Chile con Queso

>> Monday, May 9, 2011

Living in Austin, we have A LOT of Mexican restaurants to choose from, but without a doubt, hands down, Matt's El Rancho has the best queso around. And I take queso very seriously as it is probably one of my most favorite foods. It is dee-lish! While I'm talking about El Rancho, I must share that my favorite form of their queso is called the Bob Armstrong Dip. It's basically a bowl with a generous scoop of their guacamole, another scoop but this time of taco meat and then filled with queso. In each bite you get a little avocado, a little meat and a lot of melted, glorious cheese. Heaven! Just wanted to throw that out there in case anyone wanted to amp up their queso.

Andrew and I had his parents over for dinner Saturday night and in honor of Cinco de Mayo, I served a Mexican feast. While I was putting the finishing touches on our main course, everyone munched on queso and tortilla chips. There wasn't much talking so that must have meant that the queso was pretty good. Sweet little Finley kept asking for more "dip chip" - precious! She's definitely my daughter since she already loves her some queso!

Matt's El Rancho's Chile con Queso
adapted only slightly from Matt Martinez's Mex Tex cookbook

2 (7-oz) cans diced green chiles
1 roma tomato, diced
1/2 c diced white onion
1/2 c diced celery
2 t Tex-Mex spice*
1 c chicken broth
1 1/2 - 2 lbs Velveeta cheese, cubed (use more or less depending on thick you like your queso)

In a sauce pan, combine all ingredients except cheese. Bring to a light simmer and gently cook for about 15 minutes. Turn heat down and add the cheese. Simmer until cheese is melted, stirring often to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan.

For extra spicy queso, add chopped jalapenos.

* Tex-Mex spice is made by Sendero Seasonings. If it isn't available in your supermarket, here is the recipe for it:

Tex-Mex Spice
3 T plus 2 t ground cumin
3 T granulated garlic
2 T salt
1 T coarsely ground black pepper

Mix together. Store in airtight container.


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