It might sound a bit naff, but I really like the Tex-Mex classics, even though I know that they might not represent authentic Mexican cuisine, which I also do enjoy. They were the way that I first learned about these flavors, which were completely foreign to my generic 1970s-80s upbringing. One of the things I probably first ate was Chili con Queso. I used to love to order it when we went out, but I never seem to do so now.
For a game day party, however, I think it is the perfect thing to offer to your guests. It’s gooey, rich, cheesy, with a punchy spiciness. Frankly, when I was testing this recipe, I forgot how much I enjoyed it and how addictive it can be. Why did I ever stop eating it? Paired with another version of Guacamole that I also created to go along with it, these two things should keep your hungry hoards satisfied, no matter who ends up winning the match. Chili con Queso
Prep time: about 15 minutes Serving Size: Depends upon your group
Assembly: In bottom half of double boiler, bring about 1 inch of water to the boil. Put in the top half of the boiler and add the cream cheese, stirring until it becomes smooth and creamy, rather than being a solid block. Add the cheddar / monterey jack cheeses and stir until they melt completely into the cream cheese. Pour in 1/3 c. of the salsa and stir thoroughly to blend together with the cheeses. Add more salsa as necessary to taste. Serve immediately, garnished with tortilla chips for dipping. This can be made in advance and re-heated.
*The salsa that I recommend, which can be found several places in New York or on line, is their hottest one, so proceed accordingly and add the lower amount first, bringing the dip up to your desired level of spiciness by gradually adding more. If you prefer, substitute a less spicy version and add more salsa to the cheeses to give the dip its kick.
Guacamole Prep time: about 15 minutes
Serving Size: Depends upon your group
2 ripe Avocados
1 Jalapeno, finely minced
1/3 cup White Onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp. ground Cumin
1/4 tsp. ground Coriander
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
1 Lime, juice of, plus wedges for garnish
Peel and mash avocados in medium bowl leaving some chunks, if desired. Add jalapeno and onion and stir to incorporate. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine thoroughly. Allow to sit for at least an hour, covered before, serving with tortilla chips.
Buon appetito! This entry is also cross-posted at Blogher.