Okay. So. It’s not exactly news that I’m not a huge fan of Mexican food in Louisiana (well, where I live in Louisiana–I’m willing to bet that there are other parts of Louisiana that have delicious Mexican food, but alas, they are not here.
One of the things I love about living where we do is our close proximity to Texas. We make several Texas trips every year and every time we do, we pretty much exclusively eat Mexican, Tex-Mex, Fresh-Mex, anything we can get our hands on.
Mock me if you want, but I have only recently discovered white queso dip. In case you’re also unfamiliar with it, it’s usually kind of a thin, white, melty, cheesy dip that you use for tortillas chips. I like it better than the yellow nacho-y cheese dip, but really, it’s melted white American cheese.
And then…then…I tried one with lime and garlic and cilantro and it was like it was made for me or something. Forget every other condiment that came with our food, this is what I dipped my chips in and drizzled over my tacos. Then I spent a lot of time thinking about the cheese dip, which, you know, is kind of okay for a food blogger, but still a tiny bit weird.
I found some of that White Velveeta at the grocery store and I started with that, but then I realized that while American/processed cheese toes all sorts of lines when it comes to being classified as food and sometimes I can be okay with that, it wasn’t okay here. It got all weird and gelatinous and jiggly and I knew I needed to explore other avenues.
After some light stalking of my friend Penny, I discovered that you can buy chunks of Land O’ Lakes American cheese, white or yellow, in the deli department of your grocery store and use it in dips like this. So I sought out some deli white American cheese. I couldn’t find any Land O’ Lakes, but the stuff I did find was infinitely better than the shelf-stable jiggle cube.
To get started, you’re going to need a pound of white American cheese and a 1 1/4 cups of your favorite green salsa (if you’re feeling especially domestic, you could use this or this recipe, but I’ll be honest and say that a) I used the store-bought stuff and b) I kind of preferred it.)
Cut the cheese into 1″ cubes and place them in a medium microwave-safe bowl (or a double boiler).
Add 1/3 cup hot water and 1 1/4 cups green salsa.
Heat the cheese, water, and salsa in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until melted and smooth. You can add more water if necessary to reach the desired consistency. If you’re making it in a double boiler, just make sure you’re stirring it constantly, especially scraping the sides and bottom to prevent burning.
While the cheese is melting, mince 2 cloves of garlic, 2 green onions, and cut lime in half.
When the dip has reached a smooth consistency, whisk in the minced garlic, green onions, and lime zest. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a crock pot set to the low or warm setting. Technically serves about 16, but one hungry man or angry woman could probably eat the whole thing once they started. Naturally, it’s awesome on chips, but it’s also a surprisingly delicious dip for fresh, crunchy veggies.
Recipe by Our Best Bites
1 pound white American cheese (look for it in the deli section of your grocery store), cut into 1″ cubes
1 1/4 cups of your favorite green salsa
1/3 cup hot water (add more if needed to reach desired consistency)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, minced
Zest of 1 lime
In a medium, microwave-safe bowl combine the cheese cubes, water, and the salsa. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until melted and smooth. You can add more water if necessary. This step can also be done over a double boiler if you stir it constantly.
When the dip has reached a smooth consistency, whisk in the minced garlic, green onions, and lime zest. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a crock pot set to the low or warm setting. Technically serves about 16, but one hungry man or angry woman could probably eat the whole thing once they started.