Bob Armstrong Dip
Matt's El Rancho Restaurant, Austin, Texas
Yield: 16 to 20 servings
For Matt Martinez's Tex-Mex Spice:
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
For guacamole layer:
4 Hass avocados
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
For taco-meat layer:
1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Tex-Mex Spice
1 pound lean ground beef
For chile-con-queso layer:
1 1/2 cups canned chopped green chiles or fresh chiles, peeled and finely diced
1/2 cup diced fresh tomato
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
2 teaspoons Tex-Mex Spice
1 cup chicken broth
1 pound American cheese or more if needed, cubed
For assembly and serving:
Pico de gallo, for optional garnish
Sour cream, for optional garnish
Step 1: Prepare Matt Martinez's Tex-Mex Spice. Stir together cumin, granulated garlic, salt and black pepper. (This will make roughly four times as much as is needed for this recipe. Store leftovers in an airtight container or zip-lock bag.)
Step 2: Prepare guacamole. Halve avocados and scoop flesh into a mixing bowl; discard pits and skin. Add lime juice; mash together until mixture reaches a chunky texture. Add salt to taste. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap touches the surface of the guacamole. Set aside.
Step 3: Prepare taco meat. In a cold skillet, stir together bell pepper, celery, onion and Tex-Mex spice. Spread uncooked meat on top. Place over medium heat. When meat starts to simmer, stir and break up meat. Simmer on low for 20 minutes. Remove from heat; drain and discard any fat. Cover to keep warm, and set aside.
Step 4: Prepare chile con queso. In a saucepan, combine chiles, tomato, onion, celery, Tex-Mex spice and chicken broth. Bring to a light simmer; gently cook for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat; add cheese. Simmer until cheese melts. (If mixture is too thick, add water; if it's too thin, add more cheese.) Remove from heat.
Step 5: Assemble dip. Warm a 9-by-13-inch or a 7-by-11-inch pan in the oven or fill with hot water, then drain and dry well. Spread guacamole in the pan, then hot taco meat in an even layer. Top with hot chile con queso. Garnish with pico de gallo or sour cream. Serve with chips.