Queso Fundido

Queso Fundido Collage

Queso Fundido is essentially a Mexican version of a cheese fondue, bringing together wonderfully oozy, gooey cheese with a fabulously spicy and very, very moreish cooked chorizo.

It’s a great dish to serve to a hungry family or perhaps when you have a few friends over for drinks. Serve it in the middle of the table with plenty of tortilla chips and hunks of crusty bread and people will come running, elbowing each other way to load up their next scoopful and laughing as everyone ends up with cheese all down their chins.

You could use a good shop bought chorizo meat for this dish but I made my own, using minced pork from my favourite butcher and the Cool Chile Co’s new Mexican Chorizo Seasoning, which I can highly recommend.

Mexican oaxaca or queso quesadilla would be the traditional cheeses to use in this dish but as I couldn’t get hold of these I experimented with Mozzarella and good old Cheddar, which I thought worked a treat.

queso fundido

Queso Fundido

Serves 4 to 6

200g uncooked Mexican chorizo meat (shop bought or make your own – see below for the Cool Chile Co recipe)
150g Mozzarella cheese, grated
200g Cheddar cheese, grated
2 large tomatoes, chopped
bag of tortilla chips
crusty bread – baguette is perfect

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 / 200° Celsius.

In a large frying pan, cook the chorizo over a medium heat for about five minutes. Drain off the excess oil and set aside.

Mix the two cheeses together in a cast iron skillet or ceramic ovenproof dish and place in the oven until just melted. This takes around five minutes but keep an eye on it as you don’t want the cheese to burn.

Give the cheese a good mix before topping with the chorizo and chopped tomatoes.

Serve at once with tortilla chips and bread. It will be gone in seconds.

queso fundido

It’s incredibly easy to prepare your own chorizo meat using the seasoning kit from Cool Chile Co.

The contents of the kit include traditional chorizo spices (achieote powder, Mexican oregano, thyme, cinnamon, bay and clove) along with dried ancho, guajillo and chipotle chillies, , and the resulting chorizo is full of rich and beautifully smoky flavours, which I was surprised to find aren’t completely overpowered by all that chilli. It’s actually quite mild in terms of chilli heat, and both my daughters enjoyed it lots and weren’t at all phased by the spiciness.

Mexican Chorizo

This recipe created double the amount of chorizo I needed for my queso fundido so I froze the rest and plan to use with tacos very soon.

1 Cool Chile Co Mexican chorizo seasoning kit
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
50ml cider vinegar
500g minced pork or beef (I used pork)
4 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil

Roast the chillies from the seasoning kit, and soak in hot water for 15 minutes. Blitz these in a food processor with the rest of the herbs and spices from the kit, as well as the garlic and cider vinegar, to create a dark red puree. Chill in the fridge.

Place the minced meat in a large bowl and add the chilled puree. Mix together thoroughly.

The chorizo meat is now ready to be used in your chosen dish, whether a queso fundido as here, or perhaps fry and crumble over fried or scrambled eggs, or mixed with diced onion and potato for a tortilla topping or taco filling.

queso fundido

I’m entering my queso fundido into this month’s Spice Trail challenge, where the theme for April is Destination Mexico.

spice trail badge square

Disclosure: The Cool Chile Co provided me with a complementary Mexican Chorizo Seasoning kit for review purposes. All views expressed are completely my own and are 100% honest.

Thumbs up for…

April Collage

With only a few days left until Easter, here’s a quick round-up of some of the top products my family have been taste-testing recently, in case you’re on the look out for a few last minute shopping ideas.

M&S Easter Cracking Dessert

MS egg dessertThis ‘Cracking Dessert’ from M&S received a very definite thumbs up from my two girls. It’s a crunchy crumb layered with milk chocolate cheesecake and vanilla mousse, topped with orange and lemon curd.

Usually I find these types of pudding too sickly sweet but this is just the right combination of fruity tang and creamy sweetness.

£1.30 for a 95g single pot.

Hotel Chocolat You Crack Me Up Extra Thick Egg

your-crack-me-up-extra-thick-easter-eggAnother sweet treat that really made my children smile was this luxurious extra thick chocolate egg with its assortment of humorous mini chocolate creations from that wonderful British chocolatier, Hotel Chocolat.

At £28 you might argue this is simply too good for little people but I’d definitely recommend buying them just this one egg and  it’ll keep them going for quite a while. My girls wrote their own review, which you can read here.

thorntons eggThornton’s Masterpiece Easter Egg

If you want good chocolate but Hotel Chocolat is a little out of your price range, then how about this 70% dark chocolate Masterpiece egg from Thornton’s?

The seductively rich and dark chocolate egg comes surrounded by pretty mini masterpieces – chocolate art creations in delicious flavours including toffee, fudge, orange and raspberry. £9.99 for 270g.

Waitrose Ginger Truffle Mini Eggs

ginger eggsGinger and dark chocolate is one of my all-time favourite combinations and when I saw these ginger truffle mini eggs on the shelves at my local Waitrose I couldn’t resist picking up a box. At £3.50 for a 100g they make for an affordable naughty treat.

The truffle centre is gorgeously soft and smooth with a warming hint of soft ginger spice, covered in deep dark chocolate. Perfect as an after dinner chocolate with a cup of strong espresso.

Heston from Waitrose Acacia Honey and Ginger Hot Cross Buns

heston hot cross bunsAnother recent impulse buy from a lunchtime jaunt to Waitrose were these acacia honey and ginger hot cross buns from their Heston Blumenthal range. Beautifully spiced and not too sweet, I think I might be copying this flavour combination the next time I bake my own.

At £1.69 for two, they are much more than I’d normally pay for hot cross buns but they are very good, although possibly more of cake than a tea cake and just fabulous served with thickly spread with butter and a strong cup of tea.

Unearthed Chorizo de Leon

chorizo de leonAuthentically produced in the mountains of northern Spain, with an earthy, spicy and smoky flavour, Chorizo de Leon from Unearthed is great served as part of a selection of Spanish meats and cheeses for cold tapas.

It is also equally good as a cooking ingredient, as in the fantastic chorizo stuffing my husband prepared recently to serve with roast chicken for my Mother’s Day feast.

Available from Waitrose and Ocado, £3.79 for 220g.

Cool Chile Co Mexican Chorizo Seasoning

cool chileThis seasoning pack from the Cool Chile Co is a simple way to create your own wonderfully spicy, tangy Mexican chorizo meat. The kit provides you with chile ancho, chile guajillo, chile chipotle as well as a Mexican chorizo spice mix containing achiote powder, Mexican oregano, thyme, cinnamon, bay leaf and clove. £2.60 for 46g.

I was sent a kit recently to review and was a little dubious as to why I’d bother making my own chorizo meat rather than just buying it ready-made. But I am now completely sold.

I used the seasoning to create a beautifully flavoursome spiced pork mince which I then served as part of a queso fundido – essentially a Mexican take on a cheese fondu – and it was one of the most moreishly delicious dishes I’ve tasted recently.

I’ll bring you the full recipe on the blog very soon, I promise.

Loyd Grossman Lasagne Sauces

grossmanI don’t use packed or jars of sauces very often but this offering from Loyd Grossman is one I think I’ll use again.

My family loves lasagne but while it’s particularly not difficult, it’s not the quickest dish in the world to make either, and so if you’re looking to cut corners but still achieve that proper homemade taste, these sauces are the way to go.

The tomato sauce is rich and full of herbs, while the white sauce is creamy, with a lovely hint of nutmeg, and it isn’t too sweet, which is so often the case with these ready-made sauces. £1.69 per pack.

Bart Mediterranean Mixed Herbs in Sunflower Oil

bart herbsI actually first bought these Bart herbs in oil by accident when I was doing an online supermarket shop. I thought I was buying dried mixed herbs but these arrived instead. And I’ve been a fan ever since.

It’s delicious spooned onto homemade pizzas, stirred into pasta sauces and roast vegetables, and I also rather like mixing it through boiled rice. £1.79 for 85g.

Disclosure: I was sent complimentary samples of Hotel Chocolat and Thornton’s Easter eggs, M&S Easter Cracking Dessert, Unearthed Chorizo de Leon, Cool Chile Co Mexican Chorizo Seasoning and Loyd Grossman’s lasagne sauces for review purposes. No money exchanged hands and all opinions expressed are my own.