QUESO QUESO QUESO

queso-001
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ½ a medium onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 2 jalapeños, minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 plum tomatoes, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)*
  • 1 small can green chiles
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar
  • 2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack
  • ½ cup of cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and jalapeños and saute until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir briefly.
  3. Add the flour and stir until bubbly and beginning to color. Stir in the milk a little at a time, making sure to break up any lumps as you go. Simmer, stirring, until the mixture is slightly thickened.
  4. Add the tomatoes and green chiles and stir well. Lower the heat to very low.
  5. Add the cheese by the ¼- to ½-cup, stirring well to incorporate each addition and ensuring that the cheese is melted before you add more. Continue until all cheese has been added.
  6. Stir in the cilantro (if using) and the sour cream. Taste and add salt if necessary.
  7. Keep warm in a crock pot, or serve immediately with tortilla chips and/or flour tortillas.
Notes
* I used canned fire-roasted tomatoes, since tomatoes aren’t in season. I’d suggest you do the same until summer rolls around!
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Avocado and Shrimp Salsa

a little more lime in the salsa

Mama Canales-Garcia’s Avocado and Shrimp Salsa

I didn’t get a chance to make this with Danny directing me (on their wedding china, against their giant loft windows, sigh), so I made a couple bloopers. One, Danny doesn’t use jalalpeños, because he finds them unreliable (some are so mild they taste like bell peppers, some are so hot they’ll ruin the dish). Instead, he leaves the heat on the side in the form of Tapatio hot sauce. Always Tapatio, don’t even ask. Danny also shares my view that finely chopped white onions are vastly superior to red ones in salsas and guacamoles. Alas, three different stores failed to produce one, and red it was. I hope Mama Canales-Garcia forgives us. 🙂

Please, adjust everything here to taste. Maybe you want more tomatoes or shrimp or lime. You might want extra heat and no onions. This recipe is intended for your kitchen, you plate, your belly, so make it the way you’d like it.

Makes about 6 cups salsa

1 pound small shrimp, shelled and deveined or pre-cooked and defrosted
2 firm-ripe avocados, halved, scored into a small dice
2 cups grape tomatoes, quartered or 2 cups chopped tomatoes, drained a little
1/2 small white onion, very finely chopped (use red if you can’t find white)
1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
Drizzle of olive oil
Juice of 1 to 2 limes
Salt
Handful cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
Hot sauce, on the side
Tortilla chips, to serve

To cook the shrimp: Bring salted water* to a boil and turn off heat. Add shrimp, cover pot and let stand until firm and pink, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain shrimp, pat dry and chill.

Make salsa: Chop shrimp into small bites and put in medium bowl. Scoop avocados into bowl. Add tomatoes, white onion, jalapeño (if using, to taste) and a drizzle of olive oil. Add the juice of one lime, and a second one, if needed. Add salt to taste, then cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.

* If you have more time, you can first make a shrimp stock with about 3 cups water, 1 cup beer or wine, the reserved shrimp shells, additional lime juice or the peels from the lime juice you’ll use in the salad and some peppercorns or red pepper flakes. Boil these together for 20 minutes, then strain the mixture. Cook the shrimp in this stock instead.

Blueberry Cheddar Dip with Apples

http://www.howsweeteats.com/2012/07/hot-blueberry-cheddar-dip-with-toasty-bread/

Hot Blueberry Cheddar Dip with Toasty Bread

serves 2-4

1 (8-ounce) block of cream cheese, softened

8 ounces white cheddar cheese, freshly grated

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 heaping cup of fresh blueberries

1 loaf of french bread, sliced —> SLICE APPLES FOR DIPPING INSTEAD

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place two oven racks on the middle and lower level. Slice bread and place on a baking sheet, drizzling it with olive oil.

In a bowl, mix cream cheese with grated cheddar and nutmeg. Fold in blueberries. Place in an oven-safe dish, then set on the top oven rack. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cheese is hot, golden and bubbly, and blueberries and bursting. At the 20 minute mark, place baking sheet with bread on the lower rack  to toast, checking and tossing every 4-5 minutes. Serve immediately! With white wine, of course.