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Chile Con Queso

January/February 2009

Your rating: None Average: 4 (180 votes)

Our healthier version of chile con queso will have ooey-gooey-cheese lovers celebrating. Now you can enjoy this Tex-Mex dip without all the fat and calories. We replaced some of the cheese with a low-fat white sauce and used sharp Cheddar plus a splash of beer to boost the flavor. Our version cuts the calories in half and reduces total fat and saturated fat by nearly 60 percent.



READER'S COMMENT:
"This recipe was fast and easy! I will never buy that jarred queso dip again!! "
Chile Con Queso

Makes: 4 cups

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup pale ale, or other light-colored beer
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar, preferably orange
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles, (see Note), drained, or 1 1/4 cups drained petite-diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add beer and cook until reduced slightly, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup milk and bring to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the pan and cook, stirring vigorously, until bubbling and thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add cheese and cook, stirring, until melted. Stir in drained tomatoes, lime juice, salt, chili powder and cayenne (if using). Serve warm, garnished with scallions and cilantro.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Slowly reheat on the stove over medium heat or on Medium in the microwave.
  • Note: We like the flavor of Rotel brand diced tomatoes with green chiles the best in this dip. Choose original or mild, depending on your spice preference.

Nutrition

Per 1/4-cup serving: 84 calories; 5 g fat (3 g sat, 2 g mono); 14 mg cholesterol; 5 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 0 g fiber; 307 mg sodium; 36 mg potassium.

Exchanges: 1/2 high fat meat


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