A Holiday Crowd-Pleaser!
1 block Velveeta cheese
16 ounces Pepper Jack cheese
16 ounces (2 blocks) Cream Cheese
20 ounces (2 cans) Original Rotel
32 ounces pork sausage (Recommended: Jimmy Dean Regular Pork Sausage)
24 ounces uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp, chopped
1 tablespoon Susie's Blackening-Cajun Seasoning (or 2 teaspoons commercial Cajun seasoning such as Zatarain's or Old Bay)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt (omit if using commercial Cajun seasoning)
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (optional)
2-4 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
tortilla chips and/or garlic bread/crostini (for dipping)
Set a large crock pot on high heat. Cut cheeses into medium-large cubes and add to pot, along with Rotel. Meanwhile, cook sausage in large skillet, breaking up into small pieces. Pour sausage into crock pot, reserving a little fat. Add chopped shrimp, Cajun seasoning and salt to skillet and cook most of the way. Add seasoned shrimp to crock pot. Once the cheeses begin to melt, turn the heat down and cover, stirring contents occasionally to blend. If using, stir in fresh cilantro right before serving, or have it on the side for people to add.
At the party, I kept the crock pot on low heat with the lid off, stirring it occasionally to keep a skin from developing on the top (this isn't a big deal, just not super attractive).
SEASONING NOTES: This queso dip will already be a little spicy. If you prefer more heat, add finely chopped jalapenos and/or more Cajun seasoning. Be careful using too much commercial Cajun seasoning, as you can make the dip too salty. In place of commercial Cajun seasoning, to get more heat, you could try adding a little Siracha. Adding traditional hot sauce would be my last option, as it will slightly change the flavors due to it's high vinegar content).
If you try this recipe, let me know what you think by leaving your comments below. Happy holidays!