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Chile con queso (Spanish for “chile with cheese”), sometimes called simply queso, is an appetizer or side dish of melted cheese and chili peppers, typically served in Tex-Mex restaurants as a dip for tortilla chips.
Chile con queso (also spelled chili con queso) is a part of Tex-Mex and Southwestern cuisine, originating in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua as a version of Queso chihuahua and Queso flameado.
Chile con queso is predominantly found on the menus of Tex-Mex restaurants in the southwest and western United States.
Chile con queso is a smooth, creamy sauce, used for dipping, that is usually made from a blend of melted cheeses (often Velveeta or another processed cheese, Monterey Jack or cream cheese), cream, and chili peppers. Many restaurants serve chile con queso with such added ingredients as pico de gallo, black beans, guacamole, and ground beef or pork.
So, what can you do if you have some queso dip that needs to be saved for a later date? Maybe you have dined at your favorite restaurant and brought some of that restaurant’s amazing queso dip home and want to eat it later.
Leftovers can be quite frustrating if you don’t know what to do with them. A great solution is to freeze the queso dip.
Queso dip can be frozen! The quality of the frozen queso dip might not be as good as it was when fresh, but you can store it safely for a few months.
If you have made too much cheese dip for your family or for a party, you can definitely choose to freeze it and enjoy it later.
The higher the fat content in the cheese dip, the better it will freeze. A full fat cream cheese dip would be less likely to crumble and separate right after thawing out.
The best way to prepare a frozen queso dip is to blend in a bit of heavy cream into the queso dip. It will help the queso dip in terms of retaining its smooth texture after being frozen.
Transfer the dip to a plastic storage container that is freezer safe and has an airtight lid. You will need to leave at least a half inch of space in the container for expansion of the queso dip while it is in the process of freezing.
Press the lid on the storage container firmly in order to create a secure seal. Then write the storage date on the container or on a piece of freezer tape and attach it to the container of queso dip for reference later.
Store the queso dip in a freezer that will stay a constant 0 degrees Fehrenheit.
You can also use a ziploc bag to store queso dip in the freezer. Just make sure all the air is pressed out before placing the bag of queso dip in the freezer. Write the date on the outside of the bag.
If you happen to own a vacuum sealer, it’s a great thing to use because it will help prevent freezer burn. Vacuum sealed portions of queso can be cooked straight from the freezer without thawing and still taste delicious.
Keep in mind that dairy products have the tendency to lose their original textures once they have been frozen and defrosted. Luckily, queso dip does keep well in the freezer as long as it is prepped right.
When kept in the fridge, queso dip will keep for 4 to 6 days. But, the good news is, when kept in the freezer, queso dip should last for 4 to 6 months. Freezing queso dip is a great way to prevent food waste, and also to save some money.
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How Do I Thaw Queso Dip?
If you just plan to defrost the queso dip to use it in a recipe, then take it out of the freezer and thaw it out overnight on the counter. The cheese dip will be ready to use after 12 hours on the counter.
You can speed up this process by placing the queso dip in a bowl and covering it with plastic wrap until it is defrosted. You can also leave the frozen queso dip in the refrigerator overnight.
It will take about 24 hours to defrost in the refrigerator.
Don’t forget to place the frozen container or baggie of queso dip on a plate or platter so that the cheese doesn’t sit in puddles of condensation as it thaws. Although the best way to defrost queso dip is in the refrigerator, you might find you have a need to speed up the process.
In this case it is entirely possible to use your microwave to defrost frozen queso dip.
To microwave frozen queso dip, place the frozen container or baggie in the center of a microwave safe plate, bowl, or pan. Place your plate in the center of the microwave.
Adjust the power setting on your microwave to the lowest available level. Heat your cheese for 30-45 seconds before taking it out to check it.
If it’s not thawed, place it back in the microwave for another 30 seconds. Your queso dip should be thawed at this point, but if it isn’t, try another 10-15 seconds in the microwave. Use it as soon as it’s thawed so it doesn’t go bad.
It is best to plan ahead so that the cheese is completely thawed when you are ready to use it. It is also a good idea to use the queso dip within 3 days of thawing it.
It will taste fresher if you do this.
After the queso dip has thawed, use a spoon and stir it well. You can then heat it, or bake it or use it in your favorite recipe.
If you are thawing your queso dip and notice any signs of slime, mold spots or a fuzzy grey residue, do not eat it. Mold or slime on the queso dip means something has gone wrong while your queso dip was in the freezer, and your queso dip is no longer edible. In fact, it could make you quite sick if you ingest it.