Queso Fundido with Chorizo and Roasted Poblanos is the perfect big game dip for anyone who loves Mexican or Southwestern flavors. Cheesy, spicy but not hot, and indulgent in the tradition of the best party food, it is sure to be a big hit.
This is another one of those “no brainer” sponsored posts. I adore Mexican chorizo, and will always take the opportunity to get paid to create a recipe with it.
I had not previously had the opportunity to try Hatfield Quality Meats Recipe Essentials Chorizo, but I am excited to say it is delicious and spot on (I used to make my own chorizo). I tasted the dish before the cheese was added, and guys I could have happily added any number of finishing ingredients at this point because it was awesome. Looking for a great breakfast? Try scrambling eggs into it:
But it is the week leading up to The Big Game, so dips were on my mind, not breakfast dishes. Queso Fundido is a dish I have loved for a long time. The first time I ever made it at home, around fifteen years ago (!!), John and I both instantly fell in love. And Loki and Finnegan had the only fight of their entire lives when we gave them each a bite. For a long time Queso Fundido was a big story in our family, the dip that was so amazing the dogs tried to kill each other over it.
Since then I have ordered Queso Fundido at Mexican restaurants every chance I get, but it had been a while since I made it–and definitely needed to share the recipe with you! So this was a great opportunity. Queso Fundido is a little bit different from what most people expect. In Spanish, Queso Fundido means, simply, “melted cheese,” and indeed, a true Queso Fundido is pretty much just seasoned melted cheese. In other words, it does not have a white sauce base or any of the fake cheese substitutions used to achieve a more saucy quality (think nacho cheese at a ball game). It is often made with chorizo, and Rick Bayless makes his with roasted poblanos, which I love, so I always have too. In Mexico, Queso Fundido would be served with warm corn tortillas–but I have always preferred tortilla chips both for the texture and for the stand around and munch factor. In order to help with that I have added a little cream to thin the cheese out a bit so the dip does not break your chips.
Many Queso Fundido recipes are made completely on the stovetop, and mine is made almost completely on the stovetop. I do finish it with a very quick broil–not too long, as you do not want the oil to separate and cause the dip to get rubbery, but the mildly charred spots on the top of the dip really up the visual tastiness in my opinion. If you can serve the dip over a tea light or some other gentle warming system, great, but honestly this dip is so delicious it will not last long and people will love it even as it cools as bit. Which brings me to another issue–how much to make. The recipe, as I wrote it below, is to feed a crowd–and likewise that is why I used my gorgeous enameled 12 inch skillet. But if I were making it for just my family, I would cut the recipe by a third, and either make it in a much smaller pan (my first choice, if you have a good heavy one) or transfer it to a serving dish. Unfortunately I do not recommend making Queso Fundido ahead. You can gently reheat and enjoy the leftovers, but be aware the oil will likely separate and it will not be the prettiest stuff ever–although John and I would both argue it is still hard to stay out of! Just not pretty enough for a party.
Adapted from Rick Bayless. This is written to serve a crowd, for something like a Super Bowl watching party. It can easily be divided to serve less people, in which case use a smaller pan or baking dish.
- 4 poblano peppers (I used 3 as it was all I could find)
- 1 lb Mexican style fresh chorizo, such as Hatfield Recipe Essentials Chorizo Ground Sausage
- salt to taste
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 30 oz shredded cheese (see recipe notes, ideally a combination of Chihuahua cheese and Oaxacan string cheese)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 T Mexican style hot sauce, optional (we love Tapatio) (see notes)
- 1/2 t Mexican oregano
Roast the poblano peppers on all sides. I prefer the broiler, but you can also hold them above a gas flame if you have a gas stove. When they are blackened on all sides, remove to a bowl and cover it with a towel.
Let the peppers rest for 5 minutes. Then peel the blackened skin off, remove the inner core with the seeds, and quickly rinse the remaining seeds out.
Chop the peppers and set aside.
Brown the chorizo over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pan. I prefer enameled cast iron if you have the right size, because it is gorgeous for then serving the dip as well. But stainless steel works too. Break it up and let it cook for 5 minutes.
Keep breaking and stirring the chorizo. Add the onions with a tiny pinch of salt.
Cook until completely browned and the onions have become translucent, about 10 minutes. If you are using an attractive enameled cast iron pan, turn the broiler onto high. If you are using a stainless steel pan, you should skip the browning of the top.
Add the chopped roasted poblanos. Stir and let everything heat up, about 1-2 minutes.
Add the cheese in 4 batches, slowly stirring it in and letting it melt. In between batches, add the cream in 3 batches. Add the hot sauce with the cream if using. Keep stirring the entire time.
When the cheese is completely melted and the dip has been stirred smooth, it is time for the broiler. If you are using an attractive enameled cast iron pan, place the pan under the broiler for a just a few minutes, just until the dip starts to brown in spots. If you are using a stainless steel pan, transfer the dip to a serving dish and proceed with serving directions below.
Sprinkle crumbled dried Mexican oregano over the bubbly queso fundido and serve immediately. If you can place the dish over a warmer, all the better--but this stuff is so delicious people will probably keep eating it cool!
When I first learned to make this, I used exclusively Oaxacan string cheese (similar to Mozzarella)--which necessitated a trip to the Mexican market. At my local grocery store here, however, they have Chihuahua cheese pre-shredded, as well as a mix of Chihuahua, Oaxacan string cheese and Cotija pre shredded. So I bought bags of each and used a mix. If you cannot find that, I recommend looking for Oaxacan string cheese, Chihuahua cheese and then a mix of Mozzarella and Monterey Jack--in that order!
The heavy cream is not traditional; I add it because traditionally queso fundido is eaten with warmed corn tortillas. The cream helps to loose the dip, so that it can be scooped by the more fragile tortilla chips. Because of this cream, you might prefer to add a little hot sauce. My kids loved it without the hot sauce, my husband practically required the hot sauce, and I was happy either way.
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