I have no idea of the origin of chili con queso, but then again, I really don’t care. I suspect its roots could be in queso fundido (my recipe is here), which is melted cheese laced with mushrooms or chorizo, but chili con queso is more than that.
In a world that is full of bland “nacho cheese sauce,” I’m really going for something with more flavor and tangy, cheesy goodness. I’ve got nothing against bland cheese in some instances, but this is not one of them. And while I’m at it, I am not going to mess around with a small batch. We need a lot of this queso. I know a lot of people who are suckers for molten cheese, and I am one of them.
I start with a pound of Mexican-style pork chorizo. I made my own, so it has a lot less fat than the commercial stuff that comes in plastic tubes. If you use commercial chorizo, you may need to drain the fat from this.
Brown the chorizo in a large Dutch oven.
Once the chorizo is cooked through, add in one chopped onion. Cook until it is getting tender. Then add 3T minced fresh garlic and one cup chopped fresh chilies. You may use any mix of chilies you like. I used half Anaheim type and half Serrano. I want heat! When the chilies are soft, then add ½ cup chopped tomatoes. At this point, taste to see if it needs any seasonings. I wanted my chorizo to come through, so I did not add any, but Mexican oregano, cumin, or chile powder are all very good additions if the pot needs more punch.
Now add one quart of soft cheese. I used my homemade Lactic cheese (recipe here
). You can make your own or use cream cheese. Homemade is sharper. Then when the mixture comes together, start adding shredded Mexican blended cheese a cup at a time. Add more until the chili con queso gets to the consistency you want. I add about six cups.
Taste and add minced hot chilies or hot sauce if you need more heat. Serve with fresh tortillas or chips.