Nacho Dips Trio: Salsa Verde, Cashew Queso & Classic Salsa

Nacho Dips Trio: Salsa Verde, Cashew Queso & Classic Salsa

Is it just me or are nachos literally THE perfect party food?

Mainly because they were meant to be shared with friends, right? All you need is some good classic dips to serve them with and you know for sure that it will be a hit! When I made and tested those dip recipes, I actually brought the leftovers of my photoshoot to a potluck with friends. And it was a huge success among them, which makes me even more excited to finally share those recipes here on the blog with you today.

Sponsorship disclaimer (ad): I partnered with Paderno Kitchenware to bring you these two recipes today on the blog, using their Power Blender and Variable Immersion Blender. And to be honest, I was more than pleased with the high-quality of these appliances. Not only do they offer the right precision control I need when I’m cooking, they are also lovely to the eye and will make any cooking moments more enjoyable, trust me.  Find more details about these Appliances on Paderno website here www.paderno.com.

From left to right : classic salsa, cashew queso dip and salsa verde.

From left to right : classic salsa, cashew queso dip and salsa verde.

Salsa Verde

Are you familiar with tomatillos? These are not unripe green tomatoes at all, so don’t mistake them with these. They are in the same family then ground cherries and usually have some sort of shell/peel that you need to remove before cooking them. Since we are not used to cooking them a lot in our Canadian culture, they can be harder to find, Look for them at your farmer’s market or in more ethnic groceries that sell Mexican and south American products. When local, you’ll usually find them at the end of summer (mid-august and September), which is literally now!

Roasted tomatillos, onion, jalapenos and garlic. Baking sheet from Paderno.

Roasted tomatillos, onion, jalapenos and garlic. Baking sheet from Paderno.

Ingredients

  • 1,5 lb tomatillos (peel/shell removed), well cleaned

  • 2 jalapenos (less or more, depending on how spicy you want it)

  • ½ yellow or white onion (about 4 oz), peeled and cut in two (quarters)

  • 4 garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled

  • Drizzle of olive oil (about 1 tbsp)

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

  • Juice of ½ lime

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven at 400F.

  2. On cooking sheet with parchment paper, spread out the tomatillos, jalapenos (whole), onion pieces and garlic cloves (unpeeled). Drizzle the olive oil and roughly mix.

  3. Cook 25-30 minutes, turning pieces halfway through cooking time. Stop cooking when the tomatillos are slightly soft and start to crack, the jalapeno skin is wrinkled. Set aside 5-10 minutes to cool down.

  4. Peel the cooked garlic and seeded the jalapenos (for a less spicy version) and transfer the contents of your cooking sheet in the Blender Cup of the Paderno Immersion blender.

  5. At medium-high power, start blending the content of the Blender Cup by pulsing several times, until you get a chunky salsa.

  6. Add the cilantro and juice lime to the Blender Cup and pulse a few more times until the desired texture. You still want some texture so don’t over mix it.

  7. Adjust salt and pepper to your own taste and serve!

Salsa verde made using Paderno Variable Immersion Blender.

Salsa verde made using Paderno Variable Immersion Blender.

You can keep your salsa verde up to a week in the fridge. Otherwise, you can easily freeze it in small jars or, even better, preserve it in cans, so don’t hesitate to double or even triple the recipe if you want to stock up on salsa verde. Since it’s very acidic, you shouldn’t encounter any problems by preserving it, simply follow directions for canning and store it so you can enjoy it all year long!

Classic salsa

You can always finely chop all the ingredients to make your own pico de gallo kinda salsa, but using the mini chopper included with the Paderno Immersion Blender makes this super easy and quick, ready within minutes! Depending on how runny you want your salsa, hollow the tomatoes (remove the liquid and seeds) before using them. And if you forget to do so, you can always strain your salsa afterward through a fine mesh, it will do the job!

Classic salsa ingredients, featuring Paderno Variable Immersion Blender.

Classic salsa ingredients, featuring Paderno Variable Immersion Blender.

Ingredients

  • ½ - 1 jalapeno, cut in two and seeded

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled

  • ½ red onion (about 4 oz), roughly chopped in 3-4 pieces

  • 2-3 fully ripe tomatoes (1lb), roughly chopped in quarters (optional: hollow for a less liquid salsa)

  • ½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped

  • Juice of ½ lime

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Classic salsa made using Paderno Variable Immersion Blender.

Classic salsa made using Paderno Variable Immersion Blender.

Steps

  1. Start by chopping the garlic and jalapeno first: transfer both in chopper container and pulse a few times until finely chopped.

  2. Add the onion pieces, tomato quarters and cilantro to the container. Pulse a few times until the desired texture without over chopping it (you still want some texture).

  3. Mix in the lime juice and olive oil. Adjust salt and pepper to your own taste and serve!

  4. This salsa is better freshly made, but it can keep in the fridge for up to three days.

Cashew Queso Dip

I know there are tons of vegan queso recipes out there, mainly made out of cashews. But you can’t reinvent the world. Cashews are indeed more expensive and fatty, but they give the perfect creaminess you need for your queso. All you need is a powerful blender, such as Paderno Power Blender, to blend them thoroughly without getting some sort of grainy result. And the other magic ingredient here is definitely tapioca starch, which, once heated, gets stretchy (hello cheesy texture!). You can always substitute it with some other starch (for example corn starch), but make sure to follow the right quantity conversion (google it!), since you might need less or more. I personally prefer to use tapioca, which I also use for my mac’n’cheese recipe, available in the Main Dish section of the blog.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours or more and drained

  • 1 cup water

  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast

  • ¼ cup lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch

  • 2 tsp miso paste

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled

  • ½ tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/8 tsp ground turmeric

Steps

  1. Place all ingredients in the Power Blender.

  2. By adjusting the power, blend until smooth and creamy. It should take about a minute or so to get to such a result, or longer depending on the quality and power of your blender. You might need to scrap the sides mid-way in the process.

  3. Transfer in a saucepan. While mixing regularly to prevent from sticking, cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat until it thickens.

  4. Serve and enjoy immediately with nachos while it’s still hot! If you’ve got leftovers, store it in the fridge up to 3-5 days and reheat it before serving it again.

Now, with all those dips, you’re all setup to host the perfect nacho feast! You can always add guacamole, cashew sour cream and/or black bean dip to step up the game, but I assure you these three dips have nothing to be ashamed of on their own!

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