Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes with Queso Blanco Dip

From bacon jam to chocolate-covered bacon strips, the addition of bacon typically makes for a popular recipe. I love finding ways to incorporate bacon into my dinner and snack recipes and because potatoes can be bland on their own, these Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes with Queso Blanco Dip give plain potatoes a whole lot of ‘pizazz.' While the bacon-wrapped potatoes are delicious, the Queso Blanco dip recipe is the real ‘star’ of this dish. This potato and bacon recipe is a great side, a great snack and would be a winner for any party or get-together as well. If you love bacon, and you love cheese, then this is the perfect potato recipe for you!

Bacon is a type of meat product prepared from a pig. It is usually cured, using large amounts of salt, either in a brine or dry packing which results in ‘fresh bacon’. Fresh bacon is further dried, boiled or smoked and then cooked before eating. Although prepared from several different cuts of meat, bacon is usually made from side and back cuts of pork (except in the U.S. and Canada where it is commonly prepared from pork belly, which is a streaky/fatty bacon). It is interesting to note that the food industry often adds flavorings to bacon (for example, McDonald’s uses six umami additives) which are meant to elicit an addictive neurochemical response. There is a standard joke within the restaurant industry that goes “When in doubt, throw cheese and bacon on it.” That is exactly what we are doing with these bacon-wrapped potatoes with Queso Blanco dip, and the result is rather addictive!

The first step for this bacon-wrapped potato recipe is to prepare the potatoes. For a smaller portion, cut two medium-sized red potatoes into eight wedges each, then sprinkle with salt and wrap each with one slice of bacon. Spread in a single layer in a pan, sprinkle with pepper and bake for about 40-45 minutes until the bacon looks crisp and browned. Your potatoes should be soft, having ‘steamed’ inside the bacon wrap. While your bacon-wrapped potatoes are cooking, your next step is to prepare the Queso Blanco dip recipe.

Queso Blanco is a creamy, soft and mild unaged white cheese, most commonly used in several Latin American countries (especially Mexico), as well as many parts of the United States. The name is Spanish for ‘white cheese’. Queso Blanco is similar to pot cheese and farmer cheese and has also been compared to quark, a Central and Eastern European cheese. One of the easier cheeses to make, Queso Blanco is made from cow’s milk and requires no careful handling. Queso Blanco melts well when heated and makes a creamy addition to any cheese dip recipe.

Along with Queso Blanco, you will also want a block of pepper jack cheese, half-and-half (heavy cream), red onion, garlic, green chilies, a plum tomato and fresh cilantro. The onion and garlic are first sautéed to tenderize. The cheeses, as well as the cream, chilies and sautéed onion mixture are then mixed and melted (this can be done in the microwave) and the tomato and cilantro are added to the dip recipe fresh. Please Note: if you cannot find fresh Queso Blanco in your local supermarket, an acceptable substitution is Velveeta Queso Blanco prepared cheese product, which will melt into a very creamy consistency, perfect for dipping bacon-wrapped potatoes! This bacon-wrapped potato recipe, with the addition of the Queso Blanco dip recipe, is delicious and maybe even a little addictive. It is one of the best potato recipe’s I’ve ever tried. But don’t take my word for it. Go ahead and try it for yourself!

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