Tag Archives: queso

Mexican Dip

Cheese, peppers and beans. Surprisingly good considering the cheese source on this one. I must say I am very, very rarely in possession of processed cheese-like products. I was raised on them, as was everyone I grew up with. It was odd if my friends didn’t have individually wrapped, formed cheese squares(“slices”) in their fridge. Memories of my favorite grilled cheese experiences revolve around fake cheese. My best friend’s, Jacob, dad once made a grilled cheese with two pieces of cheese inside and gave me a bite. It was life altering, two pieces of cheese. Why had I never thought of that?

I grew up eating a lot of queso dip that my mother made with Velveeta. It was very common. However upon growing up, I got a little snotty and turned my nose up at processed cheese. It is understandable as there has since been a realization that you are essentially eating what amounts to plastic, I don;t know how true this is but it weirds me out enough to keep away from processed cheese for the most part.

That is until I cam across something that, I must admit, made me too curious than weirded out.

Yep. Velveeta went Mexican.

And I love Mexican cuisine. (Wow, Velveeta and cuisine in the same thought process, this is getting weird!)

This has also reminded me just how beautifully processed cheese melts. It is quite spectacular in the level of smoothness that you can easily achieve with a little gentle heat. So it you are ready for some shameful processed cheese excitement, here goes:

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Ingredients

1 can refried beans
1 green bell pepper, julienned (I would have used Rotel or salsa but didn’t have any on hand)
about 3-4 inches of a brick of Velveeta Queso Blanco
couple of splashes(1/4 cup) of milk
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Preheat the oven to 350°.

Lightly char the bell peppers. I had these left over from making enchiladas,

Chop’em up!

Empty the can of refried beans into the bottom of a baking dish.

Take the cheese…

and cube it into 1/2 inch pieces.

Place the peppers and cheese into a microwave-safe bowl.

Add about 1/4 cup of milk.

Microwave in one minute increments.

Stir well in-between.

Until everything is smooth. It took 3 or 4 turns in the microwave for this amount of cheese. At this point it is a good idea to test the thickness with a taste test. If the cheese is too thick and sticks in your mouth, you will want to add more milk. I would err on the side of too thin as it will only thicken more when you bake it off.

Pour the cheese mixture over the beans.

I love pictures of saucy food being poured; its like food porn. (Did I just share too much? I did? Well, it’s the truth.)

Pop this into the oven for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the how the oven cycles its upper heating element.


Its ready when the cheese is browned and bubbly.

Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips or scoop it on top of your enchiladas or anything else that you might desire.

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Full Dinner Bean and Beef Burritos

When I say these are a full dinner, I am serious. Its everything about a Mexican meal that you love, all rolled up in a soft flour tortilla! Beef with taco seasoning, refried beans, saffron rice and queso all intermingling in a harmonious Mexican dream. Did I make it sound appetizing enough??

bean and beef burritos

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Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1 packet of your favorite taco seasoning
1 16 oz can refried beans
1 package Mahatma Saffron Rice
1 can red enchilada sauce
1 small 16 oz Velveeta cheese
1 can diced tomatoes and chilies –  a.k.a. Ro*tel
grated cheese for topping
8 large burrito sized tortillas – I use my favorite recipe and divide the dough into 8 tortillas instead of 12
**Note- You could use any Mexican rice mix you wanted but you would be missing out on some amazing deliciousness.

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All the players, well... most of the players

I mostly make the flour tortillas that we consume. They are so much better that the processed and preservative packed, packaged tortillas from the grocery store shelf. If I am making them for burritos, I use the same recipe but only divide the dough in 8ths rather than 12ths. It is also super important to have a really hot pan, let the tortillas only cook about 20-30 seconds on each side. Leaving the tortillas on the pan too long will dry them out to a point that they will not fold and roll up without cracking.

This is the rice. The Rice!!

Start the rice first thing because it tends to take the longest. Follow the directions on the package, usually a tablespoon of butter and about 2 cups water, bring to a boil, add rice and simmer covered until tender.

Fluff with a fork.

Brown the ground beef and adding the taco seasoning. Now, you could add onions after the beef has cooked but I feed some picky eaters(including myself) so I rarely cook with raw onions. And since my taco seasoning has onion powder in it, all is good in my kitchen.

FRIJOLES!!! (frijoles refritos)

Heat up the refried beans.

Melt the Velveeta with the Ro*tel. If things seem a little thick, add some milk to smooth it out. Keep your eye on this if you do it on the stove. I got preoccupied and the cheese burned at the bottom of the pot. Needless to say, I was fishing out burnt cheese from the queso for quite a while.

Did you know?… Velveeta makes a Mexican cheese. I’m guessing it would melt up really nice for a queso dip. And they make pepper jack cheese, cheese slices and shells with bacon. I always look up background about what I make before I write a post about it. This time I found some interesting Velveeta products. I also found that Kraft foods owns a lot more brands than I knew. Kool-aid, Oscar Mayer, Honey Maid, DiGiorno, Jell-O, Nabisco, Oreo and Baker’s Chocolate. That is impressive.

When everything is all cooked, it is time to assemble. Preheat the oven to 375*. Grab a large baking dish and either spray or coat with a little oil. In each tortilla spread two spoonfuls of refried beans and top with a few spoonfuls beef. Top the beef with helping of rice and spoon over the queso. Roll up the burrito, tucking in the sides, and place seam side down in the baking dish.

Pour the enchilada sauce over the top of the burritos and sprinkle on a desired amount of grated cheese. I go light on the cheese because there is already queso inside the burrito, but feel free to cheese it up!!

Bake about 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and everything is steamin’ hot. These burritos should feed up to 8 people. I can only stuff myself with one of these but I am sure that some hungry boys might be able to get two into their bellies.