Everyone knows that Big Game Sunday is the best day of the year to eat dip. There are many fancy dips–artichoke dip, onion dip, bean dip–which can be made infinitely better by adding fancy ingredients, using a recipe concocted by your favorite Instagram chef, and salting appropriately. Under absolutely zero circumstances should you engage in any of this malarkey while making queso.
It is currently very trendy to make trashy, delicious food more delicious by hamming it up with all kinds of expensive ingredients. Claire Saffitz has a whole damn show dedicated to spending 42 hours in the test kitchen turning $17 worth of cheese into gourmet cheetos, or whatever. Sure, you could make your own version of Coca Cola that doesn’t taste like science, but that sensation of unreal sweetness filling your mouth is the whole point of indulging in a Coke.
I do appreciate this transition towards culinary excellence. I too love to spend far too long making a whole chicken or making my pasta by hand even though there are perfectly good pastas you can buy in a box. That’s because that effort leads to a pay off. When you appropriately brine and salt and slow roast a chicken, you are rewarded with a chicken that is much much better than one of those pre-cooked deals you can grab off the supermarket shelf. This is not true when it comes to queso.
I went to a party a few weeks ago and the host had put out what looked like good queso, but had fancy cheddar in it and it was ALL CLUMPY. That’s because she tried too hard. I am from Texas and I know that the key to good queso is that it needs to be smooth, creamy, spicy, and delicious. The key to making a perfect queso is to suck it up and use a big gross block of Velveeta cheese. You deserve it.
Here is how you make perfect queso:
- You buy a block of Velveeta
- You buy a can of Rotel diced tomatoes and grilled chiles (I like the spicy one)
- You melt the Velveeta on your stove (or in a microwave)
- You add as much of the can of Rotel as you desire.
- You season with salt and you eat it.
THE END. That’s it. No more nine-step recipes. No more melting Monterey Jack and adding cornstarch. The whole point of queso is that it should be a delicious, easy, indulgent treat. You can use the time you save making Velveeta queso on another more complicated dip. Go hog wild on a buffalo chicken dip that takes four hours to make. See if I care.