Most of my grocery shopping trips are done on auto pilot. I make out my list by aisle before heading to the store and only hit those aisles I know I need. I find that’s the fastest and cheapest way to tackle grocery shopping, especially when shopping for the month and/or when shopping with all four kids in tow.
But now that I am trying to get acclimated to an entirely new grocery store, I find myself examining the contents of each row as I walk up and down. Even though the old store and the new store are both Krogers, they are laid out differently and carry several different products. So I’m learning what’s what as I go and trying to visually memorize the rows for my grocery list making. (I’m determined to get back to our once a month shopping habits beginning the first week of August, so I need to hurry!)
One thing I’m excited about with our new store is that their selection of ethnic foods is quite a bit larger than the old store. I’m really looking forward to trying out some new ingredients I used to have a hard time finding without spending a fortune at our gourmet grocery store. Last week, a package of queso fresco caught my eye. And when I saw that it was just over $2 on sale, I grabbed it in a hurry!
I have never used queso fresco in my cooking before, although I am familiar with it from eating at certain Mexican restaurants. (Hmmm…by admitting my ignorance here am I showing how far from a true “foodie” I really am? Oh well, gotta keep it real, right?) While in the store, I was envisioning a hot and melty queso dip. I did a little research when I got home and discovered that although queso fresco gets creamy when hot, it does not really melt. Queso fresco is primarily used in salads and as a topping in Mexican cooking. At first I was a little disappointed, but then I decided to get creative and make it work anyhow. And it was really SO, so, so good!
Queso Fresco & Sausage Dip
- 1 lb. bulk pork sausage (hot or regular) or ground chorizo
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 c. crumbled queso fresco
- 2 c. shredded Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
- Optional toppings: shredded lettuce, diced tomato, sliced green onions
1. Cook the pork sausage and onion in a skillet. When sausage is fully browned, drain grease and cool.
2. Transfer cooled sausage to a small casserole dish. Top with crumbled queso fresco. Then sprinkle on the shredded Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until completely melted and golden brown on top.
3. To serve, top with any desired toppings and serve with tortilla chips. (I served this with fresh, homemade flour tortilla chips and the two made a fantastic pair!)
The queso fresco adds a creamy, tangy undertone to the dip that gave it a wonderful flavor. I definitely recommend trying it out if you never have before. This dip makes a great family game night accompaniment and it would also be perfect for entertaining.
Stop by Designs By Gollum for more Foodie Friday.