Hi there, Foxes! I trust you all had a marvelous holiday and new year? I would tell you about mine, which was a bit of a shitshow, but that’s for another post, because THIS POST is about QUESO. And queso is some serious shit. Exhibit A:
You see, I’m from Texas originally, where making excellent queso is an art form. We don’t just dump some cubes of processed cheese food (hello, Velveeta) and Ro-Tel like the commercial leads you to believe. We are raised to carefully craft a queso that has a flavor and texture so addictive, you gain 15 lbs during one Superbowl viewing.
Real chili con queso has ground meat, spices, onions, and lots of other secret ingredients designed to make for heaven on a chip. And now with this news of a Velveeta shortage! Well, I’m here to help steer you to a slightly healthier and less cruel option, which also happens to taste better than any queso I’ve ever made. I’ve worked with lots of variations of this recipe to get the color, flavor, and consistency just right. Why? Because as a Texan, my rep is on the line here. Moreover, I want to show the world that you can make a remarkable dairy-free, cholesterol-free queso dip, no sweat. This recipe is also my most popular repeat request for catering gigs. People literally hover over the bowl and say, “Can you believe this isn’t cheese? Holy shit…” and that makes me feel good.
Go ahead: bring this to a Superbowl party or potluck. Set the bubbling cauldron of cheesy goodness down and watch people go BANANAS. The only thing people will ask you for is the recipe. Tell ‘em The Little Foxes sent ya.
The Little Foxes’ Game Day Chili Con Queso
- Makes: 25 servings (or 1, if you’re a greedy queso-lover who eats off this for 4 days…)
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 white onion, finely diced
- 1 packet of Trader Joe’s beef less ground beef (or heirloom beans, if you aren’t a faux meat type)
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 3/4 cup of light beer (I used Corona because I’m a high-roller)
- 2 packages of Daiya Havarti Wedge with jalapeño and garlic, , diced in to cubes
- 1 package of Daiya Cheddar Wedge, diced in to cubes
- 3/4 cup red salsa (I use medium hot, chunky salsa, but this is a matter of preference. Use what you like)
- 3/4 cup water to achieve desired consistency
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Legit corn tortilla chips for maximum dippage
- For garnish: Finely-diced green onions, avocado slices, diced purple onion, or anything else you think sounds rad.
- In a saucepan over medium-to-high heat, combine oil, diced onions, beef less ground beef, and coat with spices. Allow to cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are slightly transparent (we still want them crunchy, so don’t cook them too much) and the spices have permeated the mixture.
- Once cooked, add beer and simmer on lower heat for another 5 minutes.
- Add cubed Daiya and salsa, stirring occasionally to encourage melting.
- Once melted, add water (or additional beer, if you prefer) to achieve desired consistency. It should look like ‘dis:
- Add salt, pepper, and any preferred spices to taste. I sometimes kick this up a notch with hot sauce or red pepper flakes, but the key is to keep it not too spicy.
- Ladle in to bowls or a crock pot and garnish with green onions (my favorite), avocado, purple onion, cilantro (if you’re in to that. I think it’s an abomination), lime wedges, or anything else that tickles your fancy. Serve with GOOD CORN TORTILLA CHIPS (no Tostito’s here, people), and go to town. Pop a cold beer and enjoy.
- Be prepared for total world domination. Cover and store in refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat in saucepan or microwave. Pray to the Daiya gods.