Chili Con Queso Dip Recipe

Sizzling hot fajitas, chicken enchiladas with ranchero sauce, chili rellenos, frijoles a la charra, chili con queso dip, sopapillas - oh man just the thought of these things make my mouth water.  These were all favorites we used to serve when we had our family restaurant.  I have to admit...there was a time when all I wanted to do was go out to eat.  I have my favorite dishes at all my favorite restaurants and once I got my palate set, nothing would satisfy me until we went and ate what was on my mind.  But now a days, being on a tighter budget has required us to eat at home a LOT more.  And believe it or not, since we have started to eat at home, it is actually where I want to eat.  There is no other place I would rather be (ok, ok, I still have a weak spot for the Outback), especially now that Ronnie is off and he does the clean up! 

So, I thought I would share our restaurant recipe for Chili Con Queso Dip.  Now, I must say, this is all relative.  It is a good basic recipe, but as you make it more and more you will realize that the amounts you use will depend on your veggies.  Sometimes the jalapenos are hot, sometimes they are not.  Not only that, but some people like it hotter than others!  Sometimes onions are strong enough to bring tears to your eyes like a teenager with their first broken heart and sometimes they aren't.  But you will figure out how to adjust for these things as you go along and the more you make it.  Another thing...sadly, this is not a low fat recipe.

So lets get started.  I like to begin by having all my ingredients at hand.

 A note about jalapenos...we normally take the seeds out.  I have found the easiest way to de-seed the jalapeno is by first cutting off the stem...

...then cut along each side...

 ...tada!  Another note: Please be careful with those seeds.  Dont rub your eyes or nose.  You can even wear gloves if you want to be extra safe.

So, now you can add the canola oil, chopped jalapenos and chopped onions to pot and cook about a minute on medium - medium low heat.

Add your chopped tomatoes and cook for another minute or so until the onions are translucent and the tomatoes are soft.  The oil will actually turn a little red from the tomatoes.

Now here's where you may have to play around.  As most of you probably know, the amount of oil and flour you put in will determine the thickness of your dip.  I used 3 tbsp oil and 1 heaping tablespoon flour.  Again, the more you do it the better idea you will have of how much to use.  It should look like a thin paste and stick to your veggies.

Now the tricky part.  Have three cups of water ready.  Add about a cup and a half of water to the mixture, stirring constantly as you do.

Let it simmer and thicken up.  When it does add another half cup of water or so and let it simmer and thicken up a little again. 

Now just add your cubed cheese.  We usually use about 1/3 block of the Kraft American cheese, but again, you can adjust it to taste, pending the strength of the flavor of the onions and jalapenos.

 Now turn your fire down and stir, stir, stir until the cheese melts and thickens.  Add chips and your a hit!