Dip

seven layer 3

When I dip, you dip, we dip.

Yep, it’s time to break out the fall layers. Layers of delicious dip, that is.

I grew up with the Mexican 7 Layer Dip. Canned refried beans; sour cream/cream cheese; guac; lettuce; jarred salsa; cheddar; canned olives. It’s kind of amazing. Digging through each layer reveals a new circle of flavor, or something. It’s like the 80s party version of Dante’s Inferno. And yet everyone digs it.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve eaten my fair share. But it’s not exactly in keeping with my culinary style. To quote Buffy (The Vampire Slayer) “It’s not just dated — it’s carbon dated.” But I couldn’t give up on it completely. I wanted to riff on the classic, using all my favorite flavors. The idea is: get the feeling of the original, but with fresher flavors. Y’know, without opening any cans and dumping them directly onto the serving platter.

My version is a little heavy on goat cheese. If you’re a hater, sorry. There’s no accounting for taste.

So with no further ado, I give you, in order, the layers:

  • 11 oz goat cheese
  • ½ cup pecan butter*
  • 2 cups caramelized leeks**
  • 5 oz baby arugula
  • 2 cups chopped roasted peppers***
  • ¼ pound Humboldt Fog, crumbled
  • leaves from 5 sprigs of thyme

Layer them all on a serving platter, loosely cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, with baguette, of course.

pecan butter*For the pecan butter, roast 1 cup pecans at 425 for 12 minutes, then blitz them in the food processor with 2 tablespoons olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt until completely pureed and liquid. Refrigerate until cooled.

caramelized leeks**For the leeks, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, deep sauté pan. Add 3 cleaned, sliced leeks with ½ teaspoon salt and cook over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes, until wilted and starting to brown. Add 1 cup white wine (I used Sauv Blanc) and stir constantly, using the leeks as a mop to soak up the fond or browned bits, on the bottom of the pan. Once all liquid is absorbed, cool in a bowl in the fridge to at least room temp.

roasted pepps***For the roasted peppers, I used a mix to get my 2 cups chopped. It was 2 red bell peppers, 3 jalapenos, 3 Ukraines and 6 mini sweets. Roast them over a gas flame, then skin and de-seed them. Chop and toss with 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt. Then add 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss to coat. Refrigerate until cooled.

seven layer 2

Obviously, you can personalize however you’d like. Think outside the box. (Or the can.) So go ahead, take a dip!

2 thoughts on “Dip

  1. Yum! For Christmas this year, we all have a day to plan meals. In a fairly rustic cabin. We are doing gyros from Holy Land, so maybe I will do a Mediterranean riff…with pita!

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