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The chef at Miami's Alter—and a member of our 2016 BNC class—isn't afraid to tap into his Kansas roots to make some really excellent party food.
Chef Brad Kilgore won our attention thanks to the spectacular meals he’s serving at Miami’s Alter, where he creates brilliant and inventive dishes with incredible, fresh ingredients. But that doesn’t mean that the Kansas-born chef is above a healthy affection for some of America's more humble food staples—such as, for instance, Velveeta cheese.
“I love Velveeta," he says. "It’s so creamy, you know? And it melts so perfectly."
As a kid, Kilgore's mom was famous among his friends for her Velveeta-centric Super Bowl party dip (also featured in the dip: Rotelle and ground beef). These days, Kilgore puts his own spin on the classic party food by turning it into deviled eggs. “I do my own version of her recipe using chorizo and Velveeta," he said. "Then I take that to the next step by folding it into a mixture for deviled eggs. So it’s that creamy filling of a deviled egg, which is nice and moussey, with the spicy garlickiness of the chorizo. You whip it all together and put it back into the egg.”
Another of Kilgore's Velveeta pro-tips? Using white rather than yellow Velveeta in your mac & cheese will give it a superior texture. "The white Velveeta queso gives the dish that perfect creaminess," he says. "I use gruyere and sharp white cheddar cheese, too," he added. "This is what you get when you take someone from Kansas and make him a chef at starred restaurants."
Brag Kilgore’s Chorizo-Velveeta Deviled Eggs
Active time: 30 min; Total time: 1 hr
Makes 24 deviled eggs
12 large eggs
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 oz. dry Spanish chorizo, finely chopped (1/3 cup)
1/4 tsp. pimentón de la Vera
1/2 cup whole milk
4 oz. Velveeta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise, preferably Kewpie (see Note)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Whole cilantro leaves and sliced scallions, for serving
1. In a large saucepan, cover the eggs with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer the eggs to an ice water bath and chill for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the canola oil. Add the shallot, garlic and a pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the chorizo and pimentón and cook until the chorizo begins to crisp, about 2 minutes. Add the milk and cubed Velveeta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes. Season the cheese sauce with salt and pepper. Transfer to a medium bowl and cool completely.
3. Peel the hard-boiled eggs and halve lengthwise. Scoop out the yolks and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix at low speed until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add the cooled cheese sauce along with the mayonnaise and mustard. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the filling is well-combined and fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed, about 3 minutes.
4. Set the egg whites on a serving platter. Scrape the deviled filling into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe the filling into the whites; alternatively, spoon the filling into the whites. Garnish the eggs with cilantro and scallions and serve.
Note: Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise is made with rice vinegar. It’s available at Asian markets.