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Chile con Queso

Makes: 20 servings
Prep 15 mins Cook 30 mins to 1 hr
Chile con Queso
  • 1 12  ounce block  Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 12  ounce block  mild (not sharp*) cheddar cheese
  • 2  large handfuls (2 cups) mesquite wood chips, soaked in water at least 30 minutes
  • Salsa
  • 1  tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1  medium  yellow onion, chopped
  • 1  medium jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped**
  • 1  large  clove garlic, minced
  • 3  plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2  teaspoons  dried Mexican oregano*** or dried oregano, crushed
  •  Kosher salt
  • 1  tablespoon  finely chipped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 12  ounce bag  tortilla chips

1. Prepare gas or charcoal grill for two-zone fire over low heat (200 degrees F).****

2. In 10-inch cast-iron skillet place blocks of cheese about 2 inches apart.

3. Drain then add wood chips to charcoal; cover grill. (For a gas grill, add wood chips according to manufacturer's directions). When smoke appears, place skillet on grate, opposite from coals. Cover and cook 30 to 45 minutes, until cheese is melted in two pools that run together. Do not overcook, which causes cheese to separate.

4. Meanwhile, for salsa, in large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, jalapeno, and garlic about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened. Add tomatoes and oregano; cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes release juices. Remove from heat. Season with salt.

5. Spoon salsa over melted cheese in skillet. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately with tortilla chips (cheese will firm as it cools).

From the Test Kitchen*
  • Sharp cheddar will not melt as nicely as the milder version- your Monterey Jack cheese will begin to separate before the sharp cheddar is melted.
  • Because hot chile peppers, such as jalapenos, contain volatile oils that can burn skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If bare hands touch chile peppers, wash well with soap and water.
  • **Mexican oregano is stronger and less sweet than regular or Mediterranean oregano. Find it in most supermarkets or at penzeys.com.
  • For a charcoal grill, light 12 charcoal briquettes. Mound coals fairly close together; sprinkle wood chips directly on coals. Add coals as heat diminishes.
Nutrition Facts (Chile con Queso)
  • Servings Per Recipe 20,
  • cal. (kcal) 226,
  • Fat, total (g) 15,
  • chol. (mg) 33,
  • sat. fat (g) 7,
  • carb. (g) 13,
  • Monosaturated fat (g) 5,
  • Polyunsaturated fat (g) 2,
  • fiber (g) 1,
  • sugar (g) 1,
  • pro. (g) 10,
  • vit. A (IU) 389,
  • vit. C (mg) 3,
  • Thiamin (mg) 0,
  • Riboflavin (mg) 0,
  • Niacin (mg) 0,
  • Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0,
  • Folate (g) 12,
  • Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (g) 0,
  • sodium (mg) 294,
  • Potassium (mg) 108,
  • calcium (mg) 283,
  • iron (mg) 1,
  • Mark as Free Exchange () 0,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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