By Jan D’atri
It’s everything you would want in a party dip. The combination of a sharp cheddar and jalapeño pepper jack, a kick from the poblano pepper, sautéed onion and ground beef, and diced tomatoes with chiles all stewing in your favorite taco sauce makes this cheesy, beefy taco dip a real contender for your holiday buffet table. Add a platter of homemade flour and corn tortilla chips, and let’s get this party started!
I know that we’re always looking for great party foods this time of the year, especially for game days and holidays. This one will not disappoint. You can certainly choose to buy store-bought chips, but there’s something really delicious about frying up some fresh tortillas that are crispy, warm and salted. These chips and dip are a match made in south of the border heaven!
Cheesy, beefy taco dip with homemade tortilla chips
For the dip:
• 1 pint button mushrooms, rough chopped.
• 4 tablespoon butter, divided.
• 1 large sweet yellow onion, finely chopped.
• 1 large poblano pepper, finely chopped.
• 1 1/2 pounds ground beef.
• 1 tablespoon olive oil.
• 1 pound sharp cheddar, cubed or shredded.
• 1/2 pound pepper jack cheese, cubed or shredded.
• 1 jar taco sauce (16 ounces).
• 1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles or Rotel, drained (10 ounces).
• 1 can pitted black olives, drained and chopped fine (2 1/4 ounces).
For the tortilla chips:
• 1 package corn tortillas, sliced in quarters (8 count).
• 1 package flour tortillas, sliced in quarters (8 count).
• 1 cup vegetable oil.
• Salt for sprinkling on the chips.
In a large skillet over high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the butter and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are a deep golden brown. Set aside. In the same skillet, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and onion. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until onions begin to caramelize. Add poblano chili and cook until chili has softened, about 5 minutes. In the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the beef until browned, about 5 minutes. In a medium saucepot, add the cheeses, taco sauce, diced tomatoes or Rotel, olives, the cooked mushrooms, sautéed onion/poblano chile mixture and beef. Cook and stir over low heat until cheese is melted. Turn heat to low or warm, and make the tortilla chips. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Stack the corn tortillas and cut into quarters or eights. Repeat with flour tortillas. In a skillet, add one cup of vegetable oil and heat on high. When oil has reached 350 degrees, dip one slice of the corn or flour tortilla into the hot oil. If it sizzles, add remaining tortilla segments, trying not to overlap. (Work in batches, if necessary, first the corn and then the flour tortillas.) When golden brown, about 1 minute on each side, remove with spider or slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel-lined sheet pan. Immediately sprinkle with salt. Serves 8 to 10.