1. Pre shredded cheese contains additives to avoid clumping. As a result, sometimes they do not melt as well as you'd hope into liquid form, like this dip (melting on toast, on casseroles etc is ok). The end result can be a bit grainy which is not very nice. So it's safest to use freshly grated cheese.
I recommend using cheddar for this recipe. Ordinary, sharp, extra sharp are all fine. I've had some problems with slight "powderiness" with some brands of Tasty cheese (popular type of cheese in Australia) so I just stick with Cheddar now.
You can substitute half the cheese with Pepper jack for a slight kick.
2. You can also use diced canned tomato. Drain in a colander and measure about 3/4 cup. The dip comes out slightly pinker.
3. Canned green chile is not readily available in Australia (grr!!!). I bring back dozens of cans from the States every time I go! It is not spicy, it actually tastes like capsicum/bell peppers. The main thing is that they are fire roasted so they add a touch of smokiness to the dip. So the best sub for this recipe is to use roasted capsicum sold in jars (green or red), finely chop it and measure out 1/2 cup. Otherwise, just leave it out - the cheese dip is still super tasty.
Some readers have kindly provided links for places to source American products, including green chillies (WHOOT!) here in Australia. Here is an online store, USA Foods
, and here is a resource that lists places to get Mexican ingredients in Australia
4. Homemade Tortillas - I made my own using corn tortillas because I like white corn chips but they are no longer sold at supermarkets here in Australia and also I find store bought corn chips too salty. All I did was stack the tortillas then cut into 6 wedges. Fry in 1.5cm / 3/5" of oil in a large skillet heated over medium high heat until crispy (single layer). Drain on paper towels, sprinkle lightly with salt while hot.
5. Nutrition per serving, assuming 8 servings.