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Bob Armstrong Dip aka Tex-Mex Queso Recipe

Bob Armstrong Dip aka Tex-Mex Queso Recipe

A few weeks ago, I arrived home to find one of the greatest things in life – a surprise package on my doorstep.  My sweet friend Pam sent me a box with a card, some bridal magazines, and The Austin Cookbook.  As much as I love California, I desperately miss food from Austin, which made this book one of the best gifts I received in a while.  Mark immediately flipped to the Bob Armstrong Dip aka Tex-Mex Queso Recipe and asked if we could please make it the first Sunday of football.  Um, duh, of course, we can!

Matt’s El Rancho

Matt’s El Rancho is one of the oldest restaurants in Austin and has been serving up Tex-Mex since 1952.  My dad had an office near there when I was in middle school. When my summers switched from lazing around with my friends to working for my dad’s company, we often went to a late lunch at Matt’s.  In my twenties, Mark and I lived near there and loved popping in for Mexican Martinis, fajitas and queso (Matt’s hands down has the best veggie fajitas in town).  Matt’s El Rancho is not necessarily my favorite Mexican food, but it is classic and consistent.  And their queso, affectionately known as “The Bob”, is awesome.

Three Basic Components

The Bob Armstrong Dip aka Tex-Mex Queso Recipe has three components that are made independently and put together to create the classic.  The first component is the ground meat, which should be beef.  I don’t eat beef, so I used ground turkey and didn’t really notice a difference.  The second is fresh guacamole (in my opinion an essential part of any good queso), and the third, of course, is the cheese.

Bob Armstrong Dip aka Tex-Mex Queso Recipe

First, saute your meat with tomatoes, onion, CELERY, and garlic.  I have to say I was shocked to read that celery appears not once but twice in this queso.  I would never add this on my own, but I wanted to keep this as close to the recipe as possible, and I had already subbed turkey for beef and fresh garlic for garlic powder, so in it went.  Funny how close this is to the Cajun holy trinity….

Once your meat is finished, set aside and keep warm and begin your guacamole.  I added some cilantro and jalapeno to my guac because I literally cannot live without it there.  Set the guacamole aside as well.  I thought that I was going to make a giant version of the Bob, pouring all of the queso over all of the meat and guacamole.  Apparently, Mark had different ideas and he immediately nixed this.  He wants it the original way with a bowl of queso and a scoop of each on top.

The last and most important part of The Bob is queso.  The recipe called for shredded American or processed cheese.  I know I should use the shredded American, but Velveeta is so much easier, and as a Texan, I have been making queso my whole life with Velveeta and Rotel.

Bring a cup of water to boil and add tomatoes, onions, poblanos, celery and bell pepper.  Boil for about a minute.  Turn the water down to a simmer and slowly add in your cheese, stirring constantly, until you end up with the right consistency.

Putting it Together

Find a shallow bowl and ladle in your piping hot queso.  Top with a scoop of ground meat and guacamole – careful not to mix!  Matt’s never mixes it all in – they leave that up to you.

Serve immediately!  The only bad part about any queso is it is only good while hot; when it cools it separates or forms a skin.

Mark had no trouble taste testing this.  We both agreed that this was very close to the original in the restaurant.

The Verdict

I am Really Into This Bob Armstrong Dip aka Tex-Mex Queso Recipe!  I am amazed at how close it tastes to the restaurant version.  Nobody has queso out here in California, so when I need a fix I will definitely go with this recipe again.  If you are craving a Tex-Mex original, look no further!

Bob Armstrong Dip aka Tex-Mex Queso

This copycat recipe comes from Matt's El Rancho in Austin, TX via The Austin Cookbook.  It is a Tex-Mex Queso Classic.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Jessica Patch

Ingredients

The Meat

  • 8 Ounces Ground Beef (I subbed turkey)
  • 1 Stalk Celery Finely Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Red Bell Pepper Finely Diced
  • 1/4 Cup Onion Finely Diced
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder (I subbed 1 clove fresh garlic)
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper

The Guacamole

  • 2 Ripe Avocados Peeled, Pits Removed
  • 1/2 Lemon Juiced
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder (I subbed 1 clove fresh garlic)
  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (I subbed Olive Oil)
  • 1 Small Roma Tomato Finely Diced
  • Salt

The Queso

  • 1 Stalk Celery Finely Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Red Bell Pepper Finely Diced
  • 1/4 Cup White Onion Finely Diced
  • 1/2 Cup Poblano Pepper Diced
  • 1/2 Cup Roma Tomato Diced
  • 2 Cups Shredded or Cubed American Cheese (processed cheese will work)

Instructions

The Meat

  1. Heat skillet over medium heat and add all ingredients.  Cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent and the meat is cooked, about five minutes.  Most of the liquid should evaporate, but the mixture shouldn't be dry.  Keep warm while you prepare the other components. 

The Guacamole

  1. Combine the avocados, lemon juice, garlic, and oil, mashing everything slightly.  The mixture should be chunky, not smooth.  Stir in the tomato and season with salt.

The Queso

  1. Bring 1 Cup of water to boil in a small saucepan.  Add the celery, bell pepper, onion, poblano, and tomato and boil briefly to cook everything, about one minute.  Turn the heat down to low and gradually whisk in the cheese.  Heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly.  The second all the cheese is melted and everything is heat through and smooth, remove from the heat so it doesn't overcook.  Do this step right before serving.  

To Serve

  1. Pour the hot queso into a wide, shallow serving bowl.  Add a scoop of meat and a scoop of guacamole, about 1/2 cup each.  Do not mix.  Guests should combine the queso, guacamole, and ground beef together with tortilla chips as they eat it.

I am a Texan living in California with my husband Mark, my best pup Ziggy, and our two cats Marilyn and Goldie. I love reading, cooking, binge-watching great tv shows and staying up too late talking to my friends.

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