What you’re reading is indeed a Mexican-inspired recipe by No Eggs or Ham. We don’t know how it happened either… actually, that’s a lie. It started with a visit to a local vegan pop-up by the name of Vegatinos who serves up large, flavorful, and indulgent Mexican street fare. After once again experiencing the joy of authentic Mexican food, memories of gooey, salty, and stretchy queso started rushing back to mind and we couldn’t rest easy until we had it again.
While’s there’s a plethora of savory and creamy vegan dips out there that claim to be queso, they’re simply something else entirely. Not bad, just different. The dilemma is that queso dip is nothing more than melted cheese, along with a touch of milk and chilis (but mostly just cheese). Meaning, without good vegan cheese, you can’t make good vegan queso, because queso is literally cheese. Do you get where we’re going, or are we just rambling on? Bottom line, sweet potatoes, cashews, nutritional yeast, and other whole foods can make an incredible dip, but it ain’t queso.
Luckily for us, we live in an age of meaty Impossible Burgers, stretchy cheese made from coconut and starch, and flaky fish made from soy. We used to plead resistance, but now we’re all for it. Like any real queso, a quality cheese is to be at the heart of it all, which is why we grabbed a bag of VioLife’s Just Like Mozzarella Shreds. We know this sounds like product placement, but VioLife truly has some of the best flavor, texture, and melting abilities out of all the vegan cheeses we’ve tried. We’re not even sponsored by them! (Yet)
The broccoli is simply here to add crunch, heartiness, and serve as a dipping device for the queso. If you don’t feel like bothering, you could use tortilla chips, but where’s the fun in that? This beer batter is golden, crispy, and maintains its crunch for up to an hour after being fried! Miracles do happen.
All in all, this dish is:
- Thicc, gooey, stretchy, and stringy
- Crisp, tender, and hearty
- Salty, tangy, cheesy, and spicy
- Earthy, fresh, and deep
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Queso in Point
Beer Battered Broccoli Florets with 3-Ingredient White Cayenne Queso (vegan)
Crispy and tender broccoli florets are served with gooey, salty, and mildly spiced vegan queso blanco dip.
- 5 oz unsweetened soy milk
- 1 tbsp loosely packed VeganEgg powder by Follow Your Heart
- 1/2 c all-purpose flour (60 g)
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- heavy pinch of salt
- 1 medium broccoli head, cut into large bite-sized pieces
- 6 oz light beer (Modelo, Asahi, & Miller High Life are good examples)
- 1/2 c + 2 tbsps (75 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- few grinds of black pepper
- 1/2 gal refined oil, for frying
- 8 oz vegan mozzarella (VioLife Mozzarella Shreds is our fave)*
- 1/3 c unsweetened soy milk
- 2 roasted red chilis, peeled, deseeded, and finely diced (we used cayenne)*
- Queso: Combine mozzarella and soy milk in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Place on a lid to circulate heat and stir every couple of minutes.
- Once cheese begins to melt, keep the lid off and stir frequently. Once completely melted, mix in the chilis.
- Keep over low heat, stirring occasionally, until ready to serve. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week. Reheat in microwave until loose; about a minute.
- Broccoli: Add refined oil to an electric deep fryer or large dutch oven equipped with a candy thermometer and bring temperature to 375° F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together VeganEgg with soy milk until smooth. In a cake pan, whisk together 1/2 cup of flour, paprika, and salt. Set both aside for now.
- For the beer batter, whisk together flour – black pepper, then pour in beer and whisk until it just comes together; a few remaining lumps is okay.
- Once oil’s ready, dip a handful of broccoli florets into VeganEgg mixture, wipe off the excess, drop into the spiced flour, rub off excess, then dip into the beer batter.
- Transfer to oil and cook, stirring/flipping occasionally, until they’re golden brown; about 2 minutes. Transfer to a draining rig and repeat for remaining broccoli.
- Enjoy alongside queso while fresh!
*Queso Blanco or Monterey Jack are often used in traditional Mexican dips, however, we don’t know of any readily available vegan cheeses of that variety, so we’re sticking with mozzarella!
*To roast chilis, simply place your fresh peppers in the broiler or over a direct gas flame until the skin’s blackened on all sides. Then place the peppers in an airtight container for 10 minutes so they can steam themselves. After that, cut off the stem, peel off the skin, discard the seeds, and dice ’em up!