I know we won't be gathering in big groups during Super bowl weekend but that doesn't meal we can't make something yummy all the same. Roughly the name Queso fundido translates from Spanish to 'melted cheese' and is one of those dishes that can be just that or so much more. The traditional variations is as diverse as the families that make. Using everything from just peppers, to a mix of chorizo & peppers, this is a dish that can be as simple or as ramped up as you'd like it to be.
In our Queso fundido I'm using a good melting cheese like Queso asadero or Quesadilla but Manchego or any of your favorite melting cheese will be good too. Also, a good measure of sour cream goes a long way for a nice, smooth and much-more-apt-for-scooping-kind of texture.
As you know I'm usually the LAST person on the planet to ever recommend the use of Velveeta cheese but it's highly recommended here.
Why? The quick answer is Sodium Citrate.
Sodium citrate is one of the ingredients in Velveeta cheese that makes it melt so well. Sodium citrate reduces the cheese's acidity, makes the proteins in the cheese more soluble, and prevents it from separating into an undesirable consistency; instead creating a smooth, creamy texture that stays together.
It allows the cheese sauces to be cooled and reheated, used in fondues and quesos, or added to macaroni and cheese (I don't EVER make mine without it!).
In short, because of the sodium citrate content, it will make sure your queso is not only creamy and melty but also not grainy.
Having the cheesy melty bit covered, this Queso only gets better with the delicious add-ins like delicious crumbled chorizo, shrimp, chopped poblanos, onions, chopped jalapenos for some heat, chopped tomatoes, cumin and chipotle, then heaped with crispy chorizo sausage and shrimp and finally our cheeses which brings it all together.
Now that's what I call one hell of a Queso; chunky, meaty, scoop-up kind of warm dip.
So I hope you fix this for your next family gathering or Super bowl party. You'll find that sports won't be the only thing the crowd will be howling about!
1 qty 4. oz. can roasted poblano peppers or diced green chiles
1 medium red Spanish onion
1 qty 15 oz. can diced tomatoes,
1-2 jalapeno peppers
1 lb. pre-cooked small shrimp, tails removed (pre-cooked, store-bought is fine)
1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese
10 oz. Queso Asadero or Quesadilla cheese or any cheese that's good for melting
1 tsp. ground roasted cumin
1 tsp. ground chipotle pepper
2 tbsp. canola oil
8 oz. sour cream
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro for garnish
stone ground corn tortilla chips for serving
Chorizo - Remove casings and pull with fingers to shred. Combine both types of chorizo together in a bowl.
Poblano peppers –Drain, chop if needed and set aside.
Red onion: Cut and discard the skins and the ends. finely chop and set side.
Jalapeno peppers: De-seed and chop and set aside.
Velveeta Cheese: Cut into 1/4" cubes. Mix together with the other shredded cheese and set aside.
Queso Asadero or Quesadilla cheese: Crumble and set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 400. deg. F.
Line a dish with kitchen paper towels. Heat a large cast iron pan for a few minutes on medium-high heat. Heat 1 tsp oil and add 1/2 the chorizo and sauté until crispy and cooked. Repeat with the remaining chorizo. Remove all the chorizo to the lined dish to remove all excess fat.
Cook's tip: Do not over-crowd the pan or the chorizo released it's juices and stew instead of brown and crisp.
In the same cast iron pan, heat the remaining oil and add the chopped red onions and jalapenos. Sauté for about 5 minutes on medium heat until the onions has softened. Add the can of diced tomatoes, poblano peppers and spices. Simmer for 5 minutes to meld the flavors.
Add the crispy chorizo, Velveeta and Queso Asadero and combine on low heat until the cheese has melted.
Remove the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the pre-cooked shrimp and the sour cream. With a rubber spatula, fold all the ingredients together to thoroughly combine.
Remove to a baking dish and bake for about 10 minutes to warm through. To finish, place under a broiler for 2-3 minutes until brown spots appear on the cheese. Watch carefully!
Allow to rest for about 10 minutes so the Queso isn't runny. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro leaves just before serving.
Serve with corn tortilla chips