By Ann Vanderhoof
If you or friends arrive post-dinner and are feeling peckish, Mexican queso fundido — “melted cheese ”— is a great late-evening snack. Think of it as Latin American fondue; instead of dipping bread into a pot, you scoop bubbling, deliciously gooey cheese from a skillet with warm tortillas and corn chips. (Though it’s unconventional, we also like using raw vegetables.) It’s casual comfort food, made quickly on the spot and served immediately. —A.V.
1–1½ fresh chorizo sausages,
casing removed (approx. 170 g/6 oz)
(see Tip, below)
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped tomato
¼ cup chopped jalapeno pepper, to taste (optional)
2 oz beer
12 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Chopped cilantro (for garnish)
1. In an ovenproof skillet, cook the chorizo over medium-high heat, breaking it into small pieces. When it has released its fat and is brown and crispy-edged (about
5 minutes), reduce heat to medium, and add onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos
(if using). Cook another couple of minutes until vegetables soften and begin to brown, then spoon mixture into a bowl.
2. Immediately pour beer into pan. Boil until slightly reduced, stirring and scraping up brown bits from bottom. Reduce heat, and add cheese by the handful, stirring until melted before adding more.
3. Stir chorizo back into melted cheese. Place skillet under the broiler until cheese bubbles and top browns slightly (about
1 minute). Garnish with cilantro, and serve immediately. serves 4–6.
Tip If you can’t find fresh chorizo, the dried, semi-cured kind will do—just dice it before putting it in the pan.
A cast iron skillet holds the heat and keeps the cheese molten when serving. Wrap the handle with a tea towel, and remind guests that the pan is hot.