for the recipe. Get ready to make it and have your friends and family sing your praises.



As I said, the first step is to heat the refried beans

Because I used a cast iron skillet to serve the whole dip in, I just emptied the can in there, turned the burner on high, and stirred the beans around until heated through, making sure not to get the whole pan too hot. As soon as it's warmed up enough, take it off the heat.

If you don't have a cast-iron, or you would just rather use a pretty serving dish or a 9x13 baking pan, just heat the beans up in a separate bowl in the microwave, stirring in between 1 minute intervals.
Then spread the beans into the bottom of your serving dish.



Then layer 1-2 cups of grated cheese on the warm beans. 
The cheese will get all melty and marry them together in a holy union, as beans as cheese were destined to be.

I used a mix of sharp cheddar and monterey jack, but feel free to use just cheddar.

(Also, I recommend grating your own cheese for this dip, so that you don't taste all of that starch on the pre-grated cheese.)

(Trust me on this one.)

(You know I wouldn't tell you to do the extra work unless it was completely worth it.)




The next layer will be the sour cream.

To get it as even as possible, put dollops of it all around the pan and gently spread with a spoon.




Then comes the guacamole.

Oh sweet, heavenly Guac... how can you be so delicious and yet simultaneously look like the contents of a diaper?

One of life's great mysteries, I suppose.

I just used store-bought guac, but feel free to make your own.




Then comes another layer of freshly grated cheese.





For the next layer you could either use Pico De Gallo OR a can of Rotel Tomatoes and Chiles with lime juice.
I've used both and think either option is great, so use whichever you would like more or have available.




The last layers is where the "seven-ish" comes into play, because it all depends on your preferences.

You could add Olives!
Or Green Chiles! (if you used Pico de Gallo in the layer before)
Or Cilantro! (if you used Rotel instead of Pico)

Or all of the above!

Here's the rule of thumb when it comes to this dip and all mexican food in general: 
Follow your heart.

Because you really can't go too wrong adding as many different ingredients in this food family with each other.  So feel free to use this recipe as a basic plan to start and switch out or add as many things as you want. 
Add salsa! Or mexican rice! Or barbacoa beef! Or a shot of tequila! Or put entire PiƱata on top!

The world is your oyster. Don't let anyone hold you back.



Seven(ish) Layer Taco Dip

(Layer in dish, in the order listed)

1 large (28oz) can Refried Beans- HEATED
1-2 cups freshly grated cheese
1 (16oz) tub Sour Cream
1-2 cups Guacamole (however much you want/have)
1-2 cups freshly grated cheese, again
Pico de Gallo OR 1 small can Rotel Tomatoes with Chiles and lime juice, drained

Optional:
Olive
Green Chiles
Chopped Cilantro


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