Football food is in a category all its own. It should be the sort of food that allows you to move about the room -- hooting and hollering, jumping up and down, pacing and gesturing between mouthfuls -- then happily, hungrily coming back for more. Football food has intrinsic energy, like the game itself, feeding fans for hours with heat, meatiness, and finger-licking intensity. The game and the food are both fundamentally hands-on. From sticky chicken wings to huge slices of cheesy pizza, and from saucy barbecue ribs to the starting lineup of crunchy chips and creamy dips, football food is downright messy and undeniably fun. It's devoured family style with a competitive edge, diving in with both hands, guarding our favorite dishes, getting into each other's space, fighting over who can consume the most wings or who gets the last of that incredible dip.
Enter: hot chorizo and corn queso dip, a spin on the famous party appetizer queso fundido. It's a heavy, sizzling, cast-iron skillet full of spicy melted jack and cheddar cheeses, salty chorizo, smoky chipotle and bursting sweet nuggets of corn, all topped with fresh tomatoes, cilantro and green onions to cut through the gooey richness. Place a massive pile of tortilla chips beside this steaming, bubbly skillet and watch friends and family hover and linger there until they are scraping the edges of an empty pan and asking for more. This recipe is a sure crowd-pleaser on game day.
Hot chorizo and corn queso dip
Chipotles in adobo can be found in small cans in the Latin foods section of most grocery stores, near the diced green chilies. They add wonderful heat and a fantastic smokiness to many recipes. Mexican chorizo is a ground pork sausage. It is highly seasoned and spicy, and comes in a deep red color. It can be found near the ground pork and sausage in many grocery stores. If you cannot find chorizo or if you'd like to make the dish meatless, the sausage can be omitted with excellent results.
4 ounces ground Mexican chorizo
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup jack cheese, grated
1 chipotle in adobo, finely diced
1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
½ cup mayonnaise
1 (15oz) can corn, drained
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons green onion, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a skillet over medium heat, brown the chorizo. Drain and set aside.
In a bowl, mix together cheeses, chipotle, jalapeño, mayonnaise, corn and browned chorizo. Spread the mixture into a 10-12 inch cast iron skillet. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden, melted, and bubbly around edges.
Sprinkle tomatoes, cilantro, and green onions on top of the hot dip. Serve promptly with corn chips.
Maya Evoy lives in Kenai. She blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com.
By MAYA EVOY
Daily News correspondent