Sunday, April 24, 2016

Regional Specialties #SundaySupper...Featuring Loaded Tex-Mex Chile con Queso

The theme for this week's #SundaySupper is Regional Specialties. Our hostess Sue from A Palatable Pastime asked us to share foods that are specialties in our part of the country. There are many foods that are staples here in Texas, including: BBQ, chicken fried steak, and chili. Since I live in San Antonio, I decided to share my personal spin on a classic Tex-Mex appetizer: chile con queso. Queso is an addictive melted cheese dip that pairs perfectly with crispy tortilla chips. It's typically made with easy-to-melt processed cheese, green chiles, and diced tomatoes. My Loaded Tex-Mex Chile con Queso takes this local specialty to new culinary heights -- and there's not a speck of processed cheese in sight!

My hearty, chunky chile con queso is flavored with spicy Mexican chorizo sausage, aromatic veggies, diced tomatoes, and a shot of tequila for fun. It's super creamy thanks to the addition of two kinds of cheese. Then, just before serving, this moderately spicy queso is topped with a generous amount of chunky avocado-pico de gallo salsa. This hearty queso is best served with sturdy tortilla chips and warm flour tortillas for dipping. It basically combines the best flavors of chile con queso and guacamole into one delicious bite!
Loaded Tex-Mex Chile con Queso
a Weekend Gourmet Original
  • 1/2 cup total of chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery [NOTE: I used a pre-chopped veggie blend from the Produce department]
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1/3 lb. bulk Mexican chorizo sausage
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup diced tomatoes with green chiles, well drained
  • 1 tbs. tequila (optional)
  • 1 cup + 1/2 cup colby jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tbs. chopped cilantro
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup purchased pico de gallo (mixture of diced tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and jalapeno)
  • 1/2 large avocado, diced
  • Tortilla chips and warm flour tortillas for serving
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375. Add the olive oil to a small, deep oven-proof skillet. Heat the skillet over medium heat until hot, then add the onion/bell pepper/celery mixture. Cook until softened, then add the chorizo. Cook the chorizo unti combined with the veggies and browned, breaking it up well. I used very lean pork chorizo, but be sure to drain the fat at this point if your chorizo is fatty. Add the cream cheese and tomatoes and cover. Cook for 5 minutes, until the cream cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Step 2: While the sausage-cream cheese mixture is cooking, add the pico de gallo to a small bowl. Add the diced avocado and a bit of salt. Carefully stir with a fork just until combined, breaking up the avocado as little as possible. Set aside in fridge until ready to serve.
Step 3: Remove the lid and stir to combine the melted cream cheese and tomatoes with the chorizo mixture. Add 1 cup of the shredded cheese, the tequila, and milk. Stir with a whisk until the cheese is melted and completely incorporated into the queso mixture. Top the center of the queso with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and sprinkle with the cilantro. Bake until the queso is bubbly and the cheese on top is melted and starting to brown.
Step 4: Immediately before serving, carefully spoon the reserved chunky avocado salsa on top of the cheese in the center of the queso -- it acts like a platform to help keep it from sinking to the bottom of the skillet. Serve with the warm queso with tortilla chips and warmed flour tortillas.
OMG...this dip is chile con queso on steroids! Every bite is fully of chunky goodness: spicy and savory chorizo, veggies, gooey melted cheese, and that divine avocado-pico topping. This queso makes an excellent starter for Spring and Summer entertaining, but we've been known to make a meal out of a skillet by spreading it on warm flour tortillas and rolling it up into taquitos. Sangria or a margarita is a perfect is sweetly tart limeade. I hope you'll give my Loaded Tex-Mex Chile con Queso a try for your next fiesta! I also hope you'll check out all of the great regional specialties that the rest of this week's #SundaySuper participants are sharing. The recipes represent every region of the U.S. -- and beyond!

Side Dishes:
Main Dish:
Plus Rhubarb Steamed Pudding and Favorite Regional Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementBe sure to join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter all day today! We tweet throughout the day, and we share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET / 6:00 CST. Be sure to follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, simply visit our website or check out our Pinterest boardWould you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement?  It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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