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Sweet Corn Queso with Pepperoni 'Crumbs'
Justin Chapple's Quesadizzas + Sweet Corn Queso with Pepperoni Crumbs
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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My homemade version of restaurant-style queso dip is quite a bit healthier, even with those awesome pepperoni "crumbs."

Technique tip: Skillet queso, stabilizing water with cornstarch lets you stir in cheese without it breaking.


  • Pepperoni "crumbs "

    • 2 ounces thinly sliced pepperoni, chopped
    • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
    • Kosher salt
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Queso

    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 cups fresh (from 4 ears) or thawed frozen corn kernels
    • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
    • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced, plus thinly sliced jalapeño for garnish
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (2 cups)
    • Chopped fresh cilantro, for sprinkling
    • Tortilla chips, for serving


For the pepperoni "crumbs":

In a food processor, pulse the pepperoni until finely chopped. Add the panko and a pinch of salt and pulse until fine crumbs form. Scrape into a large cast-iron skillet. Add the olive oil and cook over medium heat, stirring until crisp, about 5 minutes. Scrape onto a plate and let cool. Wipe out the skillet.

For the queso:

In the same skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil over medium heat. Add the corn, red onion, jalapeño, garlic, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add 1½ cups water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the cornstarch until incorporated, then simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cheese until melted. Season the queso with salt and pepper. Scatter the pepperoni crumbs on top, and then sprinkle with thinly sliced jalapeño and chopped cilantro. Serve hot with tortilla chips.

Excerpted from "Just Cook It!: 145 Built-to-Be-Easy Recipes That Are Totally Delicious" © 2018 by Justin Chapple. Photography © 2018 by David Malosh. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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