Southwestern-Style Recipes: Chile Con Queso

From humble peasant origins, this spicy roasted chile and onion sauté is a far cry from the processed cheese dips served in most restaurants.

| September/October 2003

  • This chile con queso is heavy on the chile but light on the queso.
    Photo By Joe Coca

Chile Con Queso 
Serves 4 to 6 

From humble peasant origins, this spicy roasted chile and onion sauté is a far cry from the processed cheese dips served in most restaurants—more chile and less queso. Poblano chiles are traditional, but try Anaheims, Hungarians (also called sweet banana peppers), or whatever is fresh from your garden or market.

8 to 10 large poblano chiles
1 large yellow onion
8 to 12 cloves garlic
2 to 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 to 2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese
12 whole-wheat flour tortillas, warmed

1. Roast, peel, and seed chiles, then cut lengthwise into 1/2- to 3/4-inch strips. Top, tail, and peel the onion, halve it lengthwise, and slice 1/2-inch thick. Peel the garlic and cut into thin slivers.

2. Heat oil in large sauté pan. Add onions and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chiles and stir; cover and cook for 5 minutes more. Add garlic, stir, reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook another 5 minutes. Stir, season with salt and pepper.

3. Sprinkle cheese over contents of pan, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes until melted. Serve hot with whole-wheat tortillas cut into quarters, which you may use to scoop up the chile con queso.

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