Dip into the past

Posted by Anita on 08.26.07 11:19 PM

(c)2007 Sam Breach - used by permissionAlthough I am a major fan of authentic comida mexicana, I’ll readily admit to an equal fondness for old-fashioned gringo-style ‘Mexican’ food, a love I come by honestly courtesy of my Southern California roots. So when our favorite Marin-dwellers invited us up for more pear-pickin’ fun — this time under the guise of a 1960s-theme potluck — I had a treasure trove of retro recipes to choose from already in my files.

Most recipes for Seven-Layer Dip feature a storebought fiesta of canned beans, taco mix, shredded cheese, and pre-made guacamole in a tub. But this party’s guest list included some of the area‘s best loved and most popular food bloggers — there’s no way I’d serve them anything from a can.

Taking things a little bit over the top (shocker!), I wondered if I could make the entire recipe using local ingredients. By ditching the usual topping of canned black olives in favor of multi-colored baby tomatoes, it was a slam dunk: Rancho Gordo red nightfall beans, homemade chorizo — made at our SausageFest from Prather Ranch pork shoulder — plus Will’s excellent avocados, Dirty Girl tomatoes, and local dairy products… even the chips were made in Napa.

Locavore -and- retro? Hell yeah.

(c)2007 AEC *all rights reserved*(c)2007 AEC *all rights reserved*(c)2007 AEC *all rights reserved*(c)2007 AEC *all rights reserved*(c)2007 AEC *all rights reserved*

Seven-Layer Dip, food-blogger style
1/2 pound ripe tomatoes, diced
1/2 to 1 jalapeno or serrano chile, minced
1/2 white onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt, to taste

1 pound Mexican-style chorizo

1/2 onion, chopped
1 pound Rancho Gordo beans, cooked in the approved fashion
1 tsp Mexican oregano

1/2 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 pound Jack cheese, shredded

3 large Haas avocados
1/2 jalapeno or serrano chile
1/2 onion, minced
2 small tomatoes, diced
pinch of ground cumin, or to taste

1 large container sour cream
1/2 pint Sweet 100 tomatoes, halved

2 bags good tortilla chips

Mix up the tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside to allow the flavors to combine.

Saute the chorizo in a large skillet until cooked, breaking up any chunks as you go. When fully browned but still juicy, remove the sausage to a bowl or plate with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the skillet.

In the same skillet, saute the onions in the chorizo fat until browned and soft. Add the beans and some of their cooking liquid, smashing with a potato masher until mostly smooth; add additional bean liquid or warm water to get to a smooth consistency. Add the Mexican oregano, and stir to combine. Spread the beans in the bottom of a 13×9 casserole; top with the browned sausage, then half of the shredded cheese; set aside.

Halve the avocados and remove the pits. Score each avocado half at 1/2- to 3/4-inch intervals, cutting down to — but not through — the skin. Scoop out the avocado chunks with a soup spoon and place them in a large bowl. Add the pepper, onion, tomatoes, and cumin, mixing just until combined; you want plenty of texture. Carefully smooth the guacamole over the cheese-topped chorizo, then top with the salsa, the sour cream, the remaining shredded cheese, and the Sweet 100 tomatoes. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping.

Note: If you’re serving the dip immediately, it’s more attractive to use the guacamole as the last layer before the tomatoes; this isn’t very practical when you’re taking the dish (chilled, please!) to a party in another county, unless your friends like brown avocado.

Top photo ©Sam Breach / Becks & Posh; used with permission

entertaining, locavore, other blogs, recipes



Comment by blue zebra

How great! I am a TexMex Hound so completely understand your love of gringo-style Mexican food. The dip looks awesome and how clever of you to make it from local ingredients!!

Posted on 08.27.07 at 7:33AM

Comment by sam

MMmmmmmmmmmmmm – I can confirm this was DELICIOUS!

Posted on 08.27.07 at 8:42AM

Comment by Dagny

Your dip was so good. And now that I see the various DOTWs, I know I will be sure to return.

Posted on 08.27.07 at 9:47AM

Comment by Tea

Aww, not only do I have to miss all the fun people–I missed THIS as well!

Life is unfair, no two ways about it:-)

Posted on 08.27.07 at 11:36AM

Comment by cookiecrumb

It was AWESOME. You merely made too much of it… Sigh.
But so beautiful, and so illegally 8-layered! Heh.
Today Cranky and I pondered the possibility of putting in an avocado tree… Think that might work? If only someone would relieve us of the extra pear tree.

Posted on 08.27.07 at 2:46PM

Comment by Tana

You freaking rock. What a wonderful post, dollface. (That’s retro, isn’t it? “Dollface?”)

Posted on 08.27.07 at 9:15PM

Comment by Kat

My fmaily makes a similar mexican layer dip – but not with the same punch and pizzazz, that’s for sure! They are all about store-bought, and wilted lettuce among other shameful applications. (I’m sure licking and reusing the spoon is one of them!) That avocado looks perfect…

Posted on 08.28.07 at 7:36AM

Comment by Bonnie

Damn, this was chip-lickin’ good. I only wish I hadn’t hit the cheese balls on the way to your dip. I should have asked to take some home, but I didn’t want to seem greedy.

Posted on 08.28.07 at 11:32AM

Comment by Craig

I want!!!


Posted on 08.28.07 at 2:31PM

Comment by Monkey Wrangler

Yeah, I thought it had eight. Like what about that local air layer. Really it was delish.

Thanks for the linky goodness, its nice to be some-body.

Nice meeting you two and enjoying the fun together. Till next time (I’ll be dreaming of pear brandy……)

Posted on 08.29.07 at 11:27AM

Comment by Chubbypanda

What a lush looking dip. The whole tomatoes are a great touch.

Posted on 08.29.07 at 2:19PM

Comment by Andy

Love this dip! Thanks for the great recipe.

Posted on 08.30.07 at 6:24PM

Comment by Lisa

I’m sorry but I just drooled a little. Will try this. Thanks!

Posted on 08.30.07 at 8:16PM

Comment by Noah Oliphant

OH MAN I can’t wait to try this dip. I love any layer dip and seven sounds delicious.


Posted on 08.31.07 at 10:05AM

Comment by s'kat

Whoah! My husband would be all over that, and with such quality ingredients, who could resist?

Posted on 09.05.07 at 11:43AM

Comment by Homesick Texan

What a brilliant update on the traditional seven-layer dip. Now if only we had Ranch Gordo beans here in NYC!

Posted on 09.05.07 at 5:06PM

Pingback by Columbus Foodie » Blog Archive » August 2007 Roundup

[...] In savory recipes … Seven Layer Dip (Food Blogger Style) from Married…with Dinner [...]

Posted on 10.05.07 at 9:25AM

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.