Code cracked: made with real cheese, this Queso Dip is a copycat of the cheese dip sold in jars and served at your favourite Mexican restaurant. The miracle of this is that it’s silky smooth even with it cools. Imagine the possibilities!
“I MUST try fake cheese dip!” I declared to Jo when I visited her in Calgary, Canada, earlier this month. “We don’t have it in Australia!” She wrinkled her nose and looked at me dubiously, trying to figure out if I was serious. Once she realised I was, she lead me to the astonishingly large range of fake cheese dips in the corn chip aisle at the supermarket.
I picked out an orange coloured Queso with “MADE WITH REAL CHEESE!!!” plastered across the label. Honestly – does anyone believe that for a second??? Cheese ain’t cheese if it can survive on the shelves for months – years!!!
But…. don’t judge me. We warmed that “stuff” up, and I had my first try of fake cheese dip….. and I enjoyed it. Yes, there’s that artificial edge to it (real cheese… *snort*!). But I still liked it. Decided I had to replicate it using real ingredients when I got home to Sydney.
So I did.
This Queso Dip recipe is for everyone out there who has attempted to make a Mexican cheese dip like what you get at Mexican restaurants and found it lacking. If you want the dip to be silky smooth like the stuff you get in jars, then the recipes call for fake cheese – Velveeta or other processed cheeses. Other recipes are made starting with a roux – butter & flour – which is used to make a béchamel sauce into which cheese is added. While this makes a terrific cheese sauce for pouring over vegetables, in lasagna, gratins etc, it doesn’t have that truly silky and rich texture of a cheese dip.
Other recipes call for real cheese and varying combinations of cream / sour cream / mayonnaise – but the problem with these is that when the dip cools down, the cheese congeals. It’s super tasty – but you need to keep it warm. And also it has a tendency to split when rewarmed.
The solution? Evaporated milk + cornflour/cornstarch + cheese = silky smooth rich cheese dip / sauce. Truly. It works.
Actually, I shared Nachos Cheese Dip a couple of years ago which is a simpler version of this dip. This Queso Dip is my copycat of the fake cheese dip I tried in Canada (it was Tostitos) and the ultra addictive dips served at Tex Mex restaurants in America.
I even made my own corn chips using corn tortillas because I can no longer find white corn chips here. And also because corn chips made using corn tortillas tastes so much more like corn than store bought. Plus the added bonus of being able to control the amount of salt on them – is it just me who finds store bought corn chips super salty?? I swear, they are getting saltier. If I want corn chips to use for a dip, I have to hunt for salt reduced or even unsalted.
Don’t make this Queso Dip when you’re home alone. I’m supposed to be on my Post Holiday Health Kick (I know, I know, you hear this every time I come back from holidays!!!) and it’s taken astronomical will power to hold back.
I’ve got 3 batches of this Mexican Cheese Dip in my fridge. I’m planning to offload them tomorrow. – Nagi x
PS Except maybe that one little jar. I might keep that for myself…..
PPS I realise that some people may raise their eyebrows at the name “Life Changing Queso Dip”, but for Queso Dip lovers, I deign to say this will be life changing!!!
Queso Dip (Mexican Cheese Dip)
Copycat of Queso Dip (Mexican Cheese Dip) sold in jars in the US and the Queso dip at Mexican restaurants. The unique thing about this recipe is that it’s made with real cheese and yet it stays silky smooth even when it cools! Read more in the post above for details. Recipe VIDEO below so you can see how smooth it is at room temperature. Makes about 2.5 cups.
2.5 cups / 225 g shredded cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby, etc) ((Note 1))
1 tbsp cornflour / cornstarch
1/2 tbsp / 8 g butter
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 small white onion, very finely chopped (1/4 cup)
- 1 small tomato, finely diced (3/4 cup) ((Note 2))
- 1/4 tsp each onion powder, garlic powder, cumin