Chilli Cheese Dip

Prep Time: 0:15
Cook Time: 0:15
Serves: 4

Ingredients / Shopping List

For the dip:

200g processed cheese slices (or similar)

1 small onion

1 clove garlic

1 birds eye chilli (thin red one)

400g tin chopped tomatoes

For the tortilla chips:

1 packet tortilla flat breads

300ml cooking oil (corn or vegetable)

Prep to Cook: 1 saucepan to hold water, I smaller pan to hold ingredients, wooden spoon, chopping board, small veg knife, tin opener, garlic grater


Dice the onion really, really finely and put into smaller saucepan

Grate the garlic into the onion

Slice the birds eye chilli lengthwise, remove the seeds then dice the flesh and add to pan

Open tin of chopped tomatoes and add to saucepan

Add unwrapped cheese slices on top

Prep to cook:

Place the smaller pan inside the larger pan and half fill the larger pan with water

This creates a water bath that will cook the mixture gently

Boil the water in the larger pan then reduce the heat to allow it to simmer

Stir after about 15 minutes and the mixture should go creamy

Leave to cook gently for 20 mins

Tortilla flatbread chips:

Prep to cook:  deep sided stir-fry pan, tongs, kitchen paper and bowl

Prep the tortilla flatbread chips:

Pre-heat oil in a deep sided stir-fry pan carefully

Cut the tortilla flatbreads into half then quarters and each quarter into three

Put the flatbread chips into the oil about 5 at a time

Turn when they look brown on one side

Remove when they become golden on both sides

Drain on kitchen paper and season with salt whilst hot

Serve warm with the dip

Check it out!

This recipe is based on a Texan recipe. It is a rustic, easy cook, no-frills dish that tastes as good outdoors as leaning over the kitchen table. This dip is based on the traditional Chilli con Quesos recipe that uses processed cheese. It is unashamedly simple.  Make the tortilla chips to complete a snack worth waiting for.

Recipe Science

Cooks Know How:  Combining ingredients is the basis of cooking.  Here we have some basic food products put together to create a warm, spicy dip with bread-style chips.  For the dip you use a water bath and it may be the first time you have used a method such as this.  You may have heard of a ‘double-boiler pan’ and should you have one, this is the pan to use, otherwise you make your own by placing one pan inside the other.  It works even if it is at a slight angle.  The water boils and slowly transfers its heat to the inner pan and gently heats the contents.  You will find it does not soften the onions too much so they remain crunchy. The tinned tomatoes are cooked anyway so they just get hot.  The processed cheese melts gently and does not become stringy or tough. You will see the cheese slices disappear and change the colour of the sauce to a paler pink.  During the cooking the chilli and garlic do their work in adding zing.  You must take care when chopping the chilli – a polythene bag over your fingers helps you NOT to absorb the chilli. The timing of the dip cooking helps your work flow.  You can prepare the dip and then make the chips whilst the dip cooks.

Using deep-frying for the chips means you will see the flatbread change from being rather soft and pale to golden and crisp ‘chips’ as the hot oil does its work.  The oil will reach around 180 C and at this temperature it turns starchy foods a wonderful golden brown and changes the flavour of the starch to sweeter ‘dextrins.’ The fresh oil drains from the corn chips easily and leaves them crisp with a chewy inner layer.  The salt will cling to the chips if it is applied whilst they are fresh from the oil.  You will have mastered frying and cooking in a water bath when you have made this recipe.