It’s apparently football season again. I know this because all of my coworkers have been huddling around each other’s computers and talking about who they picked for their fantasy football leagues for the past few weeks. Now, I don’t know much about football, but I do know that there is a part of this rather weird tradition that gets me excited: tailgating (because food, duh).
As I haven’t been to a tailgate in say… over five years, I guess I have no proof of this next point. But, what I remember most about tailgates is that they were heavy on the meaties, beer, and potato chips, but they seemed to skimp on quality guacamole and queso dips – at least, there were hardly any homemade versions. And that’s exactly how we’re going to improve YOUR next tailgate, because lord knows I won’t be attending one anytime soon!
Let’s begin with the more tricky dish: queso!
First, let me say thank you to Mel’s Kitchen Café for this wonderful recipe! I didn’t know where to start with preparing a queso dish and the recipe provided on this site was a great starting place! Also, her blog is amazing. Now, let’s look at some ingredients.
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil/canola oil
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
12 oz. white American cheese, shredded
4 oz. Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/4-2/3 cup milk
1 tomato (dice and remove seeds)
1 jalapeño pepper (remove the seeds, if desired, and mince)
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro (minced)
In a pan, heat up the vegetable oil and sauté the red onion and jalapeño on medium high until they are tender. Mel’s Kitchen Café recommends about 5 minutes of sautéing, but my onions/jalps were ready within 4.5 minutes on medium-high.
Reduce heat – Mel’s recommends lowering to medium-low.
As I used a cheddar instead of American, I needed to keep the heat up a bit higher – keep this in mind if you decide to use different cheeses!
Add your two cheeses to the pan, along with your choice of milk.
I used skim milk and the dip tasted delicious! However, we all know that whole milk has a lot more flavor, so don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone! I was a pussy and am now a hypocrite.
Stir until the cheese is completely melted.
Add your tomatoes and fresh cilantro. The second batch of milk should be added at this time, as well.
Add in as much milk as necessary to make your queso the desirable consistency. I accidentally added too much, so make sure to add this GRADUALLY.
Put in a bowl and eat!!
PHEW! Don’t worry, the hardest dish is complete! We can now move on to guacamole which is more based on personal preference than a hard-and-fast recipe – you’ll see that this recipe is heavy on the onions because I FUCKING LOVE ONIONS WITH THE PASSION OF A THOUSAND SUNS. If you don’t like onions, cut the dang onions.
We’ll start with the ingredients, AGAIN!
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp lime juice
¼ cup red onions
10 grape tomatoes
Salt (to taste)
Slice your avocados in half and remove the seed.
Dump your avocados in a small bowl and mash them.
Depending on preference, you may mash to your heart’s content! Some people like chunky guac, others like creamy! (Everyone knows chunky is better, though…)
Add cilantro, lime juice, red onions, tomatoes, and salt to taste!
There you have it – two enticing recipes that are sure to impress at your next tailgate. Hopefully, the addition of these two LOVELY dishes will blow the socks off of your friends, thereby distracting them from the game you are watching and bringing bad luck to their team. You’re welcome for the numerous wins your team is about to gain.
Go sports, go!
Post by Grace Tweedy. Queso recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Café.