This queso recipe is easy, properly spiced and begs for an additional dip


Whole time:30 minutes

Servings:8 to 12 (makes about 4 cups)

Whole time:30 minutes

Servings:8 to 12 (makes about 4 cups)


Queso translated from Spanish is just “cheese.” However to many Individuals, notably these with roots in Texas, it’s shorthand for chile con queso, a tacky dip with chile peppers that may be a staple at social gatherings of every kind. Whereas recipe variations abound, “the widespread Tex-Mex model may be ready in a microwave in a matter of minutes, with a block of course of[ed] yellow cheese and a can of tomatoes and peppers,” Tim Carman and Shelly Tan wrote in The Washington Post.

Based mostly on the title alone, queso seems like an import, which to a sure extent it’s. Nevertheless, as Carman and Tan clarify, it has “morphed and tailored to its new setting, reworking into one thing uniquely American.”

The dip’s origins may be traced to Northern Mexico’s chile con queso. Print references present in Mexican literature as early because the 1800s, however the first printed recipe utilizing the phrase appeared in america. “An 1896 article about Mexican delicacies within the journal, ‘The Land of Sunshine,’ included a dish known as Chiles Verdes con Queso, which was a combination of lengthy inexperienced chiles, tomatoes, and cheese,” reads an excerpt from cookbook creator Lisa Fain’s aptly title cookbook, “Queso!

This early recipe was nonetheless meant to be served as a aspect. On the highway to its vacation spot as a dip, Fain credit the affect of Swiss fondue and Welsh rarebit. “Then, within the early Twenties, a recipe with the title Chile con Queso appeared within the ‘Girl’s Membership Cook dinner Ebook of Examined and Tried Recipes’ printed by the Girl’s Membership of San Antonio,” Fain wrote. This recipe, as many did on the time, known as for powdered chile peppers as a substitute of contemporary ones due to seasonality. One other vital distinction is that “it was the primary chile con queso recipe to name particularly for American cheese. A very American queso in each title and elegance had arrived.”

Warm dips are the perfect dish to fire up your game-day party

Nevertheless, as referenced within the quote from Carman and Tan, trendy American queso is Velveeta (marketed as a “pasteurized ready cheese product”) and Ro-Tel (which calls itself “a signature mix of vine-ripened tomatoes and zesty inexperienced chilies and a savory combination of secret spices” in a can). That recipe, if one may even name it that, is in style for a motive: It’s simple and it tastes good. It’s unparalleled with regards to the effort-to-reward ratio.

However for superior queso, extra is required.

The recipe I’m sharing right here replaces the can of Ro-Tel with contemporary chile peppers, onion, fire-roasted tomatoes, floor cumin and cayenne pepper. Sure, you’re nonetheless opening a can for the tomatoes, however this mix of elements provides layers of spice to the completed dip. For the cheese part, after a lot experimentation, I caught with Velveeta, which stays easy and creamy for so long as you’re scooping.

Whereas some would possibly scoff at not utilizing “actual cheese,” Velveeta has a texture and meltability that’s unmatched in comparison with unprocessed cheeses. Sure, there are different choices to attain comparable outcomes — similar to calling for sodium citrate to make use of with unprocessed cheese to get the identical texture — however I believed calling for a block of Velveeta — which already comprises sodium citrate — could be extra accessible.

Lastly, borrowing an thought from one of Fain’s recipes, cilantro and bitter cream are stirred in on the finish for freshness and a touch of tang. This recipe makes a large amount, however you shouldn’t be fazed because the result’s a scrumptious dip that may make you need to hold reaching for an additional scoop.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers for as much as 3 days.

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  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion (5 ounces), diced
  • 2 serrano chile peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon floor cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fantastic salt, plus extra to style
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • One (14.5-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 pound Velveeta, cubed
  • 1/2 cup bitter cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped contemporary cilantro
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

In a medium saucepan over medium warmth, soften the butter. Add the onion, serrano and jalapeño peppers, cumin, cayenne and salt, and cook dinner, stirring sometimes, till the onion begins to melt and grow to be translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook dinner, stirring, till aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook dinner, stirring sometimes, for five minutes for the flavors to meld.

Add the Velveeta and cook dinner, stirring sometimes, till melted, 3 to five minutes. Stir within the bitter cream and many of the cilantro, reserving some for serving. Style, and season with extra salt, if wanted. Switch the queso to a bowl, sprinkle with the remaining cilantro, if desired, and serve heat with tortilla chips.

Per serving (1/3 cup), primarily based on 12

Energy: 142; Whole Fats: 9 g; Saturated Fats: 4 g; Ldl cholesterol: 23 mg; Sodium: 623 mg; Carbohydrates: 7 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Sugar: 2 g; Protein: 6 g

This evaluation is an estimate primarily based on obtainable elements and this preparation. It shouldn’t substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s recommendation.

Recipe from workers author Aaron Hutcherson.

Examined by Aaron Hutcherson; e mail inquiries to [email protected].

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