We had an impromptu Dinner Club tonight with our friends in town. The theme was "Dips." Garrett Nudd's famous guacamole, my favorite salsa, the Kirkland brand from Costco; and this amazing non-dairy cashew dip that tastes just like a cheese sauce. The options for dipping were tortilla chips and pita chips. Dessert came before dinner in the form of "dipped" ice cream at Baskin Robbins' $0.31 Scoop deal benefiting Fire Fighters.
Back to the cashew dip, I was most unsure about the idea. It's not that I don't trust Garrett and Joy's opinions of food--cause they said it was amazing. It's just that I'd never had anything like it. Well, I'm no longer worried about the idea. The recipe was totally amazing and simple to put together. It dirtied few dishes: blender, pot for heating, bowl to serve. (But if I'd had time to use my mini crock pot, the last two items could have been combined.) The taste and texture was truly exactly like a cheese sauce. (Except the color doesn't look right with the camera and lighting. Sorry) But the best part is that it didn't sit on your stomach like a ton of lead if you over-ate. Not to mention, it was significantly healthier than a cheese sauce with lots of additives.
The recipe came from a friend of Garrett and Joy. I don't know if that was the original source or not, but if I need to give someone else credit for the ingeniousness, please let me know. Also, I suspect the recipe is a little more expensive than a cheapo cheese sauce. The yeast alone--used as a thickener--cost $5.00 a jar. However, if you're allergic to dairy, but are searching for a queso taste, the price certainly may be worth it.
We ran out of Ro-Tels and pimentos. So, I substituted canned tomatoes, a jalapeno, and some sweet peppers. It wasn't the same, but it was still tasty. Perhaps a few additional items, like onions, would have helped replace the pimentos and Ro-tels. I think the possibilities for making the recipe with different ingredients and the uses for the queso are almost endless.
I will be making this recipe again, and have a very good idea where I will serve it. I also enjoyed the dip theme and may be quite likely to repeat it for another Dinner Club.
Thanks to Garrett and Joy for a fun evening and to Annette for sharing the recipe with us.
Recipe for Cashew Queso Dip
Original Source Unknown
- 1 small jar pimentos, drained
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbs nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 can Ro-Tel (peppers and tomatoes) mild or original, reserve liquid
May substitute the reserved liquid for some of the water.
Combine all ingredients except the tomatoes in a blender and blend until smooth. [I don't think my blender did the creaminess factor justice.] Add tomatoes last. Bring mixture to a slow boil in a saucepan. Makes about 4 quarts.
You can easily reheat the leftovers by rewarming in a pot. Should keep a week in the refrigerator.