Football season has officially kicked off and you know what that means – tailgates and watch parties. What better recipe to bring than a classic fan favorite, Chile Con Queso? I have provided two versions of the queso recipe. The first being an old-fashioned version that was very popular for after-school parties in the 1950s. The Velveeta makes it creamy and smooth, while the fire comes from the Rotel, a trademarked combination of canned chiles and tomatoes. The second is an updated gourmet version that I have created with high-end ingredients.

Fritos corn chips are my favorite accompaniment to this dip. Baked or fried tortilla chips are also good. Either way, Chile con Queso must be served warm, otherwise it solidifies.

Old-fashioned Texas Chile Con Queso Recipe

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 small onion, minced (1/2 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 fresh jalapeño chiles, seeds and stems removed, minced

1 (10 ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles

1 pound Velveeta or processed American cheese, cut into cubes

Fritos corn chips, tortilla chips or vegetables for serving

Preparation:

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the onion, garlic and jalapeños until soft. Add the can of tomatoes with its liquid and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes to reduce the liquid. When tomatoes begin to look dry, start adding the cheese, one handful at a time. Stir over medium low heat until the cheese melts. Add more cheese and continue stirring to melt it.

Serve in a chafing dish or fondue pot to keep the queso warm. Pair with Fritos corn chips, tortilla chips or vegetables.

Makes 2-1/2 cups

Gourmet Chile Con Queso Recipe

Ingredients:

1 small onion, unpeeled and quartered

3 cloves garlic, unpeeled

3 fresh Anaheim chiles

3 fresh jalapeño chiles

3 plum or Roma tomatoes

8 ounces Caciotta or Monterey Jack, shredded (2 cups)

8 ounces Cheddar or Longhorn, shredded (2 cups)

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon pure ground chile powder

1 dried Arbol chile

Fritos corn chips, tortilla chips or vegetables for serving

Preparation:

Preheat the broiler. Place the onion, garlic, Anaheim chiles, jalapeños and tomatoes on a flat broiler pan. Broil them three inches under the broiler, turning with tongs as necessary, until their skins are blackened on all sides. Remove from the broiler, place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to steam until cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove the blackened skins and seeds and discard. Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds and juice and discard. Place the onions, garlic, Anaheim chiles, jalapeños and tomatoes in the workbowl of a food processor and pulse to chop. There will be about 1-1/2 cups of chopped vegetables. Set aside.

Mix the shredded cheeses with the cornstarch, then sprinkle the salt over the cheese. Heat the cream in a two-quart saucepan over low heat. Add the cumin and chile powder and stir to blend. When warm, gradually stir in the shredded cheese, handful by handful. Wait for each handful of cheese to melt before adding the next. When all of the cheese is melted, gradually stir in the chopped vegetables.

Serve the queso in a chafing dish or fondue pot to keep it warm and liquid. Float the chile arbol whole on top, as a garnish. Serve with Frito corn chips, tortilla chips or vegetables.

Makes 4 cups

Looking for a delicious dessert? Try this refreshing Angel Food Mascarpone Berry Trifle.

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About The Author

Paula Lambert

From her love of Italy, Paula Lambert built a business that has flourished for 34 years. Lambert founded Mozzarella Company in 1982 and began producing Fresh Mozzarella in Dallas. This led to travels and other cheeses and eventually to two cookbooks, as well as many awards, honors and accolades. Paula’s newest endeavor is Viaggi Deliziosi…through which she takes small groups to explore the Italian food and culture and wines she loves so dearly. Check out her website and LinkedIn.