Queso with Squash + Cauliflower
servings: 2 cups of queso
- ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ large yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about ¾ cups)
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- ¼ medium head cauliflower, cut into large chunks, (about ½ pound or 1½ cups)
- ⅛ small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about ½ pound or 1¼ cups)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1½ cups)
- 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
- ½ cup jarred salsa
- Chips, for dipping
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the cauliflower, squash, chicken stock, and the ½ teaspoon salt. Bring this mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender—about 20 minutes. This should give you about ¼ cup liquid along with the veggies.
- Place the mixture in a blender and process it until it is completely smooth. Add more stock or water if there is not enough liquid to blend easily.
- Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan over low heat. Add the cheddar and Monterey Jack and stir until the cheese melts. Add the salsa and stir to combine. Taste the queso; add more salt if necessary and more stock if your mixture is too thick. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy hot!
servings: 56 chips
- Zest of 3 limes (about 4 tablespoons)
- Fourteen 6-inch corn tortillas
- Extra-virgin olive oil cooking spray
- 1½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Set two racks in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 375°F. Place the lime zest on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high heat until it is completely dried out. You will do this in two 1-minute intervals, stopping after each interval to stir the zest—your total microwave time will be 2 minutes (Test the zest at this point to be sure it is completely dried out. If not, continue to microwave it for 20 seconds more at a time until it is totally dry.). This should give you about 2 tablespoons of dried lime zest. Remove the plate with the zest from the microwave and set it aside for later.
- Stack the tortillas and cut them into fourths. Divide the cut tortillas between two large baking sheets and spray them evenly with cooking oil. Bake the tortillas until they are crispy and golden brown—about 16-18 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the dried lime zest, paprika, salt, and garlic powder in a spice grinder or NutriBullet and blend this mixture to a fine powder (you should end up with about 4 teaspoons of powder).
- When they are finished baking, place the tortilla chips in a large bowl. Spray them once more with the cooking oil, and then sprinkle them all over with the spice powder. Serve immediately or store in a sealed bag at room temp, they will keep super crispy for about 1 week.