From the menu of … Local Three Kitchen and Bar, 3290 Northside Parkway, Atlanta. 404-968-2700, www.localthree.com
Q: I recently had dinner at Local Three for the first time after being a longtime fan of Muss and Turner. The “redneck queso” was spectacular and I’d love to serve it at a baby shower I’m hosting. Ron Swanson might not approve, but the ladies surely would! I’d be eternally grateful if you could persuade Local Three to share the recipe. Thank you.
— Amy Davis, Atlanta
A: This is chef Ben Barth’s take on a recipe originally created by Ryan Hidinger when Hidinger was chef de cuisine at Muss & Turner’s. The queso is sometimes on the menu, sometimes off. According to Barth, “People love this because it’s just like queso fundido but with a ‘redneck’ twist. It’s spicy and cheesy and beefy, all in one.”
Local Three’s Redneck Queso
Barth uses ground beef that is 80 percent lean, 20 percent fat.
1 white onion, cut into matchsticks
3 medium jalapenos, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 pound ground beef
3/4 pound American cheese, cubed
Salt and pepper
Toast, for serving
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm enough vegetable oil to barely coat the bottom of the pan. Add onion, jalapeno and garlic and cook until onions become translucent. Increase heat to high and add ground beef. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is just cooked through. Do not allow meat to brown, and do not drain liquid from pan.
Remove mixture from heat and add cheese. Stir constantly until cheese is completely melted. Season to taste and serve immediately with toast. Makes: 4 cups
Per 1/4-cup serving: 167 calories (percent of calories from fat, 73), 10 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace fiber, 13 grams fat (7 grams saturated), 41 milligrams cholesterol, 333 milligrams sodium.