Imagine a creamy, cheesy queso dip…and then add in a smoky grilled flavor!
This Smoked Chili con Queso is the perfect appetizer to enjoy during the big game!
Well kiss my grits! As I’ve mentioned many times before, I was born in the South. I grew up all over the Carolinas, Texas, Louisiana and Georgia. Although I now live in
the frozen tundra upstate New York, my Southern roots run deep. I’ve been known to pull out some crazy Southern sayings now and then…especially when watching college football! But one Southern saying I’ve never quite figured out is “kiss my grits.” Truthfully, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say “kiss my grits” in the South. In fact, when I hear that saying, I think of these Jalapeno Cheddar Grits, and I don’t want to kiss them. I want to put my face in them.
But there are plenty of awesome Southern sayings that make their way into my vocabulary on a daily basis. Take “gets my goat,” for instance. “You know what really gets my goat?” If you’re really annoyed at something or someone, then it’s perfectly acceptable to say that they get your goat. But “bless her heart” has to be one of my favorites! I don’t personally use this term, but my sister and mother (both resident Nashvillians) use this one all the time. It basically gives you free reign to say anything you want about someone. Bless her heart, but her hair is a hot mess today. If you ever need to throw out a snarky comment, just lead off with “bless her (his) heart.” Now you can’t get in trouble. True story.
So I’ve been watching college football like it’s my job lately. (Geaux Tigers!) And of course, when college football is on tv, I need some delicious football snacks. For evening games, my wife and I always make our go-to pizza and break out a couple of Abita beers. Is there a more classic football meal than pizza and beers?
Smoked Chili con Queso
When it comes to the afternoon games, I need snacky type food. Like chips and pretzels. I was smoking some pulled pork the other day, and my brain started to wander. Usually I get myself into some sort of trouble when that happens…but not this time! I started wondering if you could make a smoked cheese dip? Well it turns out that you can. It also turns out that this Smoked Chili con Queso is one of the most delicious snacks I’ve ever eaten! Oh, and if you need a good laugh, check out the Sh%t Southern Women Say video on YouTube…there’s definitely at least one “bless her heart” in there!
Did you make this Smoked Chili con Queso at home? Leave a comment, or better yet snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). Enjoy!
Smoked Chili con Queso
- 2 cups hickory wood chips
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese shredded
- 12 ounces mild cheddar cheese shredded
- 1½ Tbsp olive oil
- ½ medium white onion diced
- 1 jalapeno seeded and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic diced
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp cumin
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
- 1 4.5 oz can diced green chilies, drained
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
- ½ cup sour cream
- black pepper to garnish
- Soak the hickory chips in water for at least 30 minutes before using.
- Meanwhile, prepare the grill for indirect heat. (If using a gas grill, turn burners on one side to high and leave burners on other side off. If using a charcoal grill, bank the charcoal up against one side of the grill.)
- Using an 8”-10” cast iron skillet, place the shredded cheese evenly across the bottom of the skillet.
- Place the hickory chips directly on the coals and wait for the smoke to appear. (If using a gas grill, make an aluminum foil pouch for the hickory chips. Seal pouch, but poke several holes in the top to allow smoke to escape.)
- Once hickory chips are smoking, place the cast iron skillet on the opposite side from the charcoal or lit burners. Cover grill and cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until cheese has fully melted. (Note: Check on the cheese occasionally and rotate the skillet as needed.)
- Meanwhile, place the olive oil, diced onion and diced jalapeno in a medium fry pan. Cook over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes, or until onions begin to turn translucent. Add diced garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.
- Whisk the flour and cumin into the fry pan and cook for about 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the milk and whisk until mixture is well combined. Cook for 3-4 more minutes, or until mixture begins to thicken slightly. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro, canned diced tomatoes and canned diced chilies. Set mixture aside.
- Once the cheese has melted fully, add the sour cream and sautéed onion mixture. Stir together until fully combined. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl and garnish with freshly cracked black pepper. Serve hot with tortilla chips.
Looking for more tasty football appetizers? Check out these other favorites, too: