Thursday, June 19, 2014

Skinny Queso Dip

You are never going to believe this, but it's true: there is a queso dip out there in the world that is not just one giant heart attack waiting to happen.  I know that low fat queso sounds impossible, or at least tasteless and pasty.  And let me tell you, while I was cooking this, I definitely had my doubts.  There are a few steps where this recipe looks pretty gross (the secret is in the corn starch, but it makes for a pretty weird-looking queso in the beginning).  But honestly?  This dip is amazing.  Hot, cheesy, and full of tomatoes, garlic, onions, lime juice, fresh cilantro, and spices like cumin to chili powder... I am craving it just thinking about it.  I should probably also say that it has two types of hot peppers in there too, but clearly I left them out of mine!

So you are probably wondering, how on earth can queso be skinny?!  As I said, the secret is in the corn starch.  It thickens everything up without the use of tons of cheese.  In fact, there were less than 2 cups of (reduced fat) cheese in this queso dip!  And only a teaspoon of oil used to cook up the vegetables.  Using skim milk to make the corn starch slurry helps too :)  Lots of special little tricks to make a ridiculously delicious and bizarrely low fat (less than 93 calories in 1/4 cup, not including chips) queso dip!  Kenzie and I are proud to admit that we chowed down on this pot of cheesy goodness by ourselves.... and perhaps I started eating it while she napped until I knew I was going to need help stopping myself!

Recipe:

skinny queso dip
from Skinny Taste
makes 11 1/4-cup servings

Ingredients:
1 cup skim milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup minced onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 poblano pepper, diced (I skipped that)
1 - 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced (skipped)
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes with chiles, diced and drained
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 3/4 cups shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar

Instructions:

1) In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of the milk with 3 tablespoons cornstarch to create a slurry; set aside.

2) Heat a large saucepan on medium heat; when hot, add oil.  Add the onions, garlic, poblano, and jalapeño and cook until soft, about 5 - 7 minutes.  Season with salt, to taste.

3) Add the chicken broth and the rest of the milk.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes to reduce slightly.

4) Add the slurry to the pan and stir; simmer a minute until it bubbles and thickens, then reduce heat to low.

5) Add the drained tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and add the cheese.  Stir until it melts completely.  Serve immediately.
Realizing I was about to eat the entire pot of queso alone....


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