I’ve always loved the saying, “everything in moderation, including moderation.” This is how I think about cooking and eating in general; I usually like to cook and eat pretty healthily, but sometimes I like to just roll around in cream and butter and cheese. And not low fat cheese.

This hot queso dip is that kind of recipe. But look, there’s corn in it too! And scallions! And you can sprinkle radishes on top! That’s kind of healthy.

Maybe we should just call this “Hot Corn Dip.” Or “Hot Corn Dip That’s So Good You Might Cry a Little, But Not in an Undignified Way.”

Yes, definitely, absolutely make this when fresh corn is still around. It’s a lovely way to use up those ears of corn that seem to be exploding in the markets from July through September. And even though the corn is of course slightly smothered in cheese and creaminess, you can still taste that sweet, clean flavor.

But don’t be shy about using frozen corn off-season, either. Did I mention that it’s smothered in cheesy creaminess?

Topping the sultry mixture with some slivered radishes and additional scallions adds more color and crunch and a welcome pop of freshness.

I also have added some pickled jalapenos on the top, in case you’d like to bump up the heat.

Basically, you should feel free to poke around in your fridge and find whatever you think would add some color, crunch, heat, texture, etc., and sprinkle that thing all over this dip.

HOT CORN QUESO DIP

Servings: 8

2 cups fresh or frozen and thawed corn kernels

1 cup half and half or whole milk (or a combo)

2 teaspoons pureed chipotle in adobo

1 tablespoon canola, vegetable or olive oil

4 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced

2 cups (1/2 pound) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Julienned radishes, sliced scallions, and/or chopped pickled jalapenos to sprinkle on top (optional)

Tortilla chips or pita chips to serve

In a food processor or a blender, pulse the corn with the milk and chipotle puree until it becomes a coarse puree.

Preheat the broiler. Heat a heavy, medium-size skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium high heat.

Add the oil, then add the 4 sliced scallions and stir for about 3 minutes, until they become tender.

Add the corn puree and the cheese, and stir frequently until everything is blended and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes.

Transfer the pan to the broiler for about 1 minute until the top is nicely browned.

Let it sit for a couple of minutes to thicken up a bit.

Sprinkle on the radishes, scallions and jalapenos as desired and serve in the skillet, warning everyone to mind the hot pan. Serve with the tortilla chips.

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