Sunday, February 12, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday: Queso: The Cheese of the Future!

Fear not faithful readers, I am indeed still alive and now suddenly have time to catch up on all the tasty posts that chronicle my inevitable yet delicious heart failure. Today's entry is the greatest thing to happen to chips since the invention of televised football: the gooey and delightful Tex-Mex staple known as queso. Queso is practically the reason I moved back to Texas. Everywhere I went in Los Angeles was sadly lacking in the melted cheese department, and my life felt ever so hollow.  Even my dog Gumbo loved queso (especially when it was on top of popcorn. Maybe there's a reason he only lived to the age of 10).

Nancy shows how it's done.
Adapted from The Homesick Texan
Servings: Enough for all your guests at the big game
Time: 20 minutes
A healthy dose of peppers

1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 serrano peppers, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, diced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk (plus extra for desired consistency)
6 cups shredded Monterrey Jack and cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt to taste
Chips, lots and lots of chips

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. 
  2. Sauté  the onions and peppers and cook until tender and translucent (about five minutes).
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
  4. Whisk the flour into the cooked vegetables and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Stir in the milk and cook while constantly whisking until thick (about five more minutes).
  6. Mix in the cilantro and tomato.
  7. Decrease the heat to low and gradually stir in the cheese about 1/2 a cup at a time until melted.
  8. Add the sour cream and salt to taste. If the consistency is off, add more milk.
  9. Leave over low heat to keep it from congealing. Make sure to stir it occasionally. 
  10. Attempt to eat your weight in chips and queso.
Queso: It's the stretchiest!
This queso managed to somehow surpass the Velvetta and Rotel concoction that reigned supreme at so many college parties. The peppers gave it a nice but not overpowering level of heat, while the melted goodness had the proper stretchiness to gooeyness ratio (especially after letting it sit over low heat for about 15 extra minutes). Overall, this was a fantastic and simple recipe to make sure any big event reaches the government mandated melted cheese quota.

And of course the Super Bowl wouldn't have been complete without guac.

Together with guac, Kevin's chili (a little dollop of queso goes a long way in the chili) and my specially decorated red velvet whoopie pies, the super bowl party was a smashing success that didn't even require such an exciting game (truth be told I missed half of the action since I was too preoccupied with stuffing my face).

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