I know what you're thinking...
Warm, gooey Queso Dip is awesome. And so is the rich flavor of roasted Poblano peppers.
So why not combine the two? Or would that just be too much goodness in one bowl?!!
How To Make Poblano Queso Dip
I should mention right off the bat that this Queso has some serious zip! I like it best that way, but milder batches can be just as satisfying so feel free to dial it down if you want.
Poblano chiles have mild heat in general, but when you use a bunch of them that heat can add up! We'll also be adding a whole jalapeno but you can always omit the jalapeno for a milder batch, or use half of it.
If you're new to poblanos, keep in mind that there are plenty of ways to roast them, but I usually default to a half hour in the oven (400F). More info on poblanos.
I will sometimes flip them halfway through the roast, but sometimes I forget and all is still well!
Once the poblanos go in the oven you can start working on the other ingredients.
Chop up 1/2 onion and sweat it over medium heat in a glug of oil.
Once it's softened we'll add 3 minced garlic cloves and let it cook for 30-60 seconds, then adding most of the mixture to a blender.
I usually leave some of the onion-garlic mixture behind in the pan so there are a few chunks in the Queso, but this is optional.
In the same pan we'll add:
2 cups shredded cheese
8 oz. cream cheese (usually one standard sized package or 1 cup)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
I used Mozzarella and Cheddar for this batch, but there is plenty of leeway on the cheese. I've used all Jack cheese in the past and it works quite well (see our Chipotle Queso).
Let this mixture cook over medium-low heat, stirring regularly. You don't want to heat it up too quickly -- low and slow works well for this cheesy, milky mixture.
Once it's combined you can take a taste. This plain, white Queso base is already quite satisfying, so keep it in mind as a starting point for future batches that you want to get creative with.
By now the poblanos should be finished roasting. Here's how this batch looked after 30 minutes.
See all the puffy bits of skin? You can pull off and discard as much of that as you want.
In the past I would obsess over this skin, but not anymore! It doesn't affect the flavor, so in dishes like this one where the poblanos are blended then it won't matter too much if some bits of skin remain.
Note: in dishes like Rajas it's worth your time to get rid of as much skin as you can. Those poblanos are served in strips and it's quite annoying to take bites that have skin hanging off.
In addition to any loose skin, we'll remove the stems and de-seed the poblanos.
And then we'll plop the poblano pieces in the blender along with a splash of water, a single jalapeno, and the onion-garlic mixture that should already be in there.
Give it a whirl and add it to the Queso. If the mixture doesn't combine readily in the blender then just add another splash of water.
We'll also add a teaspoon of Mexican oregano.
I think the Mexican oregano works quite well in this dish, but don't sweat it too much if you don't have any on hand. More info on Mexican oregano.
Once combined and brought up to temp (still on low heat) then you can give it a final taste for seasoning. I added another generous pinch of Mexican oregano to this batch.
Serve immediately surrounded by endless tortilla chips.
Gooey, rich, fiery Queso?!!
The roasted poblanos give it such a satisfying flavor, and, well....cheese!
I usually make it thick enough to cling to chips:
But you can always make it thinner if you want -- simply add 1/4 cup of water to the pan, combine well, and see how that consistency works for your palate.
And don't forget...
Using a whole jalapeno in conjunction with three poblanos gives it some heat! If you prefer a milder batch then I would omit the jalapeno to start with and see how your palate reacts. For more heat, simply blend the jalapeno with a splash of water and add as much of it as you want.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. And you might be surprised how satisfying it is the next day -- cold, solidified Queso may not sound as rewarding as the melted version, but it is!
Just another reason to make a batch 🙂
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Poblano Queso Dip
- 3 poblano peppers
- 1/2 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 jalapeno (optional)
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 2 cups shredded cheese
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- tortilla chips
- olive oil
- Start by giving the poblanos a good rinse, then roast them in a 400F oven for 30 minutes.
- Finely chop 1/2 onion. Saute the onion in some oil over medium heat. Once softened add 3 cloves minced garlic cloves and cook for 30-60 seconds.
- Add the majority of the onion-garlic mixture to a blender. I usually keep some of it in the saucepan so there are chunks in the Queso but this is optional.
- Add 8 oz. cream cheese, 1/2 cup milk, 2 cups shredded cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the saucepan. Melt over medium-low heat, stirring regularly. Once it's all melted it's worth taking a taste to get a sense of the Queso base.
- De-stem and de-seed the roasted poblanos. You can also discard as much skin as you want from the poblanos, but don't worry about getting rid of every last bit. Add the poblano pieces to the blender along with a single, de-stemmed jalapeno (optional) and a splash of water. The onion-garlic mixture should already be in the blender. Combine well. If it won't combine readily simply add another splash of water.
- Add the poblano mixture to the Queso along with a teaspoon of Mexican oregano. Once everything is at a uniform temp take a final taste for seasoning -- I added another generous pinch of Mexican oregano to this batch.
- Serve immediately along with plenty of tortilla chips. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge (for some cold Queso munching over the next few days).
My latest post tests the Masa Harina from Masienda on some homemade corn tortillas: