There is a time and place for just about everything. My mother loves to entertain – and she took after her mother. One of the many dishes I remember her making when I was growing up was her chili con queso dip – there were two main ingredients as far as I can remember – a can of Hormel chili without beans and Velveeta cheese. I am not exactly sure what was in that chili if it didn’t have beans, but whatever it was – once it was mixed with that velvety fake cheese, magic happened.
It has been years since I have even thought about Velveeta cheese – but I found this recipe in Bon Appetit, and would you believe that was one of the ingredients? I know Velveeta is nothing but processed cheese – and eating a hunk of Velveeta cheese is definitely not something I am interested in doing. In fact, I seriously never imagined myself buying a stick of Velveeta ever…but there is really nothing like melted Velveeta cheese when you are making a dip.
The other weekend when I was trying to figure out what to make for the Super Bowl, I kept coming back to this recipe. Part of me wanted to just make the recipe that my mother had engrained in my head – but this recipe looked even better. It had a combo of Velveeta and real cheese – and some sausage. Well, this dip was just about the best I have ever had. I could have easily just sat down with a bowl and a spoon…but I was good and stuck to the chips – but let me tell you, there was no way to stop at just one. Fortunately I wasn’t the only person that felt that way, so it went pretty quickly – otherwise I seriously would have eaten it all. Velveeta – I’m sorry for ignoring you all these years, and thinking that I was done with you. I just had to find the right time…and now that I have, there will be a place for you always.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 6 oz. fresh chorizo, casings removed
- 2½ cups half-and-half
- 8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
- 8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- 8 oz. sharp cheddar, grated
- 2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo
- 1¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon ancho chile powder
- ¾ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- 2 oz. crumbled Cotija cheese or queso fresco
Heat half-and-half and Velveeta in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until Velveeta is melted, 6–8 minutes. Add Monterey Jack and cheddar; cook, stirring, until mixture is smooth. Mix in chipotle chiles, salt, and both chile powders.
Transfer queso to a warm dish and top with Cotija cheese and reserved chorizo.
DO AHEAD: Queso (without toppings) can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Creamy Queso with Sausage