Queso and Poblano Dip

It has been a while since I have done a Fiesta Friday post so I thought it was as good as time as any to share my new favorite obsession in the form of this queso dip.  I looooooove cheese in all forms but melted with a bit of spice??  That’s just too good to be true.  The problem is a lot of queso dip is pretty terrible – either flavorless, rubbery or even worse, gritty.  I have searched for the perfect recipe for a while.  So many of them call for velveeta because of its smooth, melted texture but I gotta say that stuff just is. not. good.  Then I came across this recipe in Food and Wine magazine that mixed manchego and sharp cheddar cheese with american cheese.  Genius!

The american cheese gives it that nice smooth consistency but isn’t fake and gloopy, and the other cheeses add a ton of flavor.  Now don’t go and buy american cheese slices and spend time unwrapping enough to make 12 ounces.  Go to the deli counter and ask them to cut it for you really thick so you can cut it up in cubes.  They will probably look at you funny but that is the best way to get it incorporated into the dip.  Also when you start adding the cheeses you might get discouraged but stick with it.  After the 7 or so minutes it will all come together and be smooth, trust me.  I played around with the recipe a bit because it was lacking heat so I added some poblanos and fresnos.  I also cut out the buttermilk – while it gave the dip a slightly more tangy flavor which was nice, it thinned it out more than I wanted and meant one less thing to buy!  You could punch up the heat or lower it to your liking – the key is the base of the milk and cream with the mix of 3 cheeses.  Have a happy, cheesy, Fiesta Friday!

Queso and Poblano Dip 

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped poblano pepper (about 1/2 a poblano)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresno chili or jalapeno (about 2)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion (about 1/4 of an onion)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 12 ounces american cheese, cut thick and cut into cubes
  • 2 ounces grated manchego cheese
  • 2 ounces grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more) cayenne pepper

Set a medium bowl over a pot of water and bring the water to a simmer.

Add the cream and milk to the bowl, stirring occasionally until pretty warm, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile in a small skillet warm the canola oil over medium heat and cook the poblano, fresno, onion and garlic for 5 minutes until softened.  Add all the cheeses, the veggies and the cayenne to the bowl with the cream and milk.

Continue to heat for 7 to 8 minutes more, stirring to incorporate the cheese, until it has all melted.  Serve right away – rewarm over the double boiler if necessary.

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