Halloween Queso Dip

This weekend, Shaun and I really got into the Halloween spirit. After meeting for happy hour after work on Friday near our apartment, we spotted the marquee at the Loews Landmark Jersey Theater advertising a showing on Saturday night of Nosferatu. Nosferatu is a silent film from the 1920's that essentially copied the story of Bram Stoker's Dracula. In fact, many original copies of the film were destroyed due to copyright infringement, though a few survived. Cool right? And this version would be shown at the Loews Jersey with a live organ accompaniment. We couldn't wait to get in the Halloween spirit in our very own neighborhood with this rare experience!

Imagine our surprise when we arrived for the 8:20 showing to a line wrapped around the theater, block after block. The restored theater holds 3,100 people, and I think it was almost full for Saturday's show! There's just something about an old theater that really makes a movie feel magical. Loews Jersey did not disappoint.

We had passed by the theater countless times since we moved into our new apartment, we had yet to see a movie there. The theater was unbelievable and the film was just the right amount of spook and old-world cinema charm. Oh and the live organ wasn't too shabby either. It was the perfect way to kick off the Halloween season. And you know I wouldn't forget to mention the food. The theater sold boxes of hot, salty popcorn for $1 a pop. Now this is a Saturday night I could get used to. 3-D and CGI, who?

Meanwhile, it got me thinking about all the delicious Halloween eats and all the fun ways to incorporate holiday colors into food for upcoming Halloween events. So this week I'll be bringing you some fun yet grown-up ideas to incorporate the season into your own parties! Yesterday, though neither the Giants or Jets were playing, I whipped up some queso dip with blue corn tortilla chips for football Sunday, you know, to mimic the colors of the season. Festive, no? It was warm, cheesy and had all the right moves to grace any Halloween party.

Queso Dip
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 C milk
1 1/2 C cheddar cheese, grated
6 slices American cheese, cut into pieces
1/8 tsp chili powder
1 can Rotel, I used mild
1 can chili, if desired

In a small saucepan, bring the milk almost to a boil. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter and then whisk in the flour until it is combined and a light paste is formed (this is a roux). Whisk the milk into the roux over medium low heat until all is combined and the mixture starts to thicken. Whisk in the cheddar cheese until completely combined (this should happen quickly) and then the American cheese.

Once all combined, add the chili powder, Rotel and chili, if using. Mix altogether and serve. I used a baby crock pot (not shown) which keeps the dip warm, but if serving immediately, a small serving dish should work too. Keep the rest of the mixture on low on the stove so the small dish can be refilled.


I thought that starting with a standard Bechamel (white) sauce would be the best way to keep the mixture creamy and saucy, rather than thick and lumpy - that's the roux/scalded milk mixture for ya. And I'm happy to report that I was right! It was creamy without being thick and clumpy, which is exactly how it would have been had I not used this as the base of my sauce. And if you're feeling non-meaty, simply eliminate the chili since it was just as delicious without it. But don't skimp on the Rotel!

So there you have it. An easy, grown-up way to add some Halloween fare to your upcoming party or gathering. Oh and it works just as well as a Sunday Game Day Eats dish too! So what I want to know is...what's on your list of delish eats to make for Halloween? Are you hosting? Or bringing some delectable grub to a party?