Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there lived a pale princess with hair dyed to resemble spun gold. She was no ordinary princess, this one. She was older, wiser, slightly neurotic, with a click of OCD, and a fierce desire to make people happy through food. This last trait was a particularly tricky one, considering current dietary restrictions, food allergies, and personal taste preferences. In another life though, she cared naught for these things and would willingly feed her guests pesticide laden, steroid ridden food substances so long as it tasted good. Times have changed for our sweet heroine though, and she is now more conscious about the food she serves to others.
Alright enough with this fairy tale business. I can’t sustain it for more than a paragraph anyway. Besides, while sweet and simple, they are not the building blocks of reality.
Case in point, if you lose a shoe at the stroke of midnight, it’s probably because you consumed too many cocktails and no longer care about hiding your twisted toes from the world. While tragic of course, you’re not saving the one remaining pump, hoping Prince Charming will suddenly appear with its mate. Instead, you’re ditching its counterpart five minutes after you lost the first one and relishing in the fact your feet can suddenly breath again.
Here’s the real deal, the more direct story and probably the one I should have opened with. My friends, bless their hearts, have been begging me for years to make and bring my world-renowned (a slight exaggeration) Layered Taco Dip to the annual Super Bowl Party. Much to their dismay, their requests have fallen on deaf ears.
Once upon a time…see, this is how the fairy tale business started.
Anyway, back in the day, I would bring a certain taco dip to every event, and it was always a huge hit with multiple recipe requests. The pie plate would be licked clean and the people were happy, although they left with bellies full of packaged goods and processed foods, oozing ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. Oh the horror, followed swiftly by the inevitable shame.
Now before you think I’ve become all holier than thou with my healthy eating (maybe just a smidge), let me just say the meat portion of this dip came from a can. It also retained the shape of the can so when you pulled it out, it looked like a giant gelatinous can shaped bubble of beef, and it would stay that way until you spread it out with a spoon. Can you say “gag me with that very same spoon.” I’m fairly certain this was the proverbial straw which pushed me towards my veggie loving ways. Suffice to say, I’ve seen better looking dog food, which is why I simply couldn’t stomach making this any longer. Nor could I, in good conscience, feed it to my friends.
Despite my refusal to make this dip ever again, the requests continue to come, year after year after year after year. Which is why I finally caved and decided to recreate it, using quality ingredients this time around: organic ground beef, obtained through my food share, coupled with tomatoes I canned over the summer, and ooey gooey cheesy goodness.
While I can’t personally vouch for the actual flavor of my elevated dip, I can tell you it smelled great. I also know the Hubby put down half the pie plate in a matter of minutes and the sample ramekin I gifted one of my friends came back sparkling clean and with a glowing review. Hence the reason I’m now sharing this recipe with all of you. If you have carnivores in your life, they will thank you. Just be prepared to make this dish an annual tradition.
- -----Base Layer: Cheese-----
- 4 ounces plain Greek Yogurt
- 4 ounces plain Cream Cheese
- -----Second Layer: Meat-----
- 1 pound, organic Ground Beef
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 tsp. Cajun Seasoning
- 2 tsps. Paprika
- -----Third Layer: Tomato Salsa*-----
- 14.5 ounces Crushed Tomatoes (or canned tomatoes if you have them).
- 1/2 Onion
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Pepper
- 1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
- -----Final Layer: More Cheese-----
- 6 ounces Chipotle Cheese, shredded**
- 2 Green Onions, chopped (optional)
- Tortilla Chips, for dipping.
- -----Base Layer: The Cheese-----
- In a small bowl, mix Greek yogurt and cream cheese until thoroughly combined. Spread out on the bottom of a 9.5 inch pie plate. This is your base layer.
- -----Second Layer: The Meat-----
- Place ground beef in a skillet and cook until meat is fully browned, stirring occasionally. Once meat is cooked through, drain any grease if necessary and place skillet back on the burner on low heat. Add water and stir in seasonings. Simmer for another 10 minutes until seasonings are fully absorbed. Spread this layer on top of your cream cheese mixture.
- -----Third Layer: Tomato Salsa-----
- Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic and seasonings in a blender. Blend for thirty seconds. Spread this layer on top of the meat.
- -----Final Layer: More Cheese------
- Toss shredded cheese on top of the dish and then bake in 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes until cheese has melted.
- Top with chopped green onions and serve warm alongside your favorite tortilla chips.
- *Tomato Salsa: you could make your own or you could use a jar of quality salsa.
- **Chipotle Cheese: if you prefer this to be less spicy, use a Colby Jack cheese instead.
Do you have a dish you make on repeat for parties and functions?