Chorizo Queso Blanco Dip

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By Jennifer, Savory Simple

When autumn rolls around, I start thinking about entertaining. I think about party recipes for the holidays, and I also consider football season grub (even though I don’t actually watch football). I have so many friends who are into sports, and I love having easy entertaining ideas to share with them. My husband happens to love football, and he was thrilled when I served this chorizo queso dip to him while he was enjoying his Sunday games. After a few different tests, I’ve realized that the key to a good homemade queso dip is, surprisingly enough, using a modified bechamel base.

Bechamel is one of the French mother sauces, and it also makes a wonderful base for cheese sauces and dips. The reason it works here is because it keeps its soft texture even after the dip cools down, as opposed to plain cheese which will solidify once it’s no longer hot. This dip will be a hit at all of your holiday and sports parties!

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Chorizo Queso Blanco Dip
By Jennifer Farley
Servings: Approximately 5 cups
8 ounces ground chorizo
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups half & half (or 3/4 cup heavy cream + 3/4 cup whole milk)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups grated Wisconsin white mild cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups grated Wisconsin Monterey jack cheese
Tortilla chips for serving
Optional Toppings:
Queso fresco or ricotta salata cheese
Finely diced red onion
Finely diced jalapeno peppers
Chopped fresh cilantro
Cooking Directions:
In a large skillet, heat the chorizo over low heat to render out the fat. As the fat releases into the pan, slowly turn up the heat to medium-low and then medium, frequently stirring the chorizo and breaking apart any clumps with a spatula. Once fully cooked, approximately 7-10 minutes, transfer the chorizo to a paper towel lined plate to drain away excess fat. Set aside.
Melt the butter in medium saucepan over low heat, then add the onions and garlic. Cook for a 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions and garlic are translucent and fragrant. Stir in the flour and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the half & half, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil while whisking. Once the mixture starts simmering it should begin to thicken after a few minutes. Once it has thickened to the consistency of cream soup, remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese one handful at a time.
Pour into a serving dish and top with the reserved chorizo. Add any of the optional toppings and serve with tortilla chips.