Whilst my US friends are watching the Superbowl tonight they’ll be drinking beer & eating vast quantities of dips and chips.
Dips are a peculiarly American thing. Dips in the UK aren’t taken that seriously: most often they lurk in tiny plastic pots in the chill section of the supermarket. Upon further inspection they are usually radioactive in colour, full of E numbers (chemical additives), and leave a fatty film on the roof of your mouth.
There certainly isn’t a UK equivalent of the US tradition of time-honoured family recipes, and you won’t find dips in very many British cookbooks. Once I got past my twenties, the only dips I’ve ever seen at parties are houmous & taramasalata. But sour cream based?
Not so much.
When I moved to America I was amazed at the prevalence of dips, especially those quite substantial ones. (In the UK they are always quite liquid). It’s perfectly normal for a girlfriend to rock up to my front door for a TV party with a snazzy multi-layered dip, almost a meal in itself, made according to a honed family recipe.
So, in honour of tonight’s Superbowl, & my best friend in NY the wonderful Jill who knows as much about football as I do about fashion, I give you the LLG layer dip, a new addition to the LLG family canon.
This has to be the simplest recipe. If you are familiar with nachos, then this will ring a few bells. It’s just layered beans, sour cream, grated cheese, guacamole, salsa and some olives.
So: dice the onion. Heat a dessertspoon of neutral oil (sunflower is gd) & add half the chopped onion.
and sweat (cook over a low heat) until the onions are translucent.
Open a tin of beans – I used black eyed, but it works with refried, haricot, black or canellini – drain, and add to the onions with a small glass of water, a large pinch of salt and a tsp of cumin. Heat to a simmer and cook for ten minutes.
Chop up the tomatoes into small dice, making sure you keep the juice. Strip off the coriander leaves and finely chop. Mix the tomatoes & all the coriander bar a spoonful, with the leftover chopped onion. Add salt to taste and a generous dash of Tabasco. (I use my hands to mix it all, but feel free to use a spoon.)
Skin the avocados.
Add two large teaspoons of salsa, & tablespn of coriander, & a good squeeze of lime juice.
Get rid of some aggression by wielding that masher:
Add salt, Tabasco to your taste. (I like a lot.)
Take up your masher again when the beans look like this:
And half mash them. (You want a little texture.)
Scoop all the beans into an ovenproof dish:
Then add a layer of grated cheese, and then spoon over all the salsa:
Then a layer of sour cream (I used creme fraiche), and then all the guacamole, smoothed over the cream with the back of a spoon:
Then the olives, chopped (optional), and a thin layer of grated cheese. Pop under a pre-heated grill/broiler until the cheese is melted but not brown.
Ta da! Scoop into mouth with chips. (Try not to spill down front.)
I x can beans
1 x large white onion
1 x tsp ground cumin
small glass of water
2 x soft avocados
small bunch coriander
Grated cheese. In America I use Monterey or pepper Jack, but cheddar in the UK.
Handful of olives, chopped
Sour cream (I use creme fraiche)
Layer all ingredients plus sour cream
Pop under pre-heated grill/broiler
If taking this to a party, I suggest putting in the guacamole before the layer of cream, to stop the avocado going brown.