21 April, 2015

Redo: Mexican Layer Dip: Auditioning an Update

With this post, we're auditioning an update of Tracy's  1980s Taco Salad Layered Dip recipe. Served at housewarmings, office events and even a wedding celebration, we've always enjoyed this dip. This version has some "lighter" ingredients but more layers. 

What do you think? Let us know in Comments.

General Tips
To build a "layered dip", the basic procedure is to select and spread different ingredients evenly without disarranging the layer(s) below.

When arranging the layers, it's a good idea to consider the color contrasts (or lack thereof) to provide visual interest. Just a few layers can be quite tasty and tempt the eyes - - just look at Linda C's dip.

You choose compatible ingredients, and whether to include convenience products (e.g. frozen guacamole vs. fresh avocados).

Depending upon personal preferences, you can either let the edge of each layer show (like Genêt Hogan at Raised On a Roux) or spread each layer to the edge (like Ree Drummond at Pioneer Woman). Different styles give you options.

Whichever way you choose, do try to keep each layer level because that helps to evenly distribute each ingredient among the servings for that "perfect bite."

For this recipe update, we're trying seven (7) layers in this order:
  • Seasoned beans
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Guacamole
  • Sour cream dip 
  • Salsa
  • Finely shredded mozzarella
  • Garden topping
We think this combination and arrangement has options for even more variations (e.g., perhaps season beans with Ranch dry dressing and omit fajita seasoning from the sour cream dip).

Mexican Layer Dip ingredients
Makes about 8 servings
Seasoned beans
1 (15-oz) can refried beans, with or without diced chilies
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground cumin

First cheese layer
3/4 cup (12-oz / 340g) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Sour cream dip
1 (8-oz / 226g) carton no fat sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
1 (1.1-oz / 31g) pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Fiesta Ranch Dips Mix (see Notes below)

2 (12-oz / 340g) containers Wholly Guacamole® Classic Dip or Organic Mild Dip

1 cup (8-oz / 226g) chipotle chili pepper salsa, chilled

Second cheese layer
1 cup (8-oz / 226g) finely shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese

Garden Topping
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 to 3 green onions including some tops, thinly sliced
1 (2.25-oz US / 63g) can sliced ripe (black) olives, rinsed and well-drained
Few sprigs fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed and some chopped
Optional: 1/2 to 1 finely chopped fresh chile pepper (please wear gloves and remove seeds)

For serving
Tortilla chips

Mexican Layer Dip Directions
Prepare seasoned beans
In a medium saucepan, combine all of the Seasoned beans ingredients and cook over Medium-Low heat until the onions have softened and the beans are creamy, about five (5) minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Remove from heat and spread beans evenly over the bottom of rimmed serving dish (note beautiful Mexican ceramics in photo above).

Next, sprinkle over the shredded cheddar (some of which will melt next to warm beans).

Prepare and layer dips
Spoon Guacamole on top of beans. (This is a shortcut. If you prefer fresh, work your magic now.)

In a large bowl, combine all of the Dip ingredients and use hand mixer to combine well. When the texture is creamy, gently place dollops of the sour cream mixture on top of the guacamole and spread lightly.

Add Salsa in similar fashion. (Another shortcut. If you like, make yours fresh now.)

Layer cheese(s) and Garden Topping
Sprinkle evenly the finely shredded mozzarella over the salsa.

In a medium bowl, toss together the Garden Topping ingredients and place over the mozzarella cheese.

Serve immediately with tortilla chips, or cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Refrigerate any unused portions.

Mexican Layer Dip Notes
  • If Hidden Valley Ranch Dips Mix is unavailable, you may substitute 3 Tbsp or one (1.0-oz / 28g) envelope of your favorite fajita seasoning. For testing, we tried Old El Paso Fajita Seasoning Mix

  • Use the hand mixer for the best sour cream dip texture. Otherwise, it's rather lumpy. Prepare the sour cream dip ahead, refrigerating at least two (2) hours for the flavors to blend.

  • Adapts Tracy P. "Taco Salad Layered Dip." Cotton Belles Delectables compiled by the Cotton Belles Chapter of the American Business Women's Association (Collierville: Fundcraft Publishing, Inc, 1989), 7. 

You might like
7-Layer Dip via Gimme Some Oven
Healthy 7-Layer Bean Dip via Reluctant Entertainer

Appetizers and Snacks > Cold dips / spreads
Latin / Latin-style

Page Last Modified 5 July 2016

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