Healthier Chili Con Queso

  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 T. minced  garlic
  • 1/2 cup pale ale, or other light-colored beer
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk, divided
  • 3 T. cornstarch
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar, preferably orange
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles (drain about half the juice out)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste  (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1.  Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add beer and cook until reduced slightly, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup milk and bring to a simmer.

2.  Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the pan and cook, stirring vigorously, until bubbling and thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add cheese and cook, stirring, until melted. Stir in drained tomatoes, lime juice, salt, chili powder and cayenne (if using). Serve warm, garnished with scallions and cilantro.

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