Friday, February 15, 2013

Creamy Cheese Dip

It's no secret that I consider cheese a major food group of its own. My kids thankfully agree! I've made fondue for dinner before and it's always anticipated and enjoyed by all. Tonight I decided to serve a simple meal of homemade cheese dip and tortilla chips, plus corn on the cob. I figure they've probably had worse, nutritionally speaking, and it's nice to serve a meal once in a while that prompts no complaints! And seriously, you can't go wrong with a recipe whose main step involves melting a bunch of cheese.

Creamy Cheese Dip

1/2 pound ground beef
1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with chilies
8 ounces white American cheese (deli slices)
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional, but I highly recommend it!)

In a small skillet, crumble and cook beef, seasoning with salt and pepper. In a small (3 quart) slow cooker, combine ground beef, American cheese and tomatoes. After about 2 hours on low, the cheese should be thoroughly melted. Stir in cheddar and cilantro. Cook until heated through, another 30 - 60 minutes.

This results in a fresh, creamy, mild dip. If you like it really spicy, Ro-Tel makes a diced tomatoes with habanero option that might suit you better! Or add in a diced jalapeƱo for a medium kick.

Note:  Especially if I'm cooking for a crowd, I'll use packaged, pre-shredded cheese for casseroles or taco topping, etc. When I need the cheese to melt beautifully, I always shred my own. The pre-shredded kind has cornstarch or some other kind of anti-caking agent that prevents it from melting nicely.

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