I like corn. It can be prepared in so many ways I think it’s the most versatile vegetable. Well, at least until someone finds a way to use green beans in a cheesy dip. Because corn is my new dip craving. With chilies and jalapenos and lots of cheese, this is a dip you want to eat with a spoon. But eat it with your favorite tortilla chips, it’s much better!
I looked at many recipes and what stood out was that most used Monterey jack and a second cheese like cheddar. Good plan. Next I looked at the peppers used and wasn’t big on going super spicy. I don’t like to burn my mouth so much I can’t taste the corn anymore! So the first attempt at the dip I used 1 small can of chopped green chilies. Not so exciting, I might like it with more heat.
The second time I used two cans of green chilies and still wasn’t impressed. I still had wimpy corn dip. The next time I used a can of green chilies and a diced jalapeno. Woo! Getting better! The next time I made the dip I went a step further and used a can of chopped jalapenos. Yes! The heat was just right!
The original recipes all called for Mexican corn and that seemed silly. I’d rather used my own sweet red bell peppers. An extra special recipe might be to grill corn on the cob and slice it off to make the dip. The cheese and other ingredients might overpower the grilled corn flavor, but it would be fun to try it once.
Are you getting that I’ve eaten a lot of this dip along the way? Probably as a self-preservation move I should have halved the recipes until I was happy with it. Like maybe I should have used one can of corn and half of the cheese? Well I didn’t. It just never occurred to me. I liked the dips along the way but by the 10th try or so I was pretty worn out on cheesy corn dip and ready to retire in victory. I mastered that dip and made it mine!
Of course everyone has their own idea of heat and you certainly could go for more jalapenos or add even hotter peppers if it floats your boat. I like to be able to taste the corn, the cheese, and the peppers while my tongue is just burning oh so slightly. I prefer to dip tortilla chips into the dip but have also used Fritos and Fritos scoops to ferry the dip to my mouth.
When I make the corn dip for a party my grandkids will be attending, I omit the jalapenos and they’re huge fans of the dip. Recently I was out of Monterey Jack (that should be a national emergency!) and I used Colby jack and Cheddar and it was awesome as usual. So even the cheeses can be a variation.
The dip also lasts well. I think the most recent version spent a week in the fridge between munching sessions and was still fresh and tasty to the end.
Warm Cheesy Corn Dip
2 cans whole kernel corn
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup onion; diced
8 ounces cream cheese; room temp
1 cup sour cream
1 small can diced jalapenos
1 small can diced green chilies (optional if you’re serving kids)
2 cups Monterey jack; shredded (Mozzarella is a bit stringy but other cheeses work well such as Colby Jack)
1 cup Sharp cheddar; shredded
Preheat oven to 350° or spray insides of a crockpot.
Sauté onion and pepper in a drizzle of olive oil in a nonstick skillet on medium high heat for 4-5 minutes. They should just be getting browned around the edges.
Stir cream cheese into the skillet until thoroughly mixed. Add to a large mixing bowl along with the rest of the ingredients. Stir well and pour into a baking dish or crockpot.
Bake for 50 minutes until bubbly and browned around the edges. If using a crockpot, place on low and stir often until melted. Reduce heat to “keep warm” or shut off heat. Once it’s melted it will stay warm in the crockpot for an hour or more. It will burn if heated too long.
Serve hot with tortilla chips or crackers. I serve it from a crockpot into short, clear plastic glasses and a small paper plate.