This is a warm, melty, spicy cheese dip for scooping up with nacho chips or soft tacos. That’s a ten inch cast iron griddle pan above with enough for two people. The silver foil is because I hate washing up and spoiling the non-stick layer on my favourite old pans. The champion of several hundred steaks, that pan deserves better than soaking overnight in cold water…………
I’ve used Ree Drummond’s recipe here, The Pioneer Woman…straight from her blog:
Basically you need to make some loose sausage meat called Mexican Chorizo, you need some grated cheese that will melt without splitting and you need some diced peppers and onions and then soft tacos or nacho chips.
Fry the following together and freeze for another day
500 gms Minced pork ( low fat is fine….just add olive oil, but higher fat is OK too …it carries those flavours)
1/4 teaspoon of Ground Cloves ( grind them yourself or buy ready made in which case use double!)
1/4 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
1 and a 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Granules
3 heaped teaspoons Ancho Chilli Powder ( or use mild chilli powder and sweet paprika in equal portions)
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander ( seeds)
1/2 teaspoon of ground Black Pepper
When the above are all combined and the meat is cooked ….( a huge spoon is best for crushing and separating the meat)…add the last ingredient…it’s weird but it works!
1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar ( or any vinegar if you have none)
Save this in a freezer-proof plastic bag and break off and thaw to use as needed.
Don’t clean the pan! …use the flavoured oil there to cook your peppers and onions
This is a tricky one…the cheeses American cooks use aren’t available to us in the UK generally so we need to choose our cheese to grate carefully. ‘Processed Cheese’ grates well and it has a long shelf life ( that’s why the ‘processing’ was invented) but you can only buy it in the UK in sliced form for burgers nowadays, though there are other forms…but they are expensive:
Processed cheese in tins from Jamaica, tubs from Scotland and burger cheese…all melt perfectly without ‘splitting’ and giving off fat.
Other cheese that don’t split are the ‘soapy’ ones…..Alpine cheeses like Emmental or Gruyere and Dutch cheeses like Edam and Gouda. I believe Havarti and Leerdammer will work too.
If you want to keep it economical you can buy ‘economy grade’ mild cheddar and Red Leicester to grate but you must warm them slowly. Ree gives an oven temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit, equivalent to 200 Degrees Centigrade or Gas Mark 6…that is FAR too hot…use 160 deg.C or Gas Mark 3 and keep a close eye on it…it doesn’t want to bubble, just slowly tremble. Ree gets away with her high temperature because the cheeses she has melt easily.
Peppers and onions:
Dice and fry gently in this order, green pepper, onions and red pepper. When they have taken on a few brown edges and are softening crank up the heat and add a big splash of boiling water from the kettle to de-glaze the pan. Continue cooking until the water had almost gone and remove from the heat to cool.
The dressing for after cooking ( pure Ree this one):
Tomatoes with the seeds and water removed then diced.
Chopped Coriander Leaf ( Nothing wrong with frozen for this)
Assembling and cooking:
Layer the grated cheese into a griddle pan, layer on some Chorizo, more cheese, Diced Peppers and Onion, more cheese, dusted with Hot Chilli powder and Ground Cumin.
If using soft tacos, brush a hot pan with melted butter, flop in a tortilla, brush the top and flip to cook the other side…repeat. If using Nacho Chips get them in a bowl ready.
There’s also some left-over cut up Tortilla leaves brushed with butter and cooked in the oven there….
Ready to rock!
Cook the Queso Fundito in the oven gently at 160 Deg. C Gas mark 3, for about 8 minutes, turning the pan around at least once to cook evenly. It might take a bit longer…ovens vary, but be patient and don’t turn up the heat if using cheaper cheeses.
Note the little fork to load those soft tacos!
A little music to dine by: