Kat shares three different recipes for cheese dip

Recipes that appear in Idea Alley have not been tested by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

In last week’s column devoted to Mexican restaurants of yore and three classic cheese dip recipes, I asked readers to pass along their favorite cheese dip recipe.

Harold Sharp was the first to answer the call.

“Here are three that I think might be good additions,” Sharp writes. “The first is my favorite (not too sure it is really a copycat of Chili’s recipe).”

Chili’s Queso (Slow Cooker Version)

  • 1 pound Velveeta cheese
  • 1 cup half-and-half or milk (half-and-half preferred)
  • ½ teaspoon ground red (cayenne) pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chili (no beans) — Wolf Brand seems best
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 1 tablespoon)

Cut Velveeta into cubes, about 1 inch square (this is not totally necessary, but it helps quicken the melting time).

Add all other ingredients to slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 2 hours. Stir occasionally until all is mixed thoroughly. Cook an additional 30 minutes if necessary. Do not leave on heat for longer than 30 minutes or mixture begins to break down and does not taste good.

Serve with tortilla chips.

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“Obviously, this is for a restaurant size quantity and would have to be adjusted for home use,” Sharp writes.

Editor’s note: The original recipe for Juanita’s and Blue Mesa’s cheese dip is a closely guarded secret. The following is the recipe the most recent owners and management of Juanita’s shared with the public when the restaurant closed its doors in late 2015.

Juanita’s White Mesa Cheese Dip

  • 5 pounds white cheese melt OR Velveeta Queso Blanco
  • 1 ½ quarts milk, plus more as needed
  • 15 ounces canned diced green peppers
  • 8 ounces finely chopped onions
  • 3 ounces white pepper
  • 2 ounces finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeno
  • 1 tablespoon cumin

Combine all ingredients in a double boiler or slow cooker and cook, stirring, until melted. Then add more milk and stir until it reaches…


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