A mini-crock pot is perfect for keeping this dish warm, or use a chafing dish. On the other hand, if your guests are hungry, the dip will be eaten too fast to cool off!
This dish comes from Claudia McQuillan's Chips and Dips (Chronicle Books, $14.95). If you're a regular party animal, you need this book. From the elegant Lobster Thermidor Dip to garlicky Greek Tzatziki, this slender but richly packed and colorfully photographed volume is so inspiring, you'll want to host a party just to show off the dips!
If you've ever been to L.A., you know that Mexican food is a staple in the diet of most Angelinos. Chiles con queso, a spicy Mexican fondue, is found among the antojitos (appetizers) at most Mexican restaurants and is a favorite of my friends and mine when we're out for margaritas. Unfortunately, many restaurants have resorted to using tasteless processed cheese and canned chiles. Take the time to use real cheeses and fresh chiles, and discover a delicious and quick hot appetizer. Chiles con queso is best served with tortilla chips.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 large ripe tomatoes, finely chopped with their juices
2 poblano or Anaheim chiles,
roasted and finely chopped
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
6 ounces Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
6 ounces Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
3/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter; add the onion, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the chiles, salt, and cayenne pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in the grated cheeses, and continue to stir until they begin to melt. Slowly add the cream, and cook 10 minutes longer, stirring often. Taste and correct the seasonings with salt and cayenne pepper. Serve in a hot chafing dish. Makes 3 cups.
Roasting Chiles and Peppers
To roast chiles and peppers, place them directly on the open gas flame of a stovetop burner or directly under the broiler. Blacken on all sides, turning occasionally with a pair of tongs. When charred on all sides, remove them form the heat with tongs and cool completely. Rub off charred skin with your fingers, a kitchen towel or paper towels.
Chips and Dips
by Claudia McQuillan
Photographs by Pete McArthur
Chronicle Books, 1997; $14.95
Recipe and photo reprinted by permission.
Copyright © 1998-2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created October 1998 and modified September 2007
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