Chile con Queso

Margie Bruner - Glory Kitchenby: Margie Bruner, owner of Glory Kitchen
instagram: @glorykitchen

This Chile con Queso recipe has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember.  My boys ask for it often – especially when they’re all gathered ’round watching a big sports event on tv.  Next weekend the Carolina Panthers play in the Super Bowl and Charlotte is heated with football fever, so I felt this was the perfect time to share this favorite family recipe.

The basis for it is a version my mother often used when I was growing up, however, I tweaked it a bit using more veggies and real cheese.  I never use processed cheese in anything (just look at the ingredient list on that bright orange box and you’ll understand why!).  I like to use Monterey Jack cheese because I love the creamy, stretchy cheese when it melts into the caramelized vegetables.  Sometimes I add half jack cheese and half gouda or white cheddar.  Feel free to experiment and combine various cheeses for more depth of flavor.

When serving, it can be a bit messy, so I have found that placing it into individual sized ramekins makes it fun for each person to have their own little dish alongside a handful of crisp, firm tostada chips.  Right before serving, top it with a sprinkle of San Miguel nut & spice mix and fresh cilantro for a fresh and crunchy garnish.

Chile con Queso

about 4 servings

Ingredients

  • San Miguel nut & spice mix
  • olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • ½ jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400º. Prepare all the veggies by washing & chopping, then set each aside into small bowls. Shred the cheese & set aside.
  2. In a deep pot (I use a 3 ½ qt. pot), heat 2 teaspoons or so of olive oil and when hot, add the onion, bell pepper, poblano pepper and a good pinch of salt. Let these veggies sweat and soften, but don't overcook, you want them to keep some firmness.
  3. Add in the garlic, minced jalapeño, zucchini & 1 teaspoon San Miguel nut & spice mix. Let these sauté just a bit.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, another pinch of salt and let these wilt just a bit.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the milk/cream and shredded cheese, then spoon the mixture into individual ramekins, small cast iron pans, or a larger serving dish (make certain whatever you use is oven proof). Sprinkle with additional San Miguel nut & spice mix then place into the hot oven just to heat through and melt the cheese completely. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with fresh herbs (preferably cilantro) and serve with firm tostada chips or spoon onto warm tortillas to make cheesy burritos.

Notes

I have found it makes a tremendous difference to have all of the vegetables cut up before beginning to sauté them. The french call this "mise en place", which means, putting into place. Basically, it is having all of your ingredients prepped before you begin to cook. In this dish preparing first makes it easier and moves the process so much quicker - so chop away before you begin!

Chile con Queso - Glory Kitchen
Chile con Queso - Glory Kitchen
Chile con Queso - Glory Kitchen
Chile con Queso - Glory Kitchen
Chile con Queso - Glory Kitchen
Chile con Queso - Glory Kitchen
Chile con Queso - Glory Kitchen