Hot and spicy. Ooey, gooey, cheesy goodness. Give me more, give me more! That’s what your dinner and party guests will be saying when they get a taste of your homemade Spanish queso fundido.
If you’re new to this fondue-like dish, we guarantee you’ll want to become a seasoned pro once you get a taste. It’s an easy but mouthwateringly memorable recipe for festive occasions like holiday parties, or when your family simply needs a big dish of cheesy comfort food for a weekend meal.
Queso fundido, translated as “molten cheese,” is an amazing combination of hot, melted cheese, spicy chorizo, diced tomatoes, chilies, garlic, onions and warm spices, plus a generous splash of beer. It far surpasses the typical party-ready processed cheese dips served with chips.
What makes queso fundido so special? Unlike other party cheese dips — which are fully combined and melted before serving — queso fundido calls for making the chorizo mixture and melted cheese separately, then featuring the chorizo on top of the ooey, gooey cheese when you’re primed to put gastronomic awesomeness on the table. (All the better to get your guests’ attention.)
When you present this irresistible cheese dip along with a large assortment of chips, be prepared to sit back and hear your guests ooh and aah over every bite. Fortunately, you’ll have the recipe handy to share.
Cook’s note: Aleppo pepper is a crushed chili named after the Syrian town of Aleppo. Grown in Turkey and Syria, it’s popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. It exudes an addictively tart, fruity flavor and moderate heat that builds slowly and delightfully surprises you. If you can’t find crushed Aleppo pepper locally, you can substitute crushed ancho chili, which is the dried form of the poblano pepper.
Spanish queso fundido
Serves 6–8 servings
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1-1/2 tablespoons smoky paprika
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, crushed
- 1-1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 Roma tomato, diced
- 1 jalapeno chili, seeded and diced
- Sea salt
- 8-ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8-ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 5-ounces chorizo sausage, casing removed
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup Mexican beer
- Assorted tortilla chips (white, yellow and sweet potato)
- Place cumin powder, paprika and Aleppo pepper spice in dry skillet and toast for few minutes until fragrant.
- Add minced garlic and saute for 1 minute. Remove and set aside.
- In small bowl, mix tomato and jalapeno chili; set aside.
- In medium bowl, toss cheeses together with flour.
- In skillet, cook chorizo, breaking up pieces, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add onion and spice/garlic mixture, and continue cooking until both onion and chorizo are fully cooked, about 5 minutes.
- Place chorizo mixture in small bowl and set aside.
- Add beer to skillet and simmer, stirring occasionally and scraping up browned bits on bottom of skillet.
- Slowly add cheeses 1/4 cup at time, whisking constantly. Continue to cook until all cheese has blended and mixture is smooth.
- Stir in 3/4 of chorizo and onion mixture. Reserve remainder and set aside.
- Add salt to cheese mixture. Stir until well incorporated.
- Just before serving, add extra chorizo mixture in center of cheese dip. Garnish with tomato salsa mixture around sides of cheese dip.
- Serve with tortilla chips.
Serve in cast-iron skillet, casserole dish or fondue pot.
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