The following recipe and photography is courtesy of Graham R. and his dog, Carl. For more of their delicious food ventures, visit them on Instagram @cookingwithcarrrl.
Today is a special day! Today is the day three of my favorite came together.
Smashed potatoes, meet elote (Mexican street corn) and queso.
The crispy, buttery edges of smashed potatoes are delicious on their own, but for this recipe, I jazzed them up with a cilantro garlic butter. Then, I jumped off the deep end by dipping them in homemade elote queso. This is a perfect dip for summer. The hot queso and cold elote salsa work together to create a surprisingly refreshing appetizer that will make a splash at your next barbecue.
This is my favorite queso recipe for two reasons. One, it is incredibly quick to make, and two, it is so good! You can use milk or cream, but I strongly encourage the use of evaporated milk, which will allow for a smooth consistency, even when served cold. Your days of gloopy queso are long gone, a new dawn of silky smooth queso is here. Embrace it!
This recipe is a great start for any type of cheese dip or sauce. Try using provolone cheese and for Philly cheese steak sauce. I love adding chorizo and eating it with warm quesadillas! I am a fan of anything that incorporates more cheese into my diet.
Break this recipe out in “queso” emergency!
- Cook time:
- Prep time:
- Total time:
- 3 1/2 Cups of Dip
For the Smashed Potatoes
- 1 bag of small yellow or red potatoes
- 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 Tbsp. cilantro
- 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup cotija cheese
For the Elote Queso
- 3 ears of corn
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 2 roasted poblano peppers, divided
- 1/4 white onion
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
- 1 Tbsp. corn starch
- 3/4 lb. queso melting cheese
- 4 Tbsp. cotija cheese, divided
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- ½ tsp. salt
- Start by roasting the veggies for the elote. Drizzle olive oil over the corn, poblanos, onion and red pepper. Lightly salt and place on a grill or in an oven until nicely charred, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the veggies from the grill and allow them to cool. Set aside one poblano.
- Once cool, remove the corn from the cob and dice the other vegetables. Combine in a large mixing bowl with 2 Tbsp. of cotija cheese, lime juice, cilantro and 1/4 tsp. of salt. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Fill a large pot with enough water to fully submerge the potatoes and bring to a boil. Boil for 8 minutes. Boiling the potatoes first with help them roast evenly and create a crispy skin.
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Strain the potatoes and place them on a large baking sheet. Cover the potatoes with the olive oil, salt, onion powder and paprika. Roast for 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, melt the butter and add the garlic and cilantro. Set aside.
- After 20 minutes, remove the potatoes from the oven. Place each potato on a cutting board and gently smash it with a small plate. You’ll destroy a few potatoes at first, but then you will find the magic touch.
- Return the smashed potatoes to the baking sheet and brush with the cilantro garlic butter. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove and brush them again. This time, add the cotija cheese and bake for 5 more minutes.
- Now, make the cheese sauce. Warm the evaporated milk in a skillet or small pot over medium heat. Once warm, whisk in the corn starch.
- Keep an eye on the mixture and lower the heat once it comes to a near boil. Add the cheese slowly and keep stirring.
- After all of the cheese is added, mix in the seasonings and the other poblano pepper.
- When ready to serve, scoop two cups of the elote salsa on top of the queso and dust with more cotija cheese. You can also serve the queso in ramekins and top each serving with two Tbsp. of the elote.