Seven Layer Dip with Homemade Refried Beans

by angelika on March 1, 2011

I made a huge batch of pinto beans in the slow cooker, and they cooked a little long for my taste. I let them go 3 hours on high, but did not get back to them for a while, so I think they sat on warm mode too long. No worries though, it just gave me the opportunity to make homemade refried beans! Refried beans are so much better when you make them from scratch, even if you just make them from a can of cooked beans. Something about the way the refried beans leave the can in a giant cylinder with can markings all over is… less than appetizing. So I made my own, and then proceed to fashion my favorite party food from my childhood, seven layer dip! Before you ask, the answer is yes, this is what we ate for dinner. With a salad of course. 
Refried Beans

3 cups cooked pinto beans
1/2 small yellow onion, diced 
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 cup water
salt to taste
Dip Layers

sour cream, cream cheese, creme fraîche
salsa
shredded cheese
scallions
cilantro
chopped avocado
Saute the onion on medium low until browned. Add the garlic and the cumin and chili powder and saute for a minute. Toasting the spices really accentuates their flavor and allows the oils to release. If your onion mixture seems dry at this point add another tablespoon of oil. Add the beans and saute for a few minutes, stirring. 

Once the beans are heated through and the spice mixture is incorporated, start smashing the beans. You can use a potato masher, or the back of your spoon. I like to put the whole thing in the food processor, as I like a smooth texture, but it isn’t necessary. If you use the spoon method, work the water in a bit at a time to loosen the mixture. If you use a food processor, just add the water all at once. Salt the beans to taste. I usually add salt to the beans the last 10 minutes they cook, so mine come a bit saltier. I used about 1/4 teaspoon. 

To make the seven layer dip, start with a generous layer of refried beans in a serving dish. I just used one of my glass storage dishes. Spread a thin layer of cream. Traditionally you use a mixture of cream cheese and sour cream. I didn’t have either, so I used creme fraîche, which I always have. It was great, as it is basically French sour cream anyway. Next pour a generous layer of salsa. We use prepared chipotle salsa. Top with chopped cilantro. 

Next layer the shredded cheese, chopped avocado and scallions. If you have black olives, they would be great. Unfortunately we didn’t have any, and I desperately wanted them. 
You can layer this dish up any way you like, with whatever you have. Any way you dish it up, it is as delicious as can be, and I think a perfectly appropriate dinner. 
A votre santé!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Milehimama @ Mama Says March 1, 2011 at 2:41 am

Hmm, marjoram in refried beans? I might have to try that!

Reply

Angelika March 1, 2011 at 2:45 am

I was out of oregano! 😉 Inspiration born from desperation? It turns out it tasted great with the beans.

Reply

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