Bring this to the Halloween party instead, and let the scariest thing in the room be Mike from Accounting's ill-advised Miley-Cyrus-at-the-VMA's costume--not scary fake cheese dip.
Goblins, ghosts and witches are scary, sure. But you know what really freaks me out? Super-processed cheese.
WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? I ask you. Why bother with what is, as far as I'm concerned, basically melted, reshaped plastic that is scientifically edible, but culinarily criminal? Why would you do that, when there are so many other delicious cheeses available? The argument that processed cheese is great because it's smooth and melty does nothing to convince me. Any cheese is smooth and melty if you treat it right.
Processed cheese is lower in fat, you say? Well, yeah. That's because it's not food.
But this queso, my friends, is totally real food, that also happens super melty and gooey, the way queso ought to be. The help of a little canned pureed pumpkin (or fresh roasted and home-pureed, if you have that kind of time) makes it supple and creamy, while also adding to it a healthy dose of fiber and vitamins A and C--and zero fat. I add chopped onions and fresh jalapeño for extra flavor, but you could swap in canned green chiles for the jalapeño, if you prefer.
So please, I beg of you, just say no to the old Rotel-and-Velveeta combo. This is so much better. Bring this to the Halloween party instead, and let the scariest thing in the room be Mike from Accounting's ill-advised Miley-Cyrus-at-the-VMA's costume--not scary fake cheese dip.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter $1 for a stick
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion (about 1/8 onion) $0.50 for a whole onion
- 1/2 jalapeño, finely chopped (remove the seeds if you're sensitive to spice or you're serving it to kids) $0.25 for a whole jalapeño
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, pureed pumpkin $2 for a 15-oz. can
- 3/4 cup Monterey jack or cheddar cheese, shredded $3.50 for 8 oz.
- salt to taste Pantry
Recipe Serves 4
- In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook until soft and very fragrant, about 4 minutes.
- Add the jalapeño and stir to combine.
- Stir in the pumpkin and the cheese.
- Continue stirring until completely incorporated.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 4-5 minutes, until very bubbly.
- Salt to taste.
- Remove from heat, transfer to a serving bowl, and serve immediately with tortilla chips.