I'm of the opinion that any Texan worth their salt should be able to make a damn-good batch of queso. And think what you will of commercially processed foods, the secret to this dish — the only way to get this right — is to use Velveeta. To give the dip a little bulk and a greater depth of flavor, I'm a fan of adding in chile con carne, but it can just as easily be omitted to make it vegetarian-friendly.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tablespoons chile powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 6-8 dashes Tabasco sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- One 32-ounce Velveeta loaf, cut into large cubes
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- One 4-ounce can hatch green chiles, chopped (optional) or chopped jalapeño, to taste (optional)
Cook the beef in a saucepan over medium-low heat, breaking it up into small pieces. As it cooks, season with chile powder, cinnamon, and Tabasco, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Once all the meat is fully cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
How you choose to melt the cheese is up to you — by placing it in a bowl and heating it in the microwave, or in a pot on the stove. I prefer the latter, because it allows you to stir constantly and make sure that the consistency is just right. That said, place the cheese in a pot or large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until the cheese is completely melted, about 5-8 minutes.
Once the cheese has reached the desired consistency (you want it to be smooth and runny), add in the beef, tomatoes, and green chiles. Transfer to a bowl and serve.