Dagmar Marshall swears by Velveeta, the old processed-cheese standby, for this delicious dip, and we soon figured out why: when we substituted cheddar for Velveeta, the results were grainy, not smooth.
1 10-oz. can diced tomatoes and green chiles (preferably Ro*Tel brand) 2 tbsp. lager-style beer (such as Corona) 2 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. chili powder 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt 1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1 lb. Velveeta cheese, diced 1⁄4 cup grated aged monterey jack cheese 1⁄4 cup sliced scallions 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro 1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped 1⁄2 lime Tortilla chips
1. In a 2-qt. saucepan, stir together diced tomatoes and green chiles, beer, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
2. Add Velveeta and whisk until melted. Transfer dip to a serving bowl and top with monterey jack cheese, scallions, cilantro, tomatoes, and jalapeños. Squeeze the juice of lime over the top. Serve with tortilla chips.