Pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and cookies at Christmas are pretty common traditions.
But my husband’s family has a not-so-common tradition that my father-in-law, Tom Calloway, started many years ago. Whenever a holiday crowd gathers, Tom always makes up a batch of his delicious Con Queso, and it’s perfect to add to your New Year’s Eve menu.
The base of the recipe is canned tomatoes and green chiles, which are seasoned with sautéed onion, chopped jalapeños, Tabasco, garlic and dried oregano.
The final touch in Tom’s Con Queso is the cheese. After all, con queso means “with cheese.”
Tom’s cheese of choice is something I don’t cook with very often: Cheez Whiz. It melts up perfectly in the dip. I’ve tried substituting other cheese products, such as shredded American cheese or Velveeta, but they just don’t work, so I stick with the Cheez Whiz when preparing the dip.
The Con Queso can be made ahead, refrigerated and reheated before serving. I serve it in a fondue pot, with dip-style corn chips, but tortilla chips or fresh veggies are also good dippers to serve with the con queso.
TOM’S CON QUESO
1 large onion, chopped
1 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
2 4-ounce cans green chiles, diced
2 jalapeños (fresh or pickled), minced, or less to taste
10 drops Tabasco sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
16 ounces Cheez Whiz
1 bag corn chips
Sauté the onion until tender, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, green chiles, jalapeños, Tabasco, garlic and oregano.
Cook until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 15 minutes.
Add the Cheez Whiz and stir until melted. Serve with large corn chips.