I’m quite partial to a good chile con queso and have made many a pot of this hot spicy cheesy dip over the years. Each time I seem to make it a little differently. When I found my mom and dad had cowhorn peppers in their garden, I gathered several of these long hot cayenne peppers to take home to roast, and just couldn’t resist making queso with them.
I also got some fresh sweet corn from my parents’ neighbors (they kind of “swap” harvests: mom and dad share their garden bounty in exchange for the sweet corn). I cooked up the corn and cut it off the cob and stuck it in the fridge for future cooking projects. While I was stirring everything together, the corn must have decided it wanted to be in the dip because that’s where it landed. Once the dip was done, I was so pleased that the corn joined the party.
The bright red from the cowhorn peppers and the fresh tomatoes is what makes this dip such a vibrant orange color because the Mexican dipping cheese is white. It’s a gorgeous dip and honestly, I am a little addicted to it. I took it to an after-yoga wine party and all my yogi friends loved it. The bowl was very empty when I left … and here I was, worried that it would be too spicy for them! The creamy cheese and the sweetness of the corn does balance out the heat from the hot roasted peppers really nicely.
- 1/3 cup fire-roasted cowhorn peppers (or other hot peppers), cut into chunks
- 1 medium sweet onion, cut into chunks
- 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 12-oz. package Mexican Dipping Cheese, cut into cubes
- 1 cup fresh sweet corn, cooked and cut from the cob (or substitute frozen corn kernels)
- 1 cup chopped fresh garden tomato
- 1/4 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- A handful of fresh cilantro, leaves only, chopped
- To fire-roast your peppers: set them on a hot grill for a few minutes, cover the grill and let them cook until they are charred and bubbly on the bottom side. Turn them over to cook the other side. Set them in a container and cover to let them steam. When they are cool enough to handle, the skins should slide right off. While you're waiting on the peppers, prep your other ingredients.
- Pull the stems off the peppers, then roughly chop the peppers and put them in a handi chopper or food processor with the onion and garlic. Pulse a few times, then blend until everything is chopped fine.
- Heat a teaspoon of oil in a medium frying pan. Add the chopped pepper and onion mixture and saute for 5 minutes or so until the onions are tender and the peppers and garlic are very fragrant. Stir in the cubes of cheese, reduce heat to medium low, cook and stir until the cheese is nicely melted. Add in the corn and chopped tomato along with the shredded cheese and cilantro. Stir. Taste and add more corn, tomato, or cilantro as desired.
- Serve hot immediately with tortilla chips, or refrigerate in a covered container and reheat at serving time.
If you can't find Mexican Dipping cheese, you can substitute something like Velveeta. It's not quite the same, but it'll still be good.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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