Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Snack for Summer Fun

The Ol’ Man and I went to Texas recently for a week of fast and loud music. While in the lovely town of Austin, we patronized many-a-restaurant and sampled their fine wares. Something I noticed is that they always offered queso dip with chips the way you would be offered salsa at a Mexican restaurant in California. It was just normal to have queso all the time. Now, where I come from, this lavish cheese delicacy is too precious to just throw around all willy-nilly, so to see it so prevalent throughout the South Western Region was a treat and a half, to say the least. Ever since our trip to Austin, I have been craving the warmed, spicy delight.

I came across this easy queso recipe while reading Confections of a Foodie Bride. I enjoy food blogs. I absolutely love looking at pictures of food, and food bloggers have a knack for making their dishes look like edible works of art. Confections of a Foodie Bride is a blog where you find fairly easy recipes for really delicious treats. Shawnda’s “Not-So-Easy Queso Dip” (So-named because you don’t just dump a can of RoTel© into a bowl of warmed cheese) was not only easy to prepare, but heavenly to devour.

Don’t be dismissive of the need for Velveeta instead of cheese. It is surprisingly tasty when mixed with all of the other yummy, flavorful ingredients. Shawna recommends Velveeta because it is the only cheese she has worked with that melts with the right consistency.

I also recommend being wary of your cilantro levels. I love cilantro, but felt that a quarter of a cup was just a tad overpowering for my taste. However, my snacking companions all disagreed with my diagnosis, so who knows.

Here is the recipe, straight from Confections of a Foodie Bride:

Not-So-Quickie Queso
8 oz Velveeta, cut into large cubes
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1/2 cup white or yellow onion, diced small
1-2 large jalapeno peppers, diced (~1/4 cup, I leave the seeds in)
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Pinch of salt
Dash of cayenne

Place Velveeta and milk in a medium bowl and set aside.
Heat oil in sauce pan over medium-high. Saute onions and peppers until the onions are translucent. Pour over Velveeta. Microwave for 60-90 seconds at a time, stirring until melted and thoroughly combined. Stir in tomatoes, cilantro, salt and cayenne. Serve hot with chips of your choice or warm flour tortillas.

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