I dislike hearing a sales pitch. When sales people approach me, I head in the other direction or I smile politely and tell them that I am fine. Either way, I prefer to be left alone to judge the value of a potential purchase on my own.
Today at Trader Joes, the nerdy-looking guy behind the samples counter convinced me to try the featured dish. He told me the queso he was serving was from two Trader Joes' products: a can of Turkey Chili and one container of cream cheese. I tasted it with some tortilla chips and... it was pretty darn good. Begrudgingly, I admit that I was sold.
The canned chili was tasty with beans cooked just right, lots of diced peppers and onions, and a good kick from the spices. Heated up and mixed with the cream cheese with some chopped up green onions and cilantro thrown in (and jalapeños if you have them), it is competitive to some of the best queso dips I have ever eaten and definitely beats the yellow stuff they probably microwave-cook at Tortilla Coast.
The can of chili was $1.99, the cream cheese was $1.79, and the bag of tortilla chips cost $2.49. For an appetizer that costs less than $7, I will be making this my go-to contribution during football season. Just remember to garnish with some cilantro to make it look more expensive.
(the picture doesn't do this queso justice. )