06 March 2013

Queso Blanco Dip (No Processed Cheeses!)

Dear Lissy,
I had my first encounter with authentic Mexican Food in South Carolina.  My shiny new roommates treated me to a birthday dinner of enchiladas at a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant off campus.  We ordered a pot of queso to accompany the overflowing basket of free tortilla chips, and I was pretty sure nothing that tasty had ever crossed my lips before.  I lived and traveled in the South for the next 6 years, and began to take the ubiquitous pot of queso for granted.  Then we moved back to New England, and I haven't had a decent bowl since.
Up here, it's not uncommon for a wad of plasticy velveeta and a jar of canned salsa to be microwaved into a lava-like consistency and offered up as queso dip.  That. is. not. queso.  I began testing recipes, all promising my precious queso dip on my own stovetop.  Nope.  Not even close.  About a year ago I encountered enchiladas blanco, and the sauce reminded me of queso.  When this recipe appeared, I was pretty sure I was on to something good.  After making it once, I'm convinced this is the closest I'm going to come with ingredients available in a New Hampshire Super Wal-Mart.

Queso Blanco Dip
Adapted from Miguel's Restuarants, San Diego
Makes 3-1/2 cups
I'm giving directions here to season this as either a classic jalapeno dip, or a smoky, less-hot version we prefer.
2 cups whipping cream ( 475 g )
1 cup sour cream ( 254 g )
1 tsp chicken base (24 g )
2 tbsp. clarified butter (28.25 g )
1 tbsp. flour (20 g )
1 jalapeno, minced (30 g ) or 1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles (113 g)
1 tbsp juice from bottled jalapenos ( 30 g ) or up to 1 tsp. chipotle chile powder
4 oz shredded Colby-Jack cheese (113 g )  Pre-shredded cheese will not melt properly.  Hand grate from a block of CoJack cheese.

Heat whipping cream in 2 cup Pyrex measure in the microwave for 1 min, 30 seconds or just under a boil.   When the cream is ready to boil, whisk in sour cream. After sour cream dissolves, stir in chicken base and jalapeno juice (or 1/2 tsp. chipotle pepper) and set aside.

While cream is heating: Make a roux by warming butter in a saucepan over medium heat, adding flour, and mixing with a wire whip until mixture starts to turn pale gold.  This dip has a thin consistency.  If you're looking for a thicker dipping consistency, use Wondra flour or a scant 2 Tbsp. flour.

Add cream mixture, whisking until roux is incorporated and mixture is at a simmer. Remove from heat; stir in minced jalapeno or green chiles and grated cheese. Taste queso for spiciness, and adjust if necessary.  Serve with chicken, fish, french fries, or just tortilla chips.

 Love ya hot thang,

P.S.  Daddy just came home for lunch and scarfed down the rest of the bowl. . .guess it passes inspection!


  1. I can't wait to give this a try! It sounds great.

    1. You'd probably like it the thin consistency we remember from P'Cola. My kids were dripping it all over the place, so I thickened it up a little more to preserve my sanity. I also doubled the cheese, so you may want to taste test it with only half first. I'd love to see any changes you make!