Don’t you just love queso fundido? I know I do.
The Mexican version of fondue, the hot dip made with ooey gooey cheeses, is the perfect way to kick off a meal of tacos or enchiladas because it’s 1) easy to make and 2) immensely sharable. If you add enough chorizo to the mix, and add roasted peppers and chopped fresh tomatoes, it can even serve as a satisfying supper for those nights when you don’t feel like preparing a big meal.
There are many ways to make it, but it generally has a few core ingredients — melty cheese(s), onion, chili pepper and some kind of spicy sausage. My family likes it with chorizo, a highly seasoned ground pork sausage, but you also could use hot Italian sausage.
Some like to serve fundido with warm tortillas but I prefer tortilla chips, which can be easily made at home with corn tortillas.
Chihuahua or quesadilla cheese are usually found in the Mexican cheese section at larger grocery stores. But if you strike out, substitute another mild melting cheese like Monterey Jack or mild cheddar. I topped the dip with chopped cherry tomatoes because they were ripe in my garden.
Queso Fundido With Chorizo
1 package white or yellow corn tortillas
2 tablespoons avocado or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1 or 2 poblano chili peppers
1/2 cup crumbled Mexican chorizo
1/2 medium white onion, very thinly sliced
12 ounces shredded Chihuahua or other Mexican melting cheese, such as quesadilla, or a mixture
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut tortillas into 8 triangles by cutting them into quarters and then into eighths.
Place pieces in a large bowl. Drizzle oil and salt over triangles and, using your hands, mix well so everything is evenly coated.
Place tortillas in a large roasting pan or divide evenly between 2 baking sheets and spread into an even layer. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Remove from oven and set aside; chips will keep in air tight container for up to 4 days. Keep oven hot.
Make fundido: Place the peppers directly on the burner of a gas stove turned to high heat. When one side of the pepper is fully blistered (this should take about 5 minutes), turn it with tongs and start charring another side. Repeat until the entire pepper is blackened. Alternatively, rub peppers with a little vegetable oil, place on a cookie sheet and cook under broiler, turning frequently, until they are charred.
Place peppers in a plastic bag and seal, or place in a bowl and cover. Allow to steam for about 10 minutes to loosen the skin. When peppers are cool enough to touch, rub the skin off with your fingers or a paper towel. Chop into thin strips and set aside.
Add chorizo to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until sausage is crisp and brown. Remove to a paper towel-covered plate to allow to drain.
Add onions to pan and cook until they are starting to brown (you may have to add a little oil or butter), then add pepper strips and continue cooking another 3 to 4 minutes. Add half of the cooked chorizo back to pan and stir to combine.
Place half of the shredded cheese in a small cast-iron skillet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until it has melted completely. Remove from oven, and top with pepper-chorizo mixture. Cover with remaining cheese, then spoon remaining chorizo on top.
Place back in oven and bake for another 5 or so minutes, until cheese is oozing and browned along the edges. Top with chopped tomatoes, and serve immediately with chips.
Serves 4 to 6.