One of my fondest food memories is my mother preparing this spicy, cheesy dip for a party. I couldn’t get enough. She ended up making a second pot just for my sisters and I, lest we gobble up all of her dip before the party.
Sometime ago, I took my number one son and two of his friends to lunch and ordered the restaurants version of chili con queso. What arrived at the table was a bowl of luke-warm canned chili mixed with a bit of cheddar cheese. HORRIBLE!
When I arrived home I looked through my cook books, determined to recreate for my son and his friends the experience I had that afternoon in my mother’s kitchen.
There are perhaps a thousand variations of Queso dip. The dish is simple: melted, spicy cheese. That is basically it. Search a bit and you will find recipes that begin with a béchamel, others that require fresh peppers, and others still that discard cheddar or jack-cheese in favor of cream cheese.
After so much looking, I settled on this recipe from Epicurious.com because is easy, it’s basic and can be built upon, and finally because it uses Velveeta cheese. Now before you purists come down on me, allow me to explain. Velveeta has its place. This is not a health dish (its cheese dip!) so I am not concerned that Velveeta is processed. What I am concerned with is the texture of the dip. Simply using jack and cheddar cheeses leave the dip stringy and in some cases, grainy. Yes, one could use a béchamel, but the goal is simplicity. So, my solution (Epicurious’ solution) is Velveeta.
Trust! The dip is delicious!
- 2 tablespoons Crisco
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pound Velveeta cheese, cubed
- 1/2 pound Colby cheese, cubed
- 2 small cans (4 1/2 ounces) chopped green chilies
- 1 tablespoon salsa
- 1 10-ounce can evaporated milk
In a large skillet, melt the Crisco over low heat. Add garlic powder and Velveeta and Colby cheeses. Stir continuously over very low heat so the mixture doesn’t burn. When cheese has melted, add green chilies and salsa, stirring to combine. Add evaporated milk and stir over low heat: DO NOT LET THE MIXTURE BOIL. Keep warm and serve with tortilla chips.