Queso Dip

I know that some people look forward to the Super Bowl as a chance to gorge on junk food, down mass quantities of beer, see some entertaining commercials and think that the game play is just some silliness that sandwiches the halftime show. While I look forward to all of those things, I actually do look forward to the game.  Especially when I have a dog in the fight, so to speak. I won’t shame my New England heritage by mentioning which dog that is (cough cough).

Before I had other Super Bowl plans, I went searching for lighter fare that I could enjoy and still keep focused on my goal of eating healthy. I found the recipe for a cheese dip that I had to make, even though the plans changed. I’m happy to report, it was completely worth it. When I saw cheese dip made with reduced fat cheese, I initially balked, but I trudged on anyway and I’m glad I did. This was fantastic with some baked tortilla chips and turned out to be a really tasty, yet healthy snack. It doesn’t taste like “diet food” at all, and I could have brought it to the party to share. It was so good, I just didn’t want to ;).

If you can’t find fresh Anaheim chilies, look near the taco kits in the supermarket for canned green chilies, they’ll work fine for this.  Also, if you don’t like things too spicy, feel free to use plain canned diced tomatoes without jalapenos.  I didn’t find this to be very spicy at all, even with the jalapenos.

Queso Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with jalapenos, drained
  • 1/2 C. diced Anaheim chilies
  • 1/2 C. light ale beer
  • 1 3/4 C. reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/4 C. skim milk, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 C. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 C. sliced green onions
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder

Directions:

Spray a large saucepan with cooking spray and set over medium heat.
Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, 4-5 minutes, until soft and starting to brown.
Stir in the beer and cook until reduced slightly, about 1 minute.
Add 1 cup milk and bring to a simmer.
Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup milk and cornstarch in a small bowl.
Add cornstarch mixture to the pan and cook, stirring vigorously, until bubbling and thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to low, add cheese and cook, stirring, until melted.
Stir in drained tomatoes, chilies, lime juice, salt, pepper, cilantro, green onions, chili powder and cumin .
Serve warm, garnished with a bit of cilantro.
Makes 4 cups.
Source:  Adapted from Laloosh
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