Excellent Homemade Queso

Triple Crown party hors d’oeuvres, part 2! I am really picky about queso. At most Mexican restaurants, I really don’t like theirs for many reasons, including too chunky, too oily, too cold, too bland, etc. I have only found one restaurant in Denver with one that is good enough to eat the entire bowl, so when I was planning this party, I knew I had to make some from scratch and hopefully make it just as good. All the while, I had to make sure it was smooth and creamy and not gross and clotted, which can happen when you try to make queso with Mexican cheeses as they aren’t made for melting. And I think this turned out even better than any I’ve ever had before. It was smooth and creamy, with a lot of cheesy goodness flavor and just a bit of kick from spice. Of course if you like it really spicy, just up the amount of jalapenos. It was very easy to make ahead of time for the party and keep in a large fondue pot on a fairly low temperature throughout the duration of the day.

Ingredients: Serves about 20 people

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup white onion, diced

2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, diced

24 oz white American cheese, in block(s), freshly grated

8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, in block(s), freshly grated

4 oz sharp Cheddar cheese, in block(s), freshly grated

1 cup cream

1/3 cup 2% milk

2 vine tomatoes, diced

1 medium bunch cilantro, chopped

Heat the oil in a large saute pan or skillet. Saute the onion and peppers over medium-high heat for about four minutes until softened. Turn heat down to medium, add cheeses and 1/2 cup cream until almost fully melted. Add tomatoes and cilantro, additional cream and milk until you reach the perfect consistency for dipping. I prefer it to be pretty runny, but not so much that you can’t get a good amount onto your chips. Transfer to a fondue pot and keep on low or medium-low heat for several hours if serving for a party. Stir occasionally if a skin forms on the top.

Dip in warm tortilla or corn chips and enjoy!

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