Día de la Independencia, Mexico’s Day of Independence, normally finds us in Mascota watching the parade of beautifully costumed señoritas, the dashing caballeros on horseback, and the cute children dressed as revolutionaries from the 19th century. But it was not to be this year, as the governor of Jalisco had called off all festivities and gatherings because of covid. It rained much of the day anyway, so it was a good day to stay home and celebrate with queso fundido, melted cheese similar to fondue, but better. Better because of the additions of chorizo, rajas of poblano chile, and salsa roja.
This dish is commonly served as an appetizer at restaurants, but we made lunch of it. It was close to our quota of cheese for the month, but what a way to have a month’s worth of cheese! Actually, it proved too much to polish off for lunch, so leftovers became the filling for the next morning’s omelet, which Russ enjoyed as much as the fundido.
Queso Fundido serves 4 as an appetizer
- 1 poblano chile
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 small onion, sliced
- large pinch of salt
- 3 oz (85 g) chorizo
- 8 oz. (227 g) cheese, grated
- 4-6 corn tortillas, warmed
- salsa roja
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Toast and peel poblano chile. Cut into strips (rajas). Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 450 °F (232 °C) with rack at top of oven.
- Sauté onion until just starting to brown. Add poblano strips, cook 2 minutes more. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- In same skillet crumble and cook chorizo.
- Place cheese in lightly oiled, oven-proof dish or skillet. Bake until cheese is completely melted, about 8 minutes.
- Remove from oven and spoon poblano/onion mixture and chorizo over top.
- Return to oven and bake about 8-10 minutes, until cheese is starting to brown at edges and has browned spots on surface.
- Serve bubbling hot with warm tortillas, avocado slices and salsa.
~ To make a vegetarian version, substitute sautéed mushrooms for the chorizo.
~ Use a cheese that melts easily. I used 4 ounces of sharp, white cheddar and 4 ounces of manchego. Other cheese suggestions are Monterey Jack, muenster, Oaxaca string cheese or mozzarella.
~ Queso fundido is common in northern Mexico, where it is served with flour tortillas.
~ In different regions of Mexico, chile guajillo and chile ancho are called chile teñir. I know. I’m confused, also.
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