How to Make Queso Fundido. An Appetizer of Mexican Melted Cheese - Easy to Make at Home!
You might feel a little self conscious serving table guests a straight-up plate of melted cheese as an appetizer (much as they might secretly enjoy that) but host a Mexican dinner party and call that melted cheese "Queso Fundido" and you can totally get away with it!!!
This dish is unapologetically rich and when eaten in moderate to small quantities is a great starter for any south of the border dinner.
Melted cheese goes pretty well with many things, but the best combinations are as strong tasting as the cheese is rich. You want something that stands up and gets noticed beside that stringy cheese – and that requires something with guts. Mexican chorizo sausage is a perfect example, as are sautéed wild mushrooms in chili sauce. If you add anything delicate, it just gets lost inside all that cheese and the dish becomes a bit overwhelming and a lot less interesting.
Secondly, you want to try to add about as much "other ingredients" to your cheese as you add grated cheese. Adding more than 50% cheese makes the dish overly rich.
Serve this dish lava-hot alongside fresh corn tortillas, homemade corn tortilla chips, or fresh flour tortillas. I like this with a bit of spicy salsa and some sort of Mexican pickle, to further cut the richness.
Here are some basic instructions for one variation, to be used as merely a guide for your own imagination and pantry.
Chorizo and Pepper Queso Fundido (serves 4 generously as a starter)
- ¼ pound fresh Mexican chorizo sausage, removed from the casing. You can get this at any Mexican grocery. Don’t confuse Mexican fresh sausage with the Spanish dried version.
- ¼ pound grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 white onion, chopped for sautéing
- 1 big green pepper (or even better, a poblano pepper)
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- A couple of big spoonfuls of your favorite hot sauce
- Add a spoonful of vegetable oil to a heavy frying pan and heat over medium. Sautee the onions and peppers for about 5 minutes or until starting to soften.
- Toss in the garlic and stir for 30 seconds or so, and then add in your sausage meat.
- Continue frying the mixture until the sausage is cooked and the vegetables are good and softened. If the pan is getting too dry you can add in your hot sauce at any point.
- Taste for salt – it should be full flavored.
- Grab a nice looking pie plate (or other oven safe but very shallow baking dish 6-8 inches in diameter) and spread out the chorizo mixture over the bottom. Top with the grated cheese and finish the dish under a hot broiler in the oven. The dish is ready when the cheese has melted and is starting to brown.
Serve alongside your favorite variation of tortillas and with typical Mexican tableside condiments.
A very nice once in a while treat!
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