7 Layer Dip, aka Cold Nacho Plate
Summer means less cooking and more sandwiches, salads, and finger foods. Once a month I might do a session of batch cooking which I then partition into meal-size containers. I'll usually do 12-15 meals like this, freeze them and then take them out whenever I'm too tired to cook. It's saved me numerous times.
Yesterday (despite our power outage) we had 7 Layer Dip. (We like to call it 'cold nacho plate'.) My college friend, Debbie gave me this recipe many years ago. (Thanks, Debbie!) It's so easy I try to keep the ingredients on hand so I can make this any time.
It's great for parties, but we love it as a meal. After the initial feasting, I save the leftovers for the next day. The flavors only improve overnight. We can have it again with chips and veggies, or you can melt it in the microwave, then scoop a little into a warm corn tortilla. Heaven!
16 ounce can of refried beans
9 ounce can of hot bean dip
8 ounce container of guacamole dip
8 ounce package of cream cheese
6 ounce can of black olives (I recommend low sodium olives so they won't overpower the rest of the flavors.)
8 ounce block of pepper jack cheese, grated
16 ounces of Cheddar, finely grated
A few green onions
• Take the refried beans and the bean dip and combine thoroughly. I sometimes add a little more salsa or mild chilis to spice it up even more. We ain't afraid of no heat at my house!
• Layer the bean mixture smoothly over a large plate.
• Take the cream cheese and leave it out to soften it. Debbie told me she adds a little mayonnaise to make it spread more smoothly, but I beat mine into submission by hand or with a mixer. Debbie is obviously much nicer than I am, but I'm sure you already knew that.
• Smooth the cream cheese over the bean layer.
• Smooth the guacamole dip over the cream cheese. I've been asked if fresh guacamole is just as good and I honestly don't know. Since I sometimes reheat this mixture I'm not sure I'd like to have fresh guacamole nuked, plus you run the risk of it darkening if it's exposed to oxygen.
• Layer a generous amount of grated cheddar cheese over the guacamole layer. Don't be stingy. Presentation is everything.
• Layer a thin layer of pepper Jack cheese over the cheddar.
• Decorate with olive halves over the entire plate.
• Sprinkle with green onions rings to finish the dip.
I put mine back in the fridge and let the flavors marry for a couple of hours. It scoops better when it's nice and chilled.
Serve with corn chips, pita chips, crackers, or any other sturdy chips. I also use mini carrots or celery sticks as dippers too.
You can freeze this. I wouldn't freeze the green onions and olives but everything else seems to freeze well. It's not as pretty as when it's fresh but it's great as a hot dip or taco filling.
I sometimes bring this to parties and I've yet to return home with anything but an empty plate.
Have you ever tried 7 Layer Dip? Do you do anything differently?