Mix and Match Queso

Make the ultimate cheese dip with this customizable recipe.

Cheddar-American Queso with Bacon and Green Chiles

 

Cheddar-American Queso with Bacon and Green Chiles

 

Step 1: Shred your cheese. Choose up to 3 of the following and shred 2 cups total (about 8 ounces) on the large holes of a box grater. 

  • Cheddar (mild, sharp, smoked or chipotle)
  • Pepper jack
  • Monterey jack
  • American
  • Havarti
  • Muenster
  • Mozzarella (low-moisture)
  • Processed cheese (such as Velveeta; cut into cubes) 

Step 2: Prep your mix-ins. Choose up to 3 of the following and prepare 1 cup total. 

  • Chorizo, cooked and crumbled
  • Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Ground beef or turkey, cooked and crumbled
  • Rotisserie chicken, skin removed, chopped
  • Shrimp, cooked and chopped
  • Crab or lobster meat, chopped 
  • Onions, chopped and sauteed
  • Mushrooms, chopped and sauteed
  • Zucchini, chopped and sauteed
  • Frozen re-roasted corn, thawed
  • Poblano peppers, roasted and diced 
  • Canned black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Jarred roasted red peppers, chopped (use only 1/4 cup)
  • Canned chopped green chiles, drained (use only 1/4 cup)

Step 3: Pick your spices. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 minced garlic clove and 1 nely chopped jalapeno (remove seeds for less heat); cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle in 2 teaspoons spice, using any combination of the following:

  • Ground cumin
  • Chili powder (regular or ancho)
  • Taco or fajita seasoning
  • Ground coriander
  • Paprika (sweet, hot or smoked)
  • Chopped chipotle in adobo (use 1 tablespoon) 

Step 4: Make the queso. Whisk 1 1/2 cups half-and-half (or 1 cup half-and-half and 1/2 cup beer) and 1/2 teaspoon salt into the skillet. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat and whisk in 4 ounces cubed cream cheese until melted. Whisk in the shredded cheese in batches until melted, then add your mix-ins. Return the skillet to low heat and stir until heated through. 

Step 5: Add your toppings. Sprinkle the nished queso with any of the following: 

  • Pickled jalapenos, chopped
  • Black olives
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Tomato, chopped
  • Red onion, chopped
  • Bell pepper, chopped
  • Scallions, chopped 
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