With the big football game coming up, I knew I had to share my warm Roasted Garlic White Queso Dip recipe with you. Perfect timing, no? I won’t even say how much I love chips and dip, cuz’ y’all know that already! But, I will try to convince you how much better homemade dips taste compared to store bought. Don’t believe me? Start making your own dips from scratch and you’ll begin to notice a huge difference. I can’t really put my finger on why, exactly, but fresh just tastes better, I guess! Don’t be discouraged! This recipe takes 15 minutes. It’s simple, straight-forward and 100% worth it.
First, I start by charring a jalapeño. I have a gas stove so I just set it on the grates, turn on the flame, and let it char. This step is optional, but I like to do it for all the flavor it adds to the final garnish. While that chars, I measure out my ingredients. Since the recipe goes by pretty quick, this is one of those particular times when I like to have everything measured out and ready to go. In the kitchen/chef world we call this “mis en place” or, everything in it’s place.
So, about this roasted garlic. You can do this yourself in the oven over the course of a few hours, OR, you can take advantage of that olive bar in your local grocery store. You know, the one where they have all kinds of olives and marinated artichokes and mini sweet peppers? Well, they also have cloves of roasted garlic. I noticed them for the first time recently, even though I’ve bought items off this bar dozens of times. Eureka! What an easy and fun addition to recipes, especially this queso recipe.
Over low heat, warm a little olive oil and the garlic just to soften it enough that it can be mashed with the back of a wooden spoon, or even better, a fork. Mash until it’s paste-like.
Then, make a roux. Add the butter and let it melt, then sprinkle in the flour and stir to combine. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the garlic from burning. Pour in the contents from the can of Ro-tel, including the juices, and stir up any of the roux bits from the bottom of the pan. Slowly whisk in the beer. I like using a beer here because it’s game day and people are probably drinking beer anyway, so you have some on hand. A light, mild beer is best. However, you can swap this out for milk or chicken stock instead if you prefer it beer-free.
Add the corn, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, the mixture will begin to thicken. Give it about 3-5 minutes, and continue to stir often.
Next, stir in the cream cheese and Monterey or pepper jack cheese. Stir until melted and smooth. Season mixture with salt and pepper.
Lastly, you also probably know by now that I have to finish every dish with fresh herbs, and queso is no exception. Here I stir in a bunch of fresh cilantro, cuz’ cilantro makes everything better! IMO!
Before serving, I sprinkle chopped green onion, more cilantro and slices of the charred jalapeño over the top. Not only does this look festive and pretty but these additions all add great texture and flavor, too. Serve chips and/or cut bell peppers along side, and let people dive right in!
I recommend serving the dip from an oven-proof or microwave-safe dish. That way, as it cools to room temperature, you can rewarm it easily. Or, better yet, serve it in one of those electrical fondue pots for the Win!
The ultimate snack food: chips and dip. This queso is taken to the next level with cloves of roasted garlic and charred jalapeno.
- 1 jalapeno
- 1-2 tablespoons roasted garlic cloves (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 10-ounce can Ro-tel
- 1 cup Corona beer (see notes)
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
- 4 ounces Monterey jack or pepper jack cheese, cut into cubes (pepper jack will be noticeably spicier)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- Tortilla Chips and/or Bell Pepper Strips
- Set jalapeno over gas flame on stove or under broiler to char. Rotate as it blackens to cook evenly.
- Over low heat, warm olive oil in a 10″ cast iron skillet or saute pan. Add roasted garlic cloves and warm to soften. As they soften, use the back of a fork to mash them into a paste.
- Add butter, increase heat to medium, and melt. Once melted, sprinkle in the flour and cook 1-2 minutes while stirring to prevent garlic from burning. Add ro-tel and stir to scrape up any bits from bottom of the pan, then slowly whisk in beer. Add corn, season with salt and pepper, then bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Continue to stir often.
- Add the cubes of cream cheese and jack cheese, stirring or whisking until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro and check final seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.
- Transfer roasted garlic white queso dip to serving dish. Top with slices of charred jalapeno, chopped green onion and 2 more tablespoons of chopped cilantro. Serve warm with tortilla chips or bell pepper segments for dipping.
*Find roasted garlic cloves on the olive bar at your grocery store.
*In place of beer, feel free to substitute milk, chicken stock or vegetable stock.