The Freshman Cook: 7 Layer Dip (Made with 8 layers?!)

In honor of Cinco de Mayo on Wednesday, I am posting a delicious and easy to make appetizer. It is called 7 Layer Dip, but it has 8 layers.(Why? Because I got the recipe from a friend who make it with 7 layers, but I added the eighth layer of salsa!) This is everything you will need. I recommend putting the dip together the day before you will be serving it. That gives time for all the flavors to meld together, and oh, are they wonderful!. The first thing you need to do is to decide what you want to put the dip in. I say it like that because this dip can go in just about anything. It works best in a rectangular pyrex dish, any size. If you are serving a lot of people then use the 13″ X 9″. You will need to use more of all of the ingredients, but I will explain that as we go along. I used the small 6″ X 9″ for these pictures. In the past I have used round, oval and square dishes. The recipe works in any dish. LAYER 1 ~ refried beans. Spread the beans along the bottom of the dish. For the small dish, I only used half of the can. For the large dish you will need the entire can.

  LAYER 2 ~ add your chopped onion.They should be chopped small.

LAYER 3 ~ add your tomatoes. I used 2 roma tomatoes in the small dish. They are sweet tasting and delicious! I chopped the tomatoes about bite size, and I did what is called a rough chop. That means that there is no precise size or look I was going for. I just wanted them chopped about bite size.   LAYER 4 ~ Mayonnaise. Add your mayo in a thin layer over the tomatoes, onion, and beans. Don’t worry if it is hard to spread. I like to take out my mayo and sour cream about 15 minutes before I start assembling the dip, but I don’t always remember! When I forget, I just very gently spread the dip and try not to upset the layers too much!! Layer 5~ Avocado.  I love avocado! I can eat it on just about everything, and I love when it is used to make spreads and dips. So, I used 2 avocados for this dip. If you are not an avocado lover (shame on you!) you can use less of this luscious fruit, or none at all. You can skip this layer. That is the beauty of this recipe. Put in what you like, and even more of it if you want, or leave out what you don’t like, or use less of it.  I chopped the avocado small, and spread it evenly over the layers. LAYER 6 ~ Salsa!  Add a light layer of salsa. You can use hot salsa if you like it hot, or if not use what ever temperature suits you. You can use any type or brand, or even make your own. You know, that is a good idea. I think we just might tackle that in another post. It is a lot of fun!!!
LAYER 7 ~ Add sour cream. Spread with a light touch. You don’t want to get the sour cream too mixed up with the salsa. Oh heck, I don’t know who I’m kidding. It is next to impossible for it not to look like a mess when you spread the sour cream, but don’t worry. It will be fine!
LAYER 8 ~ Add your cheese! I like to use a Monterey Jack and Cheddar mix. But use whatever you like best. I have used straight cheddar and it is delicious also. I also like to use a fancy shred, but a regular shred works fine too.  See what I mean about not worrying when it came to the sour cream mixing with the salsa. The cheese hides all the ugly mess!      Now what to serve with your 8 layer dip? I use either Mission tortilla chips or these Pita Bites. They are both wonderful with the dip. But use you favorite chip or cracker. There is no wrong way to serve these. Let me know what you used to serve them and how you changed the layers, if you did.                                                           Have a Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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