As most probably know (except my very own sister who called on Saturday from St. Louis without a single clue what was happening), the east coast was hit hard with snow on Saturday. Really hard. As someone who grew up in St. Louis and went to college in Wisconsin, you can trust me when I say, this was one of the heaviest snowfalls I’ve ever experienced. We are lucky in that we were able to fully enjoy our snow day comfortably hunkered down indoors, except for a couple hours spent exploring the blizzard in Prospect Park, conveniently located across the street from our Brooklyn apartment.Needless to say, I was fully prepared for the blizzard, and by that I mean the kitchen was fully stocked. To no one’s surprise, Matt and I spent the day cooking up a storm (I actually didn’t intend that pun). We started off with our favorite homemade bagels and ended the day with homemade pizza and vegan pigs in a blanket, both using our trusty pizza dough recipe (get it here).
Our midday nosh, and the featured recipe of this post, was my made-from-scratch Queso and Black Bean Dip. I’ve always been a huge fan of Queso dip and I’ve been making it for years. Admittedly, in my younger years, I was using Velveta and cans of Rotel tomatoes and chilies. I’m not ashamed of this, I mean, Velveta is freakin’ tasty. But now days I almost exclusively eat foods that are as whole as possible. And this recipe is just that. A Queso dip made with a rich bechamel sauce and 100% real shredded cheese. A little garlic and onion were added for flavor, and a can of black beans for some protein, fiber, and substance, but that’s about it. Homemade Queso is quite simple and comes together in about 20 minutes. So whether you’re caught indoors because of a snow storm and have all the time in the world, or you only have 20 minutes to make a quick appetizer, this is a good go-to recipe to keep in the archives.
Simply serving this Queso with chips is just fine, I do it all the time. But there are other uses for it too. Try it on top of nachos instead of shredded cheese or add it to simple burritos. You can also get creative and add your choice of mix-ins. I recommend soyrizo (or real chorizo if you prefer), chopped pickled jalapeños, diced tomatoes, and diced roasted poblano. My mind is going crazy right now just thinking of the possibilities.
Black Bean Queso Dip
Serves: 6-8 Start to Finish: 25 minutes
3 tablespoons Butter
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 small-medium Red Onion, peeled and finely diced
3 tablespoons Flour
1.5 cups Whole Milk
2 cups shredded Cheese (I used equal parts cheddar and pepper jack)
1 can Organic Black Beans (no salt added variety of possible, drained and rinsed)
Salt, to taste
Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onions. Cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Whisk in flour until smooth paste forms. Allow to cook for about a minute. Slowly whisk in milk, 1/2 cup at a time. Allow milk to simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
While milk thickens, drain and rinse beans and shred cheese. Remove milk from heat when thickened. Stir in shredded cheese. Add black beans. Keep over low heat, stirring frequently, until ready to serve. Or keep warm in crock pot. Cheese sauce will thicken as it cools so reheating may be necessary.