7 Layer Taco Dip

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Several years ago we started hosting or going to house parties with a small group of good friends on New Years Eve rather than going to restaurants or bars or large organized galas.   Maybe it’s the iffy Michigan weather that makes us not want to be on the roads.   Maybe it’s because we are getting older.  Whatever the reason, it’s been a good choice.  We all bring appetizers and beverages and enjoy each other’s company, some singing and picking, and all the good food and drink.  It’s the best way to bring in the New Year.  This year I made a 7 Layer Taco dip as my passing dish.  As always we had lots of amazingly good food.

Layer 1

2 15-ounce cans of navy or pinto beans drained and rinsed

1 large sweet onion rough chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic minced

1 cup chicken broth

jalapeños and cilantro to taste

salt to taste

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Heat a couple tablespoons of canola oil in a heavy saucepan.  Cook the onions over medium heat until they are caramalized.  Add the beans and broth to the skillet and heat through mashing with a potato masher.

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If necessary add additional broth to get a nice creamy consistency.  Stir in jalapeño and cilantro.  Season with salt to taste.  This is the way I prepare beans for any Mexican dish I serve.

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Spread the bean mixture out on a large platter or pizza pan.

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Layer 2

1-2 cup(s) sour cream

Taco seasoning to taste (I used 2 T)

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Combine the sour cream and seasoning mixture well and spread over the beans.

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Layer 3

1 jar of homemade salsa or your favorite store brand

Spread over the sour cream.

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Layer 4

Pico

1 cup diced tomatoes

1/2 cup diced sweet onion

1-2 jalapeños diced (with or without seeds)

1/2 cup cilantro

1/2 lime juiced

salt to taste

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Toss the vegetables together.  Squeeze lime juice over the mixture and season to taste with salt.

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Spread vegetable mixture over salsa.

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Layer 5

2-3 Avocados peeled and diced

1/2 lime juiced

Salt to taste

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Squeeze the lime juice over the avocado and season with salt.  I love avocado but everyone does not feel the same.  So I put my diced avocado around the outer edge of my platter.

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Layer 6

Black olives and/or pickled jalapeño.  I only used the black olives.

Layer 7

Shredded cheese.

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Garnish with additional cilantro.  Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

NOTE:  You can add a meat layer if you choose by cooking ground beef or turkey and adding some tomato paste and seasonings to the meat.

 

Salsa

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I’ve been doing a lot of canning this last month.  I did a bushel of beets (now pickled) and a bushel of cucumbers (now bread and butter and dill pickles).  image

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I put up 2 1/2 bushels of tomatoes.  Some just plain diced tomatoes, some stewed tomatoes, and, this year, salsa.  Nothing is better than a winter of making chili or tomatoe sauce or soup with tomatoes that you canned yourself.  And we enjoy a lot of tomato dishes.  Salsa was a new experiment this year and, if I say so myself, it turned out quite well.

Ingredients:

15 cups diced tomatoes

1 each red, yellow and orange pepper small diced

1/2 each of a red, white, and sweet yellow onion small diced

3 jalapeno peppers seeded and small diced (use the seeds if you like a spicier salsa)

2 serrano peppers seeded and small diced

2 anaheim peppers seeded and small diced

1 1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 T salt

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Core the tomatoes, put them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes to split and loosen the skin and transfer them to an ice water bath.

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Peel and dice the tomatoes.

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Wash, core and dice the peppers and peel and dice the onions.

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Combine the tomatoes and onion and pepper mix in a heavy, non-aluminum kettle.  Add the salt and vinegar and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes stirring occastionlly.

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Put the salsa in sterilized pint jars leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.  Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean cloth.  Put the a lid on each jar and process in a hot water bath canner for 25 minutes.

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Remove jars from the water bath, place on a heavy towel and allow to cool.  Wait 24 hours and test each jar to be sure it has sealed by pressing down on the lid.

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The “heat” level may increase over time.  I like medium salsa.  If you like yours hotter don’t seed the peppers and/or add additional hot peppers.  We ate some of the salsa while it was still warm on tortilla chips and later on tacos.  It was great!  I haven’t tried this yet but I’m thinking a jar of this salsa would be a perfect addition to a pot of chili.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

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I almost always prefer green salsas to red ones.  Unless the green salsa is very hot and the red is not. In New Mexico they use the term “Christmas” when both red and green chilies are used in a dish…or, if you can’t choose your salsa, just tell them you want Christmas.

I like this mild salsa made with tomatillos. Tomatillos look like green tomatoes with a papery covering.  Apparently ripe tomatillos are red or purple but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a ripe one. When you choose them in the grocery they should be firm but not hard and the papery husks should be open but intact. They have a hint of citrus flavor and, like tomatoes, they add acid to a dish.  This salsa is very easy to make.

Salsa Ingredients:

6-7 tomatillos

2 jalapeños (seeded or not)

2 poblano peppers

3-4 garlic cloves whole

1 fresh lime

1 small onion rough chopped

Salt to taste

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Wash the peppers and tomatillos, halve them and spread them out on a baking sheet along with the whole garlic cloves.

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Roast then under the broiler until they are nicely charred.

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Add the roasted vegetables along with their juices and the chopped onion into your food processor. Pulse until smooth.  Juice the lime and stir in along with salt to taste.

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This roasted tomatillo salsa is great with warm corn chips.

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Or on your fish taco. Spicy baked cod, queso fresco (mild Mexican farmers cheese), slaw and salsa.

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Or to spice up breakfast.  Potatoes fried with onions and peppers, over easy eggs, crispy bacon and tomatillo salsa.

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I love cilantro and, if I had had cilantro on hand, I would have added it to this salsa. Also, I seeded my jalapeños but if you prefer more heat leave the seeds. Whatever modifications you make I hope you enjoy changing up your usual red for a little of the green or opting for Christmas.