Beyond Tex-Mex Chile Con Queso

Beyond Tex-Mex Chile Con Queso

Serves 6

1-2 jalapeno peppers
4 ounces Velveeta cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 ounces artisanal Cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup half-and-half, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons minced white onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Tortilla chips, for serving

  1. Over an open flame or in a hot, dry skillet, roast jalapenos until skins are
    nicely charred and peppers are cooked through. Allow to cool. Remove and
    discard the stems, skins and seeds. Finely mince or mash the peppers.

  2. Combine Velveeta, Cheddar and half-and-half in a heavy pot. Heat over
    low heat, stirring frequently, until the cheeses are fully melted and the
    sauce is creamy, being careful not to let it scorch. Add more half-and-half,
    if needed.

  3. Remove from heat. Add the jalapenos, onion and cilantro. Mix well and
    transfer to a heated serving bowl.

I love the thread title “Beyond Tex-Mex”. There is an ongoing ummmm…shall we say “disagreement” between most Texans and most New Mexicans as to the proper preparation and presentation of many foods. In truth, most of us here in New Mexico do understand why Texans seem to do things so much differently than do we, and we do our best to be tolerant.

New Mexico Chile con Queso:

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (lard is really good here, but…!)
1/2 medium yellow or white onion, diced
1 medium ripe tomato, diced
10 large New Mexico (“Big Jim” or #6) green chiles, roasted, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup shredded queso asadero (white Mexican cheese)
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup milk
salt to taste (depends on the saltiness of the cheeses)

In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Stir in the onion and tomato. Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the green chiles. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the cheeses and milk. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the cheese has melted.

Serve hot or at least warm with tortilla chips and/or crisp vegetables.

Once the cheeses and milk have been added, do not permit the pan to boil or the milk will separate. Also, this will tend to separate if refrigerated, so it is best prepared just before it is needed.

Remember, “Chile con queso” means simply “Chile with cheese”, so adding too many other flavors can easily move this into some other category of dish.

The title “Beyond Tex-Mex”, is the name of the recipe that I copied from an online California newspaper. Hey, I’m from northern California and we have a Cal-Mex cusine here. :stuck_out_tongue: