Monday, April 15, 2013

Skillet Queso (like Chili's)

My son-in-law loves Chili’s - and especially their Skillet Queso.  I have to admit, I’m starting to love it too - (although I prefer their wonderful salmon).  Randy thought this was pretty close to the real deal.  (Now if there were a way to get our chips to be like theirs - paper-thin and warm from the oven...?)

A quiet evening at home, or a Saturday afternoon after yard work just cry out for a snack.  My daughter, husband, and new baby Kate are staying at my home for a few weeks while he finishes up a tax internship.  This stay has benefits - I get to snuggle with a brand new baby - and I also get to cook for someone (besides myself for once)

I decided to try tweaking a copy-cat recipe for Chili’s Skillet Queso Saturday afternoon after I cleaned out all the new weeds and last winter’s leaves that had accumulated.  The recipe I made for New Year’s Eve was good, but it wasn’t the real deal.  I also made some mistakes on that version that I was determined to fix.  

Mistake #1:  Velveeta cheese WILL burn if not stirred constantly.  

Mistake #2:  Just cheese and chili together are too thick to heat without scorching.

Mistake #3:  There isn’t enough spice alone in the chili without beans.  You need to bring it up a notch for an authentic Chili’s Queso.

I thought adding milk would make it too thin, but it actually made it creamier and easier to dip.  A touch of lime juice really brightened the flavor too.

I wouldn't recommend putting it in a crockpot to keep warm - even that small amount of heat will scorch it.  The heated cast-iron skillets they serve from at Chili’s is just enough heat to keep it dip-able for a surprisingly long amount of time.

But it won’t take long to dip through this.  It is really fun to just sit down with a HUGE bag of Costco chips and enjoy the experience.

For the recipe (with all the additions that make it authentic) - go to:

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