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Mar 31, 2010 08:09 AM

Chili con Queso - without Velveeta

Does anyone have a good recipe for a chili con queso dip that does NOT call for Velveeta?

I just can't, in good conscience, buy Velveeta.

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  1. just use other cheeses that melt well, like colby, monterey jack, and a spicy peppered or jalepeno cheese and make a cheese sauce with milk.

    6 Replies
    1. re: cookieluvntasha

      The only problem by winging it with a basic mornay is getting good cheese flavor w/out adding too much cheese, which will turn into a gloopy, oily wreck.

      I'd be interested in seeing a good recipe, as well - with specific cheese recommendations if possible.

      1. re: shanagain

        Here ya go (I agree with you about the velveeta, btw- nasty stuff. I won't even get it on my cheesesteaks, I'm a provolone guy in that regard)-
        2 TBSP Butter
        1/2 cup chopped onion
        1/4 cup green chile, peeled and seeded, chopped
        1/2 lb. Monterrey Jack cheese cubed
        3/4 cup light cream

        Sweat the onion in the butter over medium heat. Add the chile and let that soften a bit and let off some liquid, maybe 10 minutes. Then add the cubes of cheese, stirring constantly. As it melts add the cream and simmer a touch longer until it all comes together. You can add salt to rectify if you think your chips won't make the whole thing too salty when you're eating it.

        You really don't have to do much more than that, and it is just insanely good for the amount of effort it takes.

        FWIW- chorizo makes a hell of an add-on to something like this, bringing it more into queso fundito territory.

        1. re: TongoRad

          I'm with you on the Velveeta aversion. Went to school in Philadelphia, and it was always a "provolone steak wit".

          Recipe sounds good, but I would expect some sort of starch/slurry added in - flour/milk or cornstarch/water or wine. That would give you some extra insurance against the cheese mixture breaking into curds and oil if it boils too hard.

          1. re: sbp

            You know, I wrote that recipe on a scrap of paper about 20 years ago and can't remember where I got it from ( maybe the back of a jar of green chiles, or even a magazine blurb...) just to get the proportions right, and I haven't encountered a problem with it breaking yet. I do try to be careful with the heat, though, so amend that direction above to 'medium-low' heat and it should be fine.

            1. re: TongoRad

              My sauce broke... Is it salvageable?

          2. re: TongoRad

            Love the chorizo idea - thanks TongoRad! I need to try that...

      2. The Homesick Texan blog has a great CCQ recipe--made it for the Super Bowl last year and it got scarfed!

        1 Reply
        1. re: MandalayVA

          THANK YOU Tongo and Mandalay very much!!!!

        2. What's wrong with buying Velveeta?? For melting is perfect.


          1 Reply
          1. re: Davwud

            I tend to prefer cheeses that are a little more perishable, for one thing...

          2. I tried the Mornay route last night. Sauteed half an onion in some butter and olive oil until soft, added approximately 3-4 tablespoons of flour and a little more olive oil and stirred to cook the flour (i.e. a blond roux), added approximately half a cup of heavy cream and a few big dollops of sour cream because, well, why not? Stirred all together - was a little too dry so added some milk - it was very creamy at this point. Then I started adding shredded cheddar in a little bit at a time - 3 year aged Cabot was what I found in the fridge - probably about a cup and a half of cheese? Added incrementally, it melted beautifully. When all the cheese was added, I threw in a bunch of hot salsa. Delicious.

            I was completely winging it, going by what I found in my fridge and guessing on the amounts. I liked the sour cream in the mornay. I wouldn't use the aged Cabot again - pearls before swine for this application, but it was the only cheese I had - Monterrey jack or mild cheddar or Colby or a mix of those might be good. Or pepper-jack. Most importantly though - the texture was perfect! No oily slick on the surface and not fondue-thick. :)

            1. I can't do Velveeta either - less about the fake-ness than the screaming high saltiness. Here's what I do, not sure if it will be what you're wanting:

              1 pound Mexican Chorizo sausage. Here in Colorado, King Soopers brand is great. You want lots of fat, and very red color.
              5 or 6 Poblano Peppers (often mislabeled as Pasilla Peppers. The big, triangular green chiles are what you want, fresh.
              1/2 a medium yellow onion
              1 14 oz can Rotel Tomatoes, or Muir Glen Diced Tomatoes, drained, optional
              1 1/2 pound good quality White American Cheese, from your supermarket Deli counter (Here's where I think I lose you, but to me the quality of this versus Velveeta is a huge difference.) Shred, slice, or chunk the cheese for melting.

              Heat your oven to broil, and place the Poblano peppers on a cookie sheet covered with foil. Put the peppers under the broiler, rotating with tongs as each side blackens and blisters. Once chiles are roasted, place in zip top bag until cool enough to handle. Rinse the chiles under running water to remove skins and remove tops and seeds. You can also roast on a gas stove or outdoors on the grill. Roughly dice chiles, and finely dice yellow onion.
              In a skillet or saucier, brown the chorizo over medium high heat, breaking it into small pieces. Once well browned, use a slotted spoon to remove the meat, leaving the orange fat behind in the pan. Cook the onion and poblano over medium heat until the onion is completely softened. Put the meat back in the pan, and add a small amount of milk (1/2 cup.) Add the cheese a little at a time, allowing each addition to melt before adding the next. Add the drained tomatoes, and adjust the thickness with milk. The chorizo fat will make the dip orange. Eat on chips, over eggs, whatever makes you happy.