I discovered on Reddit that food bloggers who tell long stories before getting to the actual recipe is basically a meme now, so I'll keep the story part of this short.
A friend gave me the QUESO! cookbook by Lisa Fain for Christmas and it's amazing. The author went on a queso-research-road trip through Texas to write this book. It has inspired-by recipes for all my favorite queso dishes from home, and lots of queso recipes that are new to me. I made this mushroom queso flameado for some friends and we licked the pan clean. Have fun!
Queso Flameado with Mushrooms & Chipotle Chiles
Adapted from QUESO! Regional Recipes for the World's Favorite Chile-Cheese Dip, Lisa Fain (of The Homesick Texan), 2017.
I added the sweet peppers the second time I made this. They made the dish more colorful and didn't seem to strongly affect the flavor. The recipe also recommends a Mexican lager, like Dos Equis, but I had a red ale on hand and that was fine. The full pound of cheese seems excessive to me, and 3/4 pound was perfect.
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1/4 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 4 small sweet onions (optional)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 10 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, finely diced
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
- 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
- Pinch cayenne
- 1/4 c. beer (Mexican lager if possible)
- 3/4 - 1 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 1 ounce crumbled cotija or feta cheese
- Warm flour or corn tortillas, for serving
In a large cast-iron skillet, melt the butter on medium heat.
Add the onions (and peppers, if using) and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, chipotle, cilantro, oregano, salt, cumin, and cayenne, and stir to combine. Cook 1-2 minutes, until mushrooms are coated in spices and butter. Add lager and cook until most of the liquid has cooked off. (Mushrooms will shrink quite a lot when cooked.)
Set the oven to broil. Cover the mushrooms in Monterey Jack cheese. Set under broiler for 3-4 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and brown in places. Remove from oven and top with cilantro and cotija. Serve with warmed tortillas. Use a fork to scoop the cheesy mushrooms onto the tortilla and go to town.
Leftovers make delightful quesadillas.