Taco Layer Dip

I'm not much of a sports fan, but I am a fan of food, so every time there is a huge game and we have friends over I put out a spread that rivals most major holidays. In addition of our main course of chili, hot wings, or pizza we always have an assortment of dips. My favorite is a simple taco layer dip that's made up of sour cream, taco seasoning, sharp cheddar cheese, green onions, black olives, and tomatoes. It's easy to toss together at the last minute, can be modified to suit a variety of tastes, and can be scaled up (or down) to feed a group of any size. Added bonus: you won't need to spend all day in the kitchen to make it which gives you more time for beer and football (if that's your thing.)

If you want my advice you should make a double batch, this is always a crowd pleaser and it's the first thing to disappear.

Taco Layer Dip | Not Starving Yet

Taco Dip

makes 6 - 8 servings

Ingredients

16 ounces sour cream
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
2 cups lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
10 - 12 fresh cherry tomatoes, diced
4 ounces black olives, sliced
2 - 3 green onions stalks

Directions

  • In a large bowl combine the sour cream and taco seasoning. Mix well, then spoon into the bottom of a large glass serving container. Top with shredded lettuce, sharp cheddar cheese, diced cherry tomatoes, black olives, and green onions. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

For this recipe I use a 2-Cup Pyrex Divided Dish (which you see pictured above.) You can also use an 8 inch pie plate or 9 x 9 baking dish. Keep in mind that you may need more toppings than what I've listed in the ingredients if you use a larger dish.

The taco dip can be made a day in advance, but often times there will be some liquid separation from the sour cream. You can drain the excess liquid off, but this dip is best when made the same day you plan on serving it.

 

Guacamole

I love this time of year, mostly because the weather has finally started to warm up and I can ditch my winter wardrobe, but also because avocados are inexpensive and plentiful. They're great as a meal itself, served unadorned and uncomplicated, or as an addition to salads and sandwiches. As much as I love to enjoy them on their own, I could probably eat my weight in guacamole. It's no secret, I have a bit of an addiction and love to slather it on burgers, sandwiches, or eat it with tortilla chips. 

There are a number of ways to make guacamole, but I like to keep things fairly straightforward. It doesn't need to be complicated to taste good, but success in preparing it lies in the small details. You need perfect avocados, ripe but not too ripe, a fresh off the vine tomato (a hot house grown tomato just will not do,) a shallot, salt, and a few herbs and spices. Oh, and don’t forget the lime juice, to help keep it from browning. This small handful of ingredients turns a simple avocado into something extraordinary and because it's quick and easy to make it's the perfect dip to make for parties or last minute guests.

Guacamole.jpg

Guacamole
makes approximately 6 servings

Ingredients:

3 medium-sized avocados
1 whole lime
1 large-sized shallot
1 small vine-ripened tomato
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper 

optional:

jalapeño pepper, seeded 

Directions:

  • Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits and skin with a spoon. Dice into chunks, sprinkle with lime juice, and mash with a fork.
  • Mince the shallot, dice the tomato and optional jalapeño, then combine with the mashed avocado.
  • Add cumin, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and ground black pepper, then stir to incorporate.
  • Chill the guacamole for 30 minutes before serving. 

Notes:

Guacamole doesn't store well, so try to eat it immediately. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days, but you'll notice heavy browning where the avocado has begun to oxidize. To slow this down place a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole before storing and scrape away any brown spots before serving.

Caramelized Onion Dip

I'm not a huge football fan, which is why I completely forgot that the Super Bowl was this weekend. I had originally made plans to go out thrift store shopping with a friend, but someone pointed out that my culinary talents were needed and instead I'll be home cooking up a storm for everyone who will be here watching the game. We'll be having home made pizza and potato skins, but no gathering complete without my absolute all time favorite party food, onion dip. I'm not sure what it is about onion dip that makes it so addictive, but I can easily put away an entire batch by myself. This version may be more complicated than opening up a container of sour cream and adding a packet of onion soup mix, but the complex flavors that the caramelized onions add are definitely worth the extra time and effort. Whether you're planning a party or watching the game by yourself, this dip is sure to be a hit.
Caramelized Onion Dip
makes approximately 16 servings 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large or two medium yellow onions
2 cups sour cream
2 cups Kraft mayonnaise with olive oil
 teaspoon dried minced garlic
sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Thinly slice yellow onions and place in a cast iron skillet with butter to caramelize. When finished set aside to cool before continuing on.

For detailed directions on how to caramelize onions, visit our instruction guide here

  • Once the onions have cooled, place in a blender or food processor and pulse several times. 
  • Add sour cream, mayonnaise, dried minced garlic, sea salt, and black pepper and pulse until well combined.
  • Place in a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours to give the flavors time to combine.
  • Serve chilled with pita chips, potato chips, or veggie sticks. Enjoy!