Chile con Queso

¿Qué pasa?

A delicious appetizer dip, as its name implies, is this one made with chiles and cheese. There are many who say this dip hails from Texas, and I’m not quarrelling with a Texan. My brother-in-law happens to be from Texas and he is always right.

In Mexico, a white cheese is used, usually Asadero, Oaxaca or Chihuahua. For the chiles, they like to use roasted and peeled poblano or Anaheim chiles. In Tex-Mex cooking, Chile con Queso is made with mild cheddar cheese and canned jalapeño chiles. Some folks add a little smoked provolone giving it a nice flavorful facet. To spice up canned chiles, adding a little minced jalapeño or Serrano chile with the onions will help hide the canned taste. Then there are the ones who use the canned tomatoes, onions and chiles all-in-one. Now, do real Texans use Rotel?

Fellow amigos in Mexico eat this dish by scooping the cheese onto either a hot corn or flour tortilla and rolling it up, but folks in Texas and the rest of the states (and in tourist areas in Mexico) know it makes an excellent party dish with tortilla chips. This is the Tex-Mex version, simple, using canned goods with the little tricks in making it taste great. Enjoy!

Chile con Queso

1 ounce butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small serrano chile, seeded & finely chopped
1 -8 ounce can tomatoes, chopped with juice
1 -4 ounce can jalapeño peppers, drained, seeded & chopped
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, optional
12 ounce cheddar cheese, grated
4 fl oz sour cream
3 or 4 green onions, chopped for garnish

    Melt butter in a skillet and add onion and serrano pepper. Sauté until softened. Stir in the tomatoes with the juice, the jalapeños, chile powder and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened.

    At this point, I like to remove mixture to the top of a double boiler over gently boiling water. Add the cheese and cook very slowly until it has melted and the mixture is smooth. Heating cheese too rapidly can cause it to become stringy, or at least it has happened to me. Stir in the sour cream. If the dip becomes too thick, dilute it with a little milk. By using the double boiler, you can keep the dip warm.

    Spoon the dip into a serving bowl, sprinkle with the green onions and serve with hot corn tortillas or chips.

    10 thoughts on “Chile con Queso

    1. Kristen

      My brother has adopted Texas as his home and swears that you can't go into a restaurant without being asked if "ya'll want some queso with that." It's usually a velveeta/rotel combination. I like the looks of your version much better!

    2. Trix

      You are right not to mess with a Texan, ha! I love this kind of thing – and I'd really like to try it rolled up in a fresh tortilla, that would rule.


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