Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Michelle's Queso Dip

Ahh, the queso dip. This spicy, Mexican-Style cheese dip is a hit at parties and with kids of all ages. An all-around winner.

Michelle's Queso Dip

1 onion
2 jalapeños (or 1 small can diced jalapeños)
1 8-oz package cream cheese
1 pint 2% milk (or half & half, or whipping cream)
6 cups cheddar cheese
1/2 cup green onions, chopped & divided
Frank's Red Hot sauce, to taste
salt & pepper

Mince the onion as fine as you can manage. I tried to grate it, which was a mess. Mincing/dicing will be fine.

Mince the jalapeños (wear gloves!), removing seeds and ribs as needed. I used the can of jalapeños because that's what I had, but I would use fresh next time.

Sauté onions and jalapeños in a little butter, about 5 minutes or until tender. I used a 5-quart saucepan. (Warning, spicy steam is hard on the eyes!)

Cut the cream cheese into cubes. Add to the pot with the onions and jalapeños. Turn down the heat under the pot to medium-low (3 or so).

Using a wooden utensil, stir the melting cream cheese and combine with the onions, etc. Before it is all melted, add the milk or cream.

Keep stirring until all is melted and combined. Make sure it doesn't get too hot - curdled dairy is no good.

Add the cheddar cheese all at once. I started with 4 cups, but added 2 more as it wasn't cheesy enough and the color wasn't right.

Stir the dip constantly until all the cheese is melted and the dip is combined well. You may want to use a whisk for this.

Add hot sauce if using and salt & pepper to taste.

Continue to heat and stir for 15 more minutes. The dip will continue to thin out as it heats. You will know it's done when there are no more strings of melting cheese and it is a uniform consistency. And, you know, it will be as hot as you want it. Add the green onions at this point, saving a few for garnishing purposes.

Alternatively, you can scoop some into your Crockpot "Little Dipper" that Michelle gave you for Christmas, plug that baby in and let it heat for 30-50 minutes.

To serve, simply unplug the Little Dipper and move it to your coffee table. It will remain at the optimum dipping temperature for at least 2 hours.

We had this with tortilla chips, but it could be good with chunks of bread, fruit, pretzels, kielbasa - anything that goes with cheese, really.

This recipe makes about 4 pints. Now what am I going to do with the other 3 pints?

Guess I'll have to throw a party!

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