Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Salsa Fuego Chile con Queso

OK, so since we are firmly entrenched into the fall season (one day, but, hey, I won't step back) and on our (or my) way to soup heaven, we must also think about that second beauty of autumn:  football and appetizers!  Now we're a pretty quiet household here, not much into entertaining.  I do miss the crowds, though, especially during football season (Go Sooners!!!)  But I can enjoy the pleasures of tailgating right here at home.

Gots to love them chicken wings and cheese dip!  I gotta say, I've tried the healthier versions of cheese dip but come on!  We're talking beer and football and let's face it: it's time to indulge after all of those frou-frou summer salads.  And when it comes to cheese dip, you must, absolutely must, use that American icon:  processed American cheese (aka Velveeta {although I do acquiesce and use the 2% version}).

This is the definitive Chile con Queso.  It comes from a Southern Living Cookbook "Off the Eaten Path: Second Helpings" which travels the dives of the South to find those glorious found-only-in-the-South culinary indulgences (it reads like a novel and adds sweet side trips like Route 66 for your driving enjoyment).  This recipe calls from the hometown of my sweetheart, Fort Worth, TX, from a restaurant called Salsa Fuego.  Seriously good queso here.  Get those blenders and margaritas going.  You're set.

SALSA FUEGO CHILE con QUESO (makes 3 cups)

1 large poblano pepper
1 (16 oz) pasteurized prepared cheese product, cubed
1/4 cup chopped ripe tomato
1 Tbso chopped onion
1/4 tsp cayenne, optional (I didn't used)
S&P to taste, optional (I omitted)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped roasted Hatch chiles or 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles, undrained
1/4 dry white wine
Tortilla chips

Broil poblano pepper on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet 5" from heat 10 minutes on each side or until pepper looks blistered.   Place pepper in a zip-top bag; seal and let let stand 10 minutes to loosen skin.  Peel pepper; remove and discard seeds.  Dice pepper to 1/4 cup measurement.

Combine cheese and 2/3 cup water (don't try substituting milk or it will come apart) in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, and cook, stirring constantly,  5 minutes or until cheese melts and mixture is smooth.

Saute tomato, onion, cayenne and S&P (if using) in hot oil in a large skillet over high heat, 1-2 minutes.  Stir in green chiles and diced poblano pepper; cook 2 minutes or just long enough to warm through.  Add wine, and cook 1 minute.  Stir tomato mixture into cheese mixture.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Recipe Source:  Southern Living's "Off the Beaten Path: Second Helpings,"  by Morgan Murphy p. 32

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