Monday, February 20, 2012

Spinach con Queso

I used to work at this great local restaurant in northern Minnesota that served an absolutely delicious spicy spinach cheese dip. It's got a little sizzle, but not too much, and tastes wonderful--even non-veggie eaters love this stuff. After work, a bowl of this with chips and a beer were the perfect meal! (We ran a lot, and had two floors. I worked it off.) When bored, I would chat with the bartenders and watch them make drinks (which later earned me a bar tending job) and with the cooks, and watch them make the food. I was lucky to get the recipe for this dip, which was one of the most popular things on the menu. It is always a hit, pretty much foolproof, and because it has spinach in it, you can pretend you're eating it for the iron. We could all use more iron.

Spinach con Queso

*note: amounts are approximate. Sometimes, I add more spinach and chiles, sometimes I make it more cheesy, but no matter what you do, it's great.
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 T. butter (or margarine, or oil, I've even used bacon fat with good results)
  • 1 or 2 10 oz. packages frozen spinach, thawed, drained and chopped fine
  • 1 or 2 cans chopped green chiles (found in the Mexican foods section)
  • 1 lb. Pepper Jack cheese, cubed or shredded for easier melting
  • 1 lb. sour cream
  • Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt, or you could use salt and a bit of chile powder. I like Tony's--if you haven't tried it, I highly suggest grabbing a can!)

Cook onion in butter until it's translucent. Add spinach and chiles (undrained) and cook until it's mostly dry. Add cheese and half of the sour cream, and cook, stirring, until the cheese is melted. Add the rest of the sour cream and season to taste with the Tony's. (I'd say it's about 5 shakes for me--maybe 1 t., but it will depend on how salty your cheese is.) Serve with tortilla chips, bread or veggies. Chips are my favorite. Make sure they are sturdy--delicate chips can't lift this hefty dip.

You can serve immediately, or refrigerate and reheat later. I've reheated it in a small crockpot, a fondue pot, the microwave, and the oven with great results every time. If it gets too thick, you can add more sour cream.

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