Mary's Queso Recipe

Mary of Alex's Ugly Sauce is our guest blogger. She shares her fabulous take on Kerbey queso. Check out www.AlexsUglySauce.com for more info and store list. Enjoy!

NOTES: For dairy, High Lawn milk and cream, Organic Valley Grass milk cheddar, and Green Valley Organics cream cheese were used. All items are available at Whole Foods Market in Hingham; check your local Whole Foods Market for availability. Arrowroot starch works better than tapioca starch with this recipe, as tapioca starch will break with addition of acidic ingredients. With arrowroot you can safely add acidic ingredients, but be very careful not to cook it too long. Too much heat will break the arrowroot's thickening power BUT it is easily repaired by adding another slurry at lower heat, EVEN IF YOU'VE ALREADY MELTED IN THE CHEESE!

In Austin, TX, there is a restaurant called Kerbey Lane Cafe. They make the best queso blanco, which they serve with a generous scoop of guacamole. Delicious. This dip was inspired by that fantastic queso, and made using almost all locally produced ingredients, including dairy from happy grass fed cows.

1 cup + 1 Tbsp whole milk, divided
1 cup cream
1 Tbsp arrowroot starch
8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz. cream cheese, preferably one with no stabilizers
Salt to taste
Alex's Ugly Sauce to taste - I used about 1 Tbsp Original and 2 Tsp Habanero, but for a less spicy dip, 1 - 2 tsp Cayano will be a crowd pleaser
Chica de Gallo Medium Salsa, drained
Chica de Gallo Guacamole

First, warm 1 cup milk and 1 cup cream in a saucepan in the stovetop until steaming. While they are warming, whisk together 1 Tbsp arrowroot with 1 Tbsp cold milk in a small bowl. While whisking, pour arrowroot slurry into heated milk and cream mixture. Continue whisking over medium heat until thickened, then remove from heat. Cooking arrowroot for too long makes it thin back out! If this happens to you, don't toss it. Just try again with another slurry and don't heat it as long. You can
even fix it after the cheese is added, if it breaks late in the process.

Off heat, add grated cheddar and cream cheese. Whisk until melted and thoroughly combined. Add a pinch of salt and plenty of Alex's Ugly Sauce to taste. Stir in half of your strained salsa.

To serve, put dip in a bowl. Don't fill it up all the way. Add a scoop of guacamole in the center of the bowl, and some more salsa around the mound of guacamole. Serve with roasted sweet potatoes, chips, or warmed corn tortillas for dipping. Enjoy!