Sunday! It’s Sunday. Oh, joy, oh, boy, oh joy!!! For most men, at this time of year, Sunday means football and lots of it! Of course, there are some ladies who love football, too. Consider my friend, Jewels Hanson – an amazing singer, Let’s Make a Deal contestant, and performer of the National Anthem more times than John Phillips Sousa. Jewels would tattoo herself in team colors of Burgundy and Gold if it just didn’t take so darn long. Did I mention Jewels is an amazing singer? And some of her hair is pink. Sometimes. Other times it’s black. The rest is blonde. And she sings GREAT!
To be honest, I don’t know if Jewels cooks. I know she eats, but she may have someone to do the cooking for her. Or she might order out all the time, like those people in the Big Bang Theory. You have to wonder: if those guys are all so smart, why can’t they cook for themselves more often? I also wonder at how much Jewels looks like Penny, but that’s just me. And this is about football! And Game Day! And friends and beer and chips and dip!! Oh, wait… that’s right. I’m going to show you my baked, multi-layered dish of goodness. Fourteen. Layers. First, though, let’s go back to the beginning…
Sunday afternoon football was a ritual in my parent’s house. After church, we’d race home (if it was an early, 1 pm game), skin out of our church clothes (yes, mom! I’ll hang up my pants! Yeesh!!) race through any chores that needed doing and head for the den. We all had our assigned seating: dad in his easy chair, mom on the couch with big sister next to her. I had this little bitty chair from when I was like 3 minutes old. I’d perch on it, happy as a clam, because this was MY chair! Not yours, or yours, or yours or yours. MINE! And pass the Frito’s®. Please. Later on, our younger sister had a little rocker, but she was still little, so it fit, and it worked. She graduated to the couch anyway, once my older sister and I were out of the house.
The best part of the whole thing was the Tray of Goodies mom would put together. First, the Must Haves: bean dip and Frito’s®, potato chips and French onion dip, Doritos® (the first tortilla chip anyone ever saw outside of a Mexican restaurant) and salsa, crackers and cheese, and maybe some beef log or pepperoni. Hard boiled eggs. After that, it was a free-for-all that involved lots of leftovers and tidbits of things from the fridge and the pantry. Six almonds left in the can? Put ’em in a small dish and onto the tray they go. Leftover chicken was shredded and sandwiched; three bites of Sloppy Joe went with half a hamburger bun, cut into quarters so we all got a bite. Leftover steak was chopped them sauced with ketchup, mayo and spices. Mashed potatoes could well become potato pancakes. Half a cup of cottage cheese? Do you really have to ask? Grapes or raisins or both. Apples, a quartered banana, and carrot and celery sticks so it qualified as Healthy. Trail mix and… wait. That’s a crushed up pine cone. Get that off of there. And get the cat out of the sink and the dog out of the cat food.
You can see that all this recent dip making kind of makes sense now, huh? I mean, my family turned watching football games into a party every week. And it was always fun to see what mom had come up with for the tray. Just like Cher in Mermaids, it was all about creating appetizers and little bites out of whatever you had on hand.
Fast forward a few years… decades… whatever! and here I am a grown man, all on my own, occasionally entertaining groups of friends. I’ll admit that, at times, I rummage through my fridge in search of leftovers to put on my Tray (really a Counter) of Goodies. Especially if its chili or something Italian. But give me a few cans of stuff and a few minutes in the kitchen, and I’ll add a half dozen dips and salsas to the table in no time flat. Suddenly, it’s an appetizer feast!
And we’re right back to where this whole Dip Week thing started…. me, a few friends and a half dozen dips/salsas to enjoy before dinner.
I started last Sunday with a layered Mexican dip. Mine went to 11, and if you don’t get the reference, we need to talk. It was loud and proud! And it tasted amazing! And in a world of 5, 7, and nine layers, it’s two louder. From there we went through Smooth and Creamy Bean Dip, Avocado Cream, Green Chile Cream, Manly Salsa Verde, Garlic Chive Dip and our family’s version of Baked Artichoke Dip. By the way, you can add these two salsas, and this one, and maybe some Manly Guacamole, if you want to get downright silly about the whole thing and go for a full dozen dips and salsas. Come to think of it, that’s not silly at all. In fact, if you’re having a large crowd over, that’s called Smart Planning!
This one is even taller and more fun. You’re friends are going to love it. And if you make it, your team will win. Honest. So call all your friends and tell them to get over NOW! Just make sure they all bring beer and chips and stuff.
1 can refried beans
16 oz. cream cheese
1 lb. ground beef
Taco seasoning (store brand or this recipe)
4-6 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, Monterey Jack or combination
1 can black beans (drained)
1-2 cans chopped tomatoes and green chiles (drained)
1-2 cans sliced jalapenos (drained)
1 can sliced black olives (drained)
1 can corn (drained)
Salsa (store bought or use one of my recipes)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Brown ground beef. When all pink is gone, use folded paper towels to remove most of fat/juice.
Add 1-2 tablespoons taco seasoning. Let simmer for a bit so that everything gets to know everything else and gets happy.
Drain the tomatoes and green chiles, reserving the liquid.
Warm the refried beans, either on the stove or in the microwave. Add about 1/2 cup of reserved tomato liquid. You need the refried beans to be smooth and spreadable.
Thinly slice green onions.
Lightly grease a 13×9 baking dish… one with really tall sides if you can find one. Alternatively, you can use a deep pie dish, like I do.
Using a spatula or spoon, press the refried beans into the bottom of the dish.
Next, spread the softened cream cheese over the beans.
In order, layer the ground beef, shredded cheese, and tomatoes and green chiles.
Spoon sour cream over the top and spread evenly.
Spread another layer of cheese, then, in order, layer jalapenos, black beans, corn, green onions, and cilantro.
Spread one more layer of sour cream, then salsa, black olives and a final layer of cheese.
Place baking dish on baking sheet (to catch drips) and bake for 20-25 minutes. This may take up to 35 minutes, depending on how deep your pan is, but it’s always a good idea to check early rather than being late and seeing your masterpiece burnt to a crisp.
When the top is beginning to brown and everything is bubbly and happy, remove from oven. Let stand for 5-10 minutes to cool down enough that it won’t blister your tongue. Top with more green onions and cilantro, then serve with warmed tortilla chips.
You’ll notice I haven’t given a lot of direction on amounts. That’s because I don’t know how big your dish will be, and I don’t know which layers you like best and therefore want more of. Just have fun and experiment to make it your own.
This is one I don’t recommend doing in individual serving dishes because there are so many layers. If you want to offer individual servings, get an ice cream scoop and some small bowls or ramekins.
There you have it: 16 layers of gooey Mexican awesomeness. Definitely deserving of the the center of the table when you set out your salsas and dips. Feel free to mix this thing up and make it your own. And definitely…
Play with your food!
Did you like this recipe? What recipes would you like to learn? Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts! (And don’t forget to LIKE this post!) Share it using the tiles below.