It used to not be on the menu, it was just a very well known secret. My friend Sheryl introduced me to it. We started by dipping our chips in to it but eventually ended up dousing everything on our plates with it. It was a good secret to know. The ‘it’ is Chuy’s creamy jalapeno dip and if you’ve had it, you know exactly what I am talking about. The stuff is as legendary as Kraft macaroni and cheese or a good batch of Ronald’s fries.
I would describe Chuy’s as Tex-Mex Elvis-a-fied TGIFriday’s. It has lots of tacky junk tacked to the walls and you can dine in a Cadillac but unlike TGIFriday’s it’s actually cool to go to Chuy’s in spite of the cheese factor. It’s the kind of place where you can openly drink a frozen margarita and not feel like a dick because everyone else is happily having one too. Specifically the ridiculous ‘dot’ or ‘double dot’ which is a frozen margarita served in a bathtub of a glass with a dot or a double dot of strawberry margarita in the center. It’s Disneyland level dining for adults.
I don’t know what they put in that sauce to make it so awesome. I’ve been trying to replicate it for years. When I lived in Texas some of my friends speculated that the backbone of the sauce was ranch dressing. At home I mainly use the creamy jalapeno for fish tacos but I also use it as a crudite dip served with jicama and peppers. Apparently I now have the chance to compare mine to the real deal, Chuy’s just went national and opened an Atlanta location.
Creamy Jalapeno Dip - Makes about 1 cup
1 - 4.5 ounce can green chiles
4 ounces sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 bunch cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 of a jalapeno, minced or 5 pickled jalapeno slices
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno water from the jar
Place everything in a food processor and process until blended.