May 1, 2016

Taco Seasoning and Dip

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I used to buy occasionally the 7 layer taco dip from the stores but the flavor of untoasted cumin seeds always made me gag so I stopped buying. After several years of not eating anything Tex Mex [except chili], I suddenly had the munchies for taco dip. First I had to make taco seasoning then cooked a small bag of beans for the refried beans layer; recipe for both are below. It's a tedious process but well worth it. The toasted cumin seeds make the difference in the flavor of any dish you use it in.

Layered Taco Dip

In a shallow glass container layer in this order
2 cups of refried beans, recipe below
1 cup shredded Mexican-style cheese or sharp Cheddar cheese
8 ounces sour cream
1 cup shredded Mexican-style cheese or sharp Cheddar cheese
1 ripe avocado, scraped and sprinkled with juice of half a lime
½ cup chopped green bell or jalapeño pepper
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 spring onions, sliced
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

great with vegetable crisps

Taco Seasoning

1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon sweet or hot smoked pimentón
½ tablespoon cayenne powder, more or less to taste
1 tablespoon toasted cumin powder (toast whole cumin then grind in a coffee grinder)
1 teaspoon finely crumbled Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Whisk together ingredients in a small bowl. Transfer into a spice jar.

Frijoles Refritos (Refried Beans)
adapted from Mexican Cooking (I've had this book since early 1980 and it has been one of my go to book for Tex-Mex recipes)

2 tablespoons bacon fat or butter
1 onion,chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons taco seasoning
1 tablespoon tomato paste or ½ cup grated skinned tomatoes
2 cups mashed cooked red or pinto beans (canned is okay)
2 tablespoons bean cooking liquid
1½ teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
½ cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese, optional
  • In a skillet, heat lard or butter. Saute onion and garlic until onion is soft and translucent. Add taco seasoning and saute for 1 minute. Add the rest of ingredients except cheese. Let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, adding bean cooking liquid if the mixture appears dry. Stir in cheese, if using. 


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