Am I the only one already thinking of Cinco de Mayo? ??
Or everybody else’s main concern right now is also what are you going to serve with your Margaritas? ?
I just love that there is a holiday dedicated to Mexican food, which I simply adore. True, it is a holiday that is mostly celebrated in the US, but who cares? You have the excuse to stuff your pants with delicious food and drink all the Margaritas in the world, so I guarantee that the last thought in your mind will be “This holiday should be celebrated on September 16 (which is Mexican independence day)!”
So, go ahead. Send out those party invitations because I’m going to help you throw the most amazing Cinco de Mayo fiesta.
We already established that the Margaritas are a given. Now, we need something ridiculously delicious to kick off this fiesta. And what could be better than Mexican Queso Fundido with Chorizo?
I’ll answer that for you: absolutely nothing! At least not in my cheese-maniac world.
And now that I think of it, I can trace this melted cheese obsession back to my early teenage years, when I would pop a few slices of cheese in the microwave for it to melt, and then eat it with French rolls. Or, more often than I’d like to admit, just devour the whole thing with a fork!
The habit didn’t die down, on the contrary. I became this adult (Adult? I just wanna burst out laughing right now!) who prides herself on home cooked, gourmet dishes. So now, instead of melting cheese in the microwave, I do it on the stove. With beer. And then I top it with spicy chorizo and pico de gallo salsa.
That, right there, is proof of human evolution, my friends! ???
Now, authentic Mexican Queso Fundido (which means molten cheese) is usually made with Chihuahua, Asadero, Menonite or Manchego cheeses, but they are not so easy to find here in the US. I used a combination of cheddar cheese, Monteray Jack and Oaxaca. If you can’t find Oaxaca, just substitute it for some good old Mozzarella.
I also realize that some purists might think my queso is too yellow, since Mexican Queso Fundido is traditionally made with white cheese. But I simply couldn’t resist adding some sharp cheddar in there! If authenticity is a concern, just use all Oaxaca, but know that you will be missing out on some amazing flavor!
Finally, I recommend you serve your queso immediately for the best stringy/melty consistency. If you want to prep ahead, go for it. Prep and cook your onions and chorizo, make the salsa and shred the cheese. But leave the stove (and broil) magic for show time!
Lots of recipes say that you can make the queso ahead and reheat it when ready to serve, but I find that although the flavor is the same, the texture is not.
I always serve my Mexican Queso Fundido as a dip, with tortilla chips. In Mexico, they spoon their queso into soft tortillas. Either way, it will taste delicious and I’m sure it will be the star of your fiesta!
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 serrano chile, seeds and membranes removed, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Salt to taste
- 8 ounces Oaxaca cheese, grated
- 4 ounces Sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 5 ounces fresh chorizo, casings removed
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup lager beer, plus more if necessary
- Tortilla chips
- In a small bowl, mix the tomato, serrano chile and cilantro. Season with salt and let it stand for at least 30 minutes, while you prepare the queso.
- In a medium bowl, toss the grated cheeses with the flour. Reserve.
- Add the olive oil to a medium-sized skillet and bring it to the stove over medium heat. Cook the chorizo, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until it starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Then, add the onions and continue cooklng until the chorizo is fully cooked and the onions are soft and translucent. Remove (with a slotted spoon) from the skillet into a separate bowl.
- In a medium cast iron pan, over medium heat, add the beer and let it simmer. When simmering, start to add the cheese, slowly. Whisk constantly and only add the next handful of cheese once the previous one has melted.
- Once all the cheese has melted and is smooth, stir back in the chorizo/onion mixture.
- Optional: For a bubblier version with some delicious browned spots, simply pop the queso into the (preheated) broil for about 5 minutes. Check often to prevent the cheese from overcooking.
- Using a slotted spoon, spoon the salsa over the queso.
- Serve as a dip with tortilla chips or with soft tortillas.
If making ahead, prep and cook your onions and chorizo, make the salsa and shred the cheese. But leave the stove magic for show time. Reheating the queso will alter its consistency.