Maybe it is just a sign of the Michigan economy or maybe it is the mark of more frugal hostesses planning parties, but it is interesting to consider the number of event invitations sent out with the familiar phrase “BYOB and a dish to pass” noted at the bottom of the card. This phrase seems to have replaced the old “RSVP” signage (which very few guests ever responded if coming, anyway) so that a host or hostess could plan a menu and how much food to have when guests arrived. No longer is a party about frantically preparing food to feed all the guests; rather, gatherings have somehow become an occasion where guests feed themselves.
When party-goers bring a dish to pass, the pressure is off the party planner to fuss over the food. Guests, to varying degrees, can worry about what kind of food will be on the table. Some potluck attendees make their dish as simple as a stop to the closest grocery store for their dish to pass: they simply bring a bag of chips and a pound of potato salad from the deli. Other guests, however, want to bring something worth sharing and showing off. These guests are at the party to socialize while watching the reaction of others eating the delicious dish they carefully prepared. They also know that bringing a good dish to any event can mean instant popularity, well, at least for a little while as the food is being devoured...
The following recipe has been tried and proven at many, many family reunions, work lunchtime celebrations, church potlucks and sports banquets. While it does require bringing a bag of chips along from the store, this delicious dip will have your fellow party-goers ignoring the grocery deli foods on the table and all of their attention on a scoop of what you brought.
LAYERED FIESTA DIP:
31 oz. can refried beans
16 oz. jar medium chunky salsa
4 ripe avocadoes (peeled, pitted and mashed)
juice of one lime
sea salt to taste
2 cups (16 oz.) sour cream
1 packet (1.25 oz.) taco seasoning mix
2 cups (8 oz.) finely shredded Colby-Jack cheese
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
3 ripe Roma tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
12 large pitted black olives, sliced
fresh cilantro for garnish
Gather a clear 9x13 inch clear baking dish. Mix the ingredients to each layer until smooth (except top layer, which does not get mixed together) in separate mixing bowls. Evenly distribute each layer, in order listed above, spreading so that the layer beneath can not be seen under each new layer. For the top layer, sprinkle the cheese on first and then add diced vegetables. Cover with clear plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.
When ready to serve, garnish with fresh cilantro and a freshly opened a bag of corn chips.