I planned our Super Bowl menu around this dip. Thankfully, it was very well received! I served it in the skillet and we scooped it out onto individual plates to gobble up with tortilla chips. Some chips may have also been dipped directly into the pan. 😉
The recipe was adapted from a Bon Appétit “healthyish” recipe, contributed by Shilpa Uskokovic. The original recipe convinced me to use American cheese slices in the queso layer to help it emulsify and to keep the cheese layer from solidifying.
We ate it as our Super Bowl appetizer followed by Poblano, Black Bean & Cheese Enchiladas with rice and refried beans, Trader Joe’s Elote chopped salad, followed by Churro Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting for dessert. Great.
Yield: 8 Servings
For the Beans:
- 4 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
- 2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 T Diamond Crystal or 1 3/4 tsp Morton kosher salt
- 1 T apple cider vinegar
For the Queso & Assembly:
- 2 tsp adobo from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp Diamond Crystal or Morton kosher salt, plus more
- 4 oz yellow American cheese, coarsely grated or chopped or torn if using singles (about 1 cup) (I used 6 Trader Joe’s singles)
- 3 oz Monterey Jack or pepper Jack cheese, coarsely grated (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 ripe avocados, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- freshly squeezed juice from half a lime
- 1/4 cup (4 T) sour cream
- 1/2 cup good-quality salsa, drained if watery (I used Trader Joe’s Garlic Chipotle salsa)
- 1 (4 oz) can fire-roasted, diced green chilies or 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapeños
- 4 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup (packed) coarsely chopped cilantro
- tortilla chips, for serving
To Make the Beans:
- Melt the butter, cut into pieces, in a medium deep skillet over medium heat. (I used a 10-inch cast iron skillet.)
- Add the chopped onion, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Monitor the heaat, and continue to cook, stirring often, until onion is pale golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes more.
- With the pan over medium heat, and add the chopped garlic cloves and cumin. Cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add chopped chipotle chiles, pinto beans, rinsed, and salt. Pour in 1 cup water and bring to a simmer, mashing beans with a potato masher until mostly smooth.
- Cook, stirring often, until most of liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. (Beans should be risotto-like in consistency, loose enough to fall off a spoon.)
- Remove from heat and stir in apple cider vinegar. Cover and keep warm.
To Make the Queso & To Assemble the Dip:
- Whisk adobo, cumin, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Add chopped/grated American cheese and cook, whisking vigorously, just until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and add grated Monterey Jack; whisk until cheese is melted and queso is smooth (return to low heat briefly if needed). (I cooked it over low for about 2 minutes to melt the additional cheese.)
- Using your hands to avoid bruising, toss the avocados pieces with lime juice and a large pinch of salt in a medium bowl.
- Uncover beans and pour queso over.
- Top with dollops of sour cream, followed by salsa, diced chilies, and then avocados.
- Scatter sliced scallions and chopped cilantro over the top.
- Serve dip warm in skillet with tortilla chips.
Do ahead: Beans can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat over medium-low, thinning with water and seasoning with salt as needed.