Welcome to Psychedelicatessen, a weekly column exploring the world of cannabis cuisine, including recipes from the great chefs and ganjapreneurs who fuel our appetite for adventure.
Enjoy Cinco de Mayo with a cheesy, melty dip infused with a potent cannabis extract from Chef Nick Torres at Denver’s TC Labs / TC Treats. As more culinary professionals accept infused foods as a serious endeavor, the level of quality and complexity is increasing exponentially. Before joining TC Labs, Torres was Executive Chef for a full-service catering enterprise in New Orleans for almost 10 years, and boasts experience working with Chef Joel Robuchon in Paris and Andoni Aduriz of Restaurant Mugaritz in Errenteria, Spain.
Bringing a love for ganja along with technical expertise, Torres is currently working on launching TC Treats, the infused foods branch of TC Labs, and debuted several products at the recent US Cannabis Cup. A four-pack of truffles with stoner-friendly flavors including Raspberry Bacon, Fruity Pebbles, Strawberry Shortcake and S’Mores impressed judges, while their CBD Enriched Premium Protein Bar captured a second place award for CBD Edibles. “I had the concept for the protein bar in mind for a while,” Torres says. “It was something that I felt the world needed; healthy, not super sugary, with good, clean medication.”
TC Treats is currently building out a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen, and hopes to release an inventive product line very soon, including not only truffles and CBD-rich protein bars, but also hot cocoa mix, potato chips, and a Dippin’ Dots-style ice cream. Using the super pure extracts created by TC Labs, the edibles will be easy to dose and should contain a minimum of cannabis flavor.
Torres’ Kush Queso Blanco Dip is super simple to prepare, and adding just a little bit of cannabis extract will get your Cinco de Mayo party started! Chef advises that the dip is “best served smothered over a burrito, mixed with cooked meat or beans for queso fundido, or with the obvious chips, salsa, and guacamole.”
Kush Queso Blanco Recipe
Makes 15 4oz servings at 100mg THC each
Active Ingredient: 2 grams of decarboxylated BHO Lab Tested at 75% THC
1 32 oz. package white queso cheese (Velveeta, Land-o-Lakes EZ Melt, or any fine melty queso blanco or Havarti)
1 10 oz. can Rotel Tomatoes with green chile, drained*
1 16 oz. pint milk or half & half
10 slices pickled jalapeño pepper, chopped
2 oz. jalapeño pickling liquid from the jar (Chef’s Secret)
2 tablespoons salt (to taste)
2 teaspoons white pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
Optional garnish: green onion, Sriracha, chipotle adobo sauce
*This ingredient can be substituted for fresh roasted green chile when in season, but Rotel is definitely the standard where I come from down South.
Chef’s Notes: This dish can be made over a double boiler, but zapping it in a microwavable dish is way easier when you’re stoned… am I right? I love the versatility of a Pyrex bowl, which allows you to go either way depending on your skill level. I use purified BHO in my edibles, but this can obviously be made with solvent-less hash or cannabutter.
You can use any nice melting cheese depending on your preference, but in all my years working in the foodservice industry I’ve always noticed that every standard Mexican restaurant uses the generic processed cheese.
Everyone likes their queso dip at a different viscosity, so you can always add more or less milk to get to the level you want. It all depends on your preference.
Cut cheese into cubes (1 inch X 1 inch) and place into microwave safe dish.
Add drained Rotel or preferred green chile blend and all remaining ingredients, except for the activated hash oil. Stir and microwave for three minutes, stir, and microwave for another two minutes.
At this point, the mixture should just be hot and melted, but not steaming hot. It usually shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes total to get to this point, but microwave wattages vary. Once the product is close to fully melted, add the activated hash oil and stir. Microwave one more minute and stir until hot (155°F) and fully blended. Taste for salt and seasoning. Serve immediately.
Set up double boiler. Google “double boiler method” if you’re getting adventurous in the kitchen and are in need of some guidance. BE CAREFUL! HOT STEAM WILL BURN YOU!
You can speed up the process if you heat the milk slowly over low heat in a separate saucepan while you cut the cheese into cubes (1 inch X 1 inch) and place into oven-safe bowl (steel or Pyrex).
Place the bowl on top of your pot of now simmering water. Allow the cheese to melt, add drained Rotel or preferred green chile blend, and then add the warm milk slowly until it is fully incorporated.
Add all of the remaining ingredients and add the activated hash oil once the mixture starts to get hot. Cook until hot (155°F), taste for salt and seasoning. Serve immediately.