Saturday, April 18, 2015

Chili Con Queso (an old recipe)

 The Blog Tech bought himself a jar of con queso recently.  I noticed that not much of it was eaten so I asked him why.  He said it was not very good at all.  This got me thinking about con queso and I remembered the first time I ever had it. It was 1971 and I was living in a small town in New York. I was invited to someone's house for a wine party.  These were the days when cocktails were tucked away and wine was the chic thing to drink.  I wasn't even legal age to drink back then but I was married so those rules went out the window!  The hostess served an exotic appetizer in a fondue pot...chili con queso.  Back in those days, I had never been to a Mexican restaurant.  It was before I had ever traveled to Mexico and there certainly were no Mexican restaurants in the Northeast.  I instantly fell in love with this dip and begged for the recipe.

 So here I was the other morning, reconstructing this recipe from almost a quarter of a decade ago amidst a flourish of memories.  I was even able to find the original recipe card in the long lost hostess's handwriting.  What a trip down memory lane! This is prepared in a double boiler.  Remember, microwaves were only a whisper at that time.  I think I bought one two years later.  Place a cubed block of Velvetta in the top of a double boiler over simmering water.  Add a block of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese.  Ok, I added the Monterrey Jack to the recipe.  It used to call for cheddar because I don't think MJ existed back then either.

 Add 1 diced onion.

Add 1 tablespoon of cumin powder.  Though I am sure this existed back then, it was not in my spice cabinet so this is a new addition too.  Add some diced jalapenos, as many as you like. I also add a couple tablespoons of granulated garlic.

 Add 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.

 Add 1 can of diced green chilis.  *A note here, this called for Old El Paso green chilies so I am guessing this recipe originally came from them.

 You could add a can of Rotel here but again, I did not know from Rotel back then so I just added a small can of tomatoes.

Keep the water at a simmer and give it a good stir once in a while.
 Another new addition, I added a bit of chili in adobo to kick it up a bit.  You can make this as mild or spicy as you want.  Mine, made this way, is quite mild.

Don't rush the melting, it should be done gradually.
 It should be smooth and creamy when it is ready.

 Serve with chips or vegetables.  This can be kept in the fridge and just scoop some out when you are ready to use it.  Warm it up in your fancy new microwave machine!