Goat Cheese Queso Dip with Vegetable Chips
This warm, tangy twist on fundido is perfect with sparkling wine; the bubbles help cut through the richness. We pair with veggie chips, but you can also serve with crudités for a fresher take. The dip is very easy to put together. One note on mixing: Blend the beans until they are completely smooth and puréed for the silkiest, creamiest results. You can’t overblend it, but if you stop too soon, the dip might have a few lumps. The great thing about this dip is that it can be made ahead and rewarmed when you’re ready to serve it. To reheat, stir gently over low heat until hot. For an herby version, add a generous 1⁄4 cup of a mix of chopped herbs, such as parsley, chives, and a little basil.
These are not your abuela’s nachos. OK—it’s likely no nachos are from your Mexican grandmother because this popular dish has its roots in Tex-Mex cuisine. The first nachos were reportedly created by a maître d’ in Texas named Ignacio whose nickname was “Nacho.” But don’t focus on who lays claim to having invented them; instead revel in our iteration laden with lobster; avocado; a rich yet amazingly low-fat cheese sauce; and a heap of crunchy, piquant tomato-radish salad on top that takes this dish to a completely new level. You can substitute cooked crabmeat for the lobster, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly choice.
Buffalo-Brisket Sliders with Special Sauce
This is the burger everyone will be talking about and wanting the recipe for. It’s OK, you can demure and tell them it’s your secret recipe—we won’t tell. The mayo-based “special sauce” gets heat and sweetness from red pepper jelly; a briny edge from dill pickle relish; and a little lemon, onion, and garlic to balance it all out. Buffalo (also called bison) has a sweet and rich flavor and is a low-fat, nutrient-dense food. We mix in rich and flavorful brisket to maximize this burger’s taste and juiciness. Pressing each patty once it hits the hot pan helps develop a good sear that will lock in the burger juices.
Produced in Spain the same way Champagne is made, this is a versatile wine that's great with seafood and beef.
Our pick: Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut, $10
This delicate sparkler can go a little sweet, so try to taste before purchasing. It pairs well with veggies and cured meat.
Our pick: Carpenè Malvolti Extra Dry, $20
The range is huge, and quality varies greatly, so head off to a few wine shop tastings to find your favorites.
Our pick: Santa Margherita Brut Rosé, $26
Produced in one region of France, this bubbly takes years to create; the flavors are worth the wait (and the price).
Our pick: Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve, $38