"But I'm taking a Greyhound on the Hudson River Line, I'm in a New York State of mind…"
- Billy Joel
I'm leaving for the big city tomorrow (not on a Greyhound, but still) and I'm trying to focus on packing rather than the bowls of warm queso that are calling me. It's a battle zone and I'm losing terribly.
I am the lady who goes to a Mexican restaurant and unabashedly orders queso dip as her sole meal. I mean, I have cheese and chips, why would I want for anything else?
Recently, I started thinking about queso dip in the wee hours of the evening, when restaurant visiting was not possible -- primarily because I was already wearing my pajamas. So, the quest for the perfect queso dip began.
It took me a LONG while to figure out the right formula to satisfy my queso cravings. I love anything that involves a chip and a bowl of something warm and cheesy, but the warm and cheesy part was a bit difficult to get right. I needed it to be thin enough to be dip-able, but not runny, bold but not sharp, and cheesy enough to fulfill my late night fantasies. Also, I didn't want it spicy. No peppers in my cheese, thank you very much.
It turns out that the ingredient list is pretty straightforward. No exotic cheeses, no fancy spices. Just a trio of Monterey Jack, White Cheddar, and Cream Cheese. Yes, cream cheese. It makes all the difference.
Onions and tomatoes are sautéed until golden brown and vegetable stock is added.
Then, we stir in the cream cheese and milk and let everything get bubbly and creamy. When the cream cheese has melted into the stock, the pan is removed from the heat and the cheeses are stirred in. It's that easy.
Now I'm wondering why it took me so many tries to get it right...
Grab your bag of chips!
Spritz them with a bit of lime if you so please.
And we're done! Let the partying begin! Maybe that party is just you in your pajamas, it's cool, I get you.
Oh and if you're wondering about that drink, I'll be sharing the details with you on Friday. This is a good one, guys.
Homemade Queso Dip for Late Night Snacking
- 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes (room temperature)
- 4 ounces white cheddar, grated
- 10 ounces Monterey Jack, grated
In a deep-sided frying pan heat olive oil over medium high heat. When the oil begins to glimmer, add tomatoes, onions, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions begin to brown, about 2-3 minutes.
Add stock and reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in milk and cream cheese, using a spoon to break up the cream cheese. Cook for about 3 minutes, until all the cream cheese has melted and the dip has thickened slightly.
Remove from heat and add grated Monterey Jack and white cheddar. Stir until the cheese has thoroughly melted. Serve immediately alongside tortilla chips. Enjoy!
This dip reheats very well. Just mircowave at thirty second increments, stirring between each, until it has thoroughly melted. Be careful not to cook it, you just want to warm it up.