Introduction: Bernie's Best Bean and Salsa Dip

     An unfortunate accident brought me and my great-uncle Bernie together extending a one night stay to a 3 week one (don't worry, he's fine). However, from these unlikely times he taught me some of the most amazing things.  I learned from him many new recipes, how to mix some drinks ('Dark and Stormy' anyone? I can't, but I know how to make a mean one... or so i hear), and most notably his famous bean salsa.  

     Before staying with me, he had been traveling north from Florida to Maine in a '94 Benz bringing with him the good gospel of bean salsa.  This is the most amazing chip dip/scoop/topping/salsa/et cetera.  Built upon a base of refried beans and salsa, it becomes an explosion of flavor inside your mouth with hidden subtleties such as avocado and lime juice. 

Step 1: Ingredients

The dip is an easy combination of just a few simple ingredients:

1 mature Avocado.  If you do not have an avocado you can always just use guacamole.

1 large can Refried Beans. About 32 oz. Old El Paso is the best because it's denser and less liquid.

1 jar Salsa. About 12 oz. Medium or Hot. We used medium for this Instructable, but I would recommend hot because it gets diluted to about 1/4 its original strength.

1/3 jar Salsa con Queso, or any other mexican cheese dip. About 4 ounces. More if you like the flavor.

Tabasco or other hot sauce to flavor and to add spice if you wish.

Lime Juice

Bag of your favorite Corn Chips

Optional: Shredded Cheese

Step 2: Avocado

The first thing to do is split the avocado and spoon out the good stuff into a large bowl.  We prepared ours right in our serving bowl.  Preserve the pit if you want to grow a tree, but thats another instructable.  Next, smash the avocado into a paste so that it will mix in with the rest. You want constant avocado flavor throughout, not large avocado chunks.

Step 3: Beans and Salsa

Next, open a can of refried beans and plop them into the bowl on top of your avocado.  If they resist coming out of the can, use the opener to put a small air hole in the bottom and they should easily rush out.  (If they don't come out easily, open the bottom of the can, and push them out.)  Mix them in with a fork.

Open a jar of salsa, add, and mix.

Step 4: Cheese Sauce and Flavor

Next, open a jar of Queso and add about 1/3 of it to the mix.

Then, add Tabasco or another hot sauce to taste.  It may take a fair amount to get the desired flavor as there will be a lot of dip. Don't worry, it has a way of disappearing.

Lastly, add a bit of lime juice to taste. The citrus mixes well with the rest of the flavors. I would estimate we used about 2 teaspoons of it.

Step 5: Serve!

Get out your favorite chips. Make a Dark and Stormy. Grab some friends, and enjoy.

If you have any extra, it stores in the fridge for a while.  I've never tested how long "a while" is because I don't have that level of self restraint, but it will be fine for at least 5 days.

One possible alternate recipe is using refried pinto beans instead of the traditional ones (I don't know what bean that uses).  This way came out a bit more orange with a slightly different flavor. Could just be the brand, but there was definitely a difference.  Also on this try we used a hot salsa and added a large amount of Chipotle Tabasco to give it a nice burn.

If you have further ideas or questions, please feel free to comment below.