It's a different sort of bean dip or a meal served over baked potatoes, fries, or Fritos/tortilla chip boats. Fast, simple, and delicious. Once made up it freezes very well in small containers. A minute or two in the microwave and you are ready to eat. A little lime, sour cream, and guacamole on the side make it simply heaven.
Feel free to vary just about any of the building block components. Examples: you could use spicy andouille style sausage or chorizo instead of the bacon, or pepper jack or Mexican style cheese instead of the Velveeta.
About the only way you can go wrong is to let it burn on the bottom of the pot. Stirring that into the rest of the dip adds a bitter flavor I really don't like. Though, if that were to happen you can just change pots and salvage most of your work! Three steps to prepare, 25 minutes tops! Makes about 5 cups. Double the recipe for a freezer full of meals and snacks. Use a large heavy pot. A 6 quart cast iron Dutch oven is ideal, but you can use a large heavy frying pan if that's what you have.
To the heavy pot add: the minced bacon, garlic, onion, pepper, and the most of the liquid off the top of the salsa or chilies and tomatoes.
Simmer over medium heat until the water has evaporated and then medium/low until the bacon has fried a bit. No need to brown just cook it through; you don't want to scald the onion or garlic. Cook about 10 minutes, stir twice.
Spoon off any bacon fat. Now add everything else except the cheese.
Bring it up to temperature medium, for a minute or two while stirring from the bottom with a flat spoon, then simmer on very low, for five minutes.
Spread the cheese across the top and use the spoon to push it down into the bubbling beans. Cover while you prep the plates, about three minutes.
Stir in the now melted cheese, salt to taste, and serve.
Add fresh or chopped jalapenos or your favorite chili peppers.
Add a can of drained hominy.
If you use dehydrated onions, garlic powder, and Kirkland bacon bits, then just do it all in the microwave. Be sure to use the liquid from the salsa to hydrate the onions so it's not too soupy.
By TWB from Tigard, OR
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