The Meat Andrew Zimmern Uses To Add A Kick To Queso

Andrew Zimmern
Andrew Zimmern - Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images
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Queso may not be the appetizer that all the best Mexican restaurants have in common, but many people do share a common love for the dip. Arguably the sweetheart of tortilla chip accompaniments, it's hard to imagine it gets better than a vat of rich, flavorful, melty cheese. However, adding spicy meat can be just the thing to take queso dip to the next level -- not to mention to make it a little more satisfying.

Ground beef might be the obvious choice when it comes to adding meat to a queso recipe. However, Chef and television host Andrew Zimmern has another idea for how to kick the cheesy dip up a notch -- and no, despite the former "Bizarre Foods" host's penchant for illegal, maggot-infested cheese, insects are not the upgrade he makes to his queso dip. So what is the meat that Zimmern uses to add a kick to queso? Chorizo, which is the star of his Don't Stop Queso Dip.

Made with spices and chilies, the flavors of chorizo amplify the seasoning in the traditional queso that you get at your favorite Tex-Mex restaurant, which is what makes the spicy pork product such a great addition to the cheese dip. However, you're going to want to make sure you get the right kind of chorizo if you're going to try this combo at home.

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Make Sure You Get The Right Type Of Chorizo

Ground chorizo sausage
Ground chorizo sausage - Dariogaona/Getty Images

Spanish chorizo and Mexican chorizo are the two most common options you'll likely find at the grocery store, and the latter is what Andrew Zimmern says you'll want for this meaty chip accompaniment. Spanish chorizo is cured and dried and often flavored with white wine, Spanish smoked paprika, and garlic. It's similar in texture to salami and doesn't need to be cooked.

Mexican chorizo, on the other hand, made from ground pork, vinegar, and spicy chile peppers, requires cooking. You may find it ground or in link form, in which case you'll need to remove the casings and break it up with a wooden spoon or meat chopper. However, Zimmern promises this extra step will be worth it. "I call this Don't Stop Queso dip because once you dig in, you're not gonna quit until the bowl is wiped clean," he explained on his website. As you cook the meat, it will release the fats and flavors that pair so perfectly with the cheese, jalapeños, cilantro, and mild creamy evaporated milk that Zimmern's recipe calls for.

If you're having trouble finding chorizo at the grocery store, you can always try making your own fresh Mexican chorizo by combining ground pork with spices. Or, in a pinch, you can also try beefing up your queso dip with taco-seasoned ground beef, but you'll lose that signature smoky spiciness that only chorizo can impart.

Read the original article on Mashed