When I offered to make a queso dip for Wisconsin Cheese, I thought it would be a no-brainer recipe. It’s a cheese dip. Point. Blank. Period. However, I had actually never prepared a queso dip from scratch before using real cheese. When I was in college, I had that famous concoction everyone loves that uses microwaved processed cheese and salsa or seasoned canned tomatoes. Don’t get me wrong, that stuff is tasty. It’s chemically engineered deliciousness. However, these days I try to use real ingredients in my cooking, as you’ll know if you’re a regular around here.
My first attempt at queso dip was a flavorful disaster. It was wonderful right out of the saucepan, however it solidified within 10 minutes. That’s not what I want in a cheese dip. No one wants that. I quickly realized that the key to a good cheese dip was to start with a béchamel base. Béchamel sauce is one of the five French mother sauces, and it’s often used to make macaroni and cheese. If you add the right cheeses, spices and toppings to it? Perfect, gooey, melty, flavorful queso blaco dip. Chorizo adds a wonderful meatiness to it, but feel free to omit that for a vegetarian option.
- 8 ounces ground chorizo, uncooked
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup finely diced yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups half & half (or ¾ cup whole milk + ¾ cup heavy cream)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1½ cups grated Wisconsin monterey jack cheese
- 1½ cups grated Wisconsin white mild cheddar cheese
- Tortilla chips for serving
- Queso fresco or ricotta salata cheese
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Finely diced jalapeno peppers
- Finely diced red onion
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat the chorizo over low heat to render the fat into the pan. As the fat melts, slowly turn up the heat to medium-low and then medium, stirring the chorizo frequently while using a spatula to break apart any clumps. Once fully cooked, 7-10 minutes, transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Melt the butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook for a 3-4 minutes, stirring, until translucent and fragrant. Stir in the flour and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the half & half, salt, black pepper, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat while whisking. It should begin to thicken after a few minutes. Once the sauce has thickened to the consistency of a cream soup, remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese, one handful at a time.
- Pour the dip into a serving dish and top with the chorizo. Add the optional toppings, if using, and serve with tortilla chips.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Wisconsin Cheese. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Savory Simple!