Before seeing queso fundido posted here and there around the interwebs in the past few months, I don’t ever remember previously coming across it. Not on a restaurant menu or in a cookbook, in magazines, or on blogs. And even though the recipe was completely new to me, I knew I’d love it. I mean…it starts with queso and damn, I know that means cheese. I have no idea what fundido means but doesn’t it sound like a happy word?? (Actually, according to my Google search – go figure – it means molten or melted.)
And omgosh, this is a happy cheese dip. Smoky chorizo (thanks for the suggestion, Annie!) is mixed in with handfuls of cheese and more of the usual Tex-Mex suspects: onion, tomato, jalapeño, and cilantro. The chorizo actually cuts through all the cheese and adds a bit of needed “heft” to the dip. It’s a glorious combination of ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes to pull together. And it was gone almost as quickly. Along with nearly an entire bag of chips. Salads really do pay off when dinner looks like this one. Our dip did turn out just a little runny and I’m pretty sure it’s because of the excess liquid from chorizo so make sure you drain it off before adding the tomatoes, onion, and jalapeño. But honestly, this didn’t detract from the cheesy goodness at all. The recipe calls for “Mexican melting cheese” (see the recipe below) of which I could not find during my change-of-dinner-plans-on-whim grocery store trip, though I’m sure stores like Whole Foods or ethnic food marts definitely carry one of them. If you’re still planning out a menu for Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, add this one to it…otherwise, this queso fundido with chorizo works just as perfectly with a beer for dinner in front of the baseball game on a random weeknight.
- 1 tbsp olive or canola oil
- 2 chorizo links (about 6 oz total), ½-inch diced
- 1 tomato, seeded and diced
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 large jalapeño or 2 large serranos, seeded and diced
- 3 tbsp tequila (optional – we forgot to add it)
- 8 oz Mexican melting cheese like Chihuahua, quesadilla or asadero (or a combination of Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar)
- ½ cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
- Heat the oil in an 8- or 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes; drain off most of the liquid. Add the tomato, onion, and jalapeño and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion begins to soften and brown, about 7 minutes. Add the tequila (if using) and cook, stirring, until reduced to a glaze.
- Sprinkle in the cheese. Stir slowly and constantly until just melted then stir in the cilantro. Serve immediately in a warm dish with chips for dipping.