Back to Basics: Queso
By Kelly Bogard
I am so excited. I LOVE college football, and there is a staple that goes along with football in our house—queso. Not cheese dip or hot cheese, but honest to goodness queso. Now, I have been known to take the easy route and mix a brick of American cheese with a can of seasoned tomatoes, but there is a very easy way to make it from scratch that, in my opinion, is so much better.
I have this thing about cooking with fresh vegetables. I do it as often as possible. I prefer the flavor. I know sometimes I share recipes with frozen or canned vegetables. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I just like fresh better, when I can. This is a Back-to-Basics recipe because you are starting with all fresh ingredients and turning it into something amazing. Everyone should have a simple recipe like this in your game day rotation.
For Back to Basics: Queso, you will need…
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
1-1/2 tsp. dried minced garlic
16 oz. American cheese, cubed
8 oz. Pepper Jack cheese, grated
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. coarse black pepper
1 cup milk
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Tortilla chips for dipping
This queso is creamy and rich with a punch of heat. The best part is you can modify it to the particular tastes in your household. I like to make a bit for Butters with just tomatoes as she isn’t much on heat, while I make full strength for the rest of our game day crew. You can add sausage or bacon for even more flavor.
First things, first. Heat the skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Combine the onions, peppers and garlic and sauté until tender.
Once the vegetables are cooked, add the cheese mixture to the skillet and seasonings. Reduce heat to low-medium.
Slowly stir or whisk in the milk as the cheese is melting.
Once all of the cheese is melted, add the tomatoes and stir to combine.
Serve immediately or pour into a slow cooker to keep it warm during the game. I like to have it ready for halftime, so I make it a little ahead of time and place it in the slow cooker on the warm setting. Quick tip: You can get slow cooker liners at the grocery store that are lifesavers when it comes to queso. It makes clean up a breeze and helps keep the cheese from burning. You can usually find them on the same aisle as the aluminum foil and plastic storage bags.
I hope you enjoy football season as much as we do, be it for the food or the sport. From all of us at Texas Table Top, enjoy!
Recipe: Back to Basics: Queso
Summary: Warm, rich and cheesy party dip
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
- 1-1/2 tsp. dried minced garlic
- 16 oz. American cheese, cubed
- 8 oz. Pepper Jack cheese, grated
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. coarse black pepper
- 1 cup milk
- 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- Tortilla chips for dipping
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Sauté onion, jalapeño and garlic until tender.
- Reduce heat to low-medium and add in cheeses and seasonings.
- Slowly stir in milk as the cheeses melt.
- Once the cheeses are completely melted and smooth, add in the tomatoes and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately with tortilla chips or move to slow cooker on the warm setting.
Cooking time (duration): 15 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 10-12