How to Make Queso Fundido - The Billionaire Mexican Cheese Dip by Cleo Coyle

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In Spanish, fundido means melted, consequently, queso fundido means melted cheese, and if you’ve sampled it, then you may agree it’s about the best cheese dip on the planet. Originally served in Northern Mexico and the Southwestern US, queso fundido has culinary roots that take it back to campfire eating, which is why it's traditionally served bubbling hot.  
Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime writing—her husband. 
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The recipe in this blog post is the version my husband and I enjoy. That's why we included a version of this recipe in one of our most popular Coffeehouse Mysteries Billionaire Blend.

May you eat with fundido joy! 

~ Cleo
To download this recipe 
as a free PDF, click here

To download our recipe now
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form, scroll down or click here

A Note from Cleo

Traditionally presented while still bubbling hot, queso fundido is sometimes served flambé in restaurants. They'll add a flammable alcohol and light 'er up. My husband and I prefer the broiler method of finishing this dish, which is much easier—and you don’t need to have a fire extinguisher on hand.

As for the ingredients, some cooks splash in tequila, but our Hispanic neighbors here in Queens, New York, believe cerveza is the way to go, and we do, too. That's why we’ve gone with beer in our recipe.


Finally, our recipe makes it optional to add chorizo (or your favorite sausage). We prefer this dish without meat. However, if you decide to add it, we have a warning. While some recipes direct you to cook the chorizo in the same pan in which you cook the veggies and melt the cheese, we find that creates a very greasy dip. We like our method...

Slice open the chorizo (or sausage) casing, cook the meat (mashing it with a fork while heating until it looks like ground meat), drain the fat, and sprinkle it over this dish before the final broil. This method will give you an ooey-gooey, cheesy pool of fundido flavor without the grease!


To download this recipe in a free PDF
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click here or on the image below...

Cleo Coyle's
Queso Fundido 


1 plum tomato, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped 
  (For more options on peppers, see the note at the end of this recipe.)

1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Dash of black pepper
1/2 cup Corona or another pale lager beer (Never measure the foamy,
      white head when using beer in a recipe; allow the beer to settle first.)     
2 teaspoons cornstarch (for better melting of your cheeses)
6 ounces Monterey Jack, roughly chunked

6 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, roughly chunked
Tortilla chips 
(optional topping) chorizo or your favorite sausage 
(optional addition) lime or lemon wedges

Variation: For white cheddar dip, replace the extra sharp cheddar with 6 ounces of Queso Blanco

Step 1 – Rough chop the cheeses: Break your block cheese into 1-inch pieces. (See my photo below.) Set the cheese aside.

Step 2 – Prep the veggies: Chop your tomato, onion, and jalapeno pepper. I recommend using only the green part of the jalapeno in this dip, discarding the seeds and the white membrane, which hold more heat than flavor. (For advice on working with jalapenos and suggestions on other peppers you might prefer to use in this dish, depending on your taste, see my notes at the end of the recipe.)

Step 3 – Cook the veggies: Toss the vegetables into a nonstick, oven-safe saucepan (with a splash of olive oil), or use a well-oiled cast iron saucepan (use the oil to prevent sticking). Cook over medium heat. Sauté all the veggies until the onions are soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. 

Step 4 – Simmer: When the veggies are soft, add the oregano, salt, and pepper to the saucepan. Then add the 1/2 cup of beer (do not measure the white head, wait until the beer settles before measuring) and heat the mixture to simmering, stirring occasionally and scraping browned bits that may stick to the pan. Let simmer about 3 minutes, letting some of the liquid evaporate.

Step 5 – Add cornstarch and cheeses: Stir in the cornstarch until dissolved (the starch promotes better melting of your cheeses). Add your cheese chunks, a handful at a time, while stirring gently. Allow each addition to melt down a bit before adding more. When all the cheese is added, melted, and blended, you're ready to finish. 

If you'd like to add chorizo, sausage or bacon bits, now is the time (for directions on how, see my note at the end).

Step 6 - Finish under broiler: With the cheese melted and blended, you can now finish the dipBroil just until the top begins to bubble and turn golden brown--about 1 to 3 minutes (see my photos below for appearance)--and serve immediately, bubbly and hot.

Serving tips and notes on chorizo: Use tortilla chips for dipping. You may also wish to garnish the finished fundido with cooked chorizo, sausage, or bacon bits. For the chorizo or sausage, slice open the casings, and cook the meat inside, mashing with a fork until it resembles ground meat. Drain and sprinkle it on top of the queso fundido before it goes under the broiler.

2 Final Tips

* Keep the cheese dip hot when serving, and... 

* If the cheese dip clumps, stir in a little fresh lemon or lime juice or try a splash of tequila. Adding an acidic liquid prevents the cheese from clumping. This is a great tip for reheating the dip, as well.

Pepper options: Jalapeno is our favorite pepper for this dip. If you’d like zero heat, go for a bell pepper. For milder heat than a jalapeno, use a banana, cherry, or poblano pepper. For more heat than a jalapeno, try a fresh Serrano, or sprinkle in some dried cayenne. Suicidal heat? Try a Thai chili, Scotch bonnet, or habanero. To see a visual guide to common chili peppers, click here, along with their heat rating on the Scoville scale. 

Pepper safety: As many of you know already, take care when cutting jalapenos or any hot pepper. The capsaicin in the peppers can burn skin. If you have a tiny scratch or chapped skin, the burn can be painful. Should you absently touch your nose, lips, or your eyes while cutting hot peppers, you will surely regret it (ask me how I know). If you have chapped skin, be sure to use latex gloves to protect them; otherwise, work with care. 

Where can I get those adorable baby skillets?

I'll tell you! These are Lodge brand (6-1/2 inch size) cast iron pans. I love these little skillets. For more info or to purchase for yourself, click here.

For the free PDF
of this recipe, 

click hereand...

Eat with fundido joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

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