Queso is one of my very favorite foods. The one thing that I’ll almost definitely order at a restaurant if it’s on the menu. That being said, I’m kind of picky.
I have standards, you know?. I like it cheesy (but not processed), creamy, slightly spicy, and it has to have colored peppers.
This queso, is all of those things. It’s made with real Monterey Jack Pepper cheese from the refrigerated section (no less)! It’s creamy, cheesy, and it has chopped up fresh jalapenos and red bell peppers.
It’s like angels singing, well almost. ;-)
Just a note: Please be sure to pick up the block of cheese instead of any shredded cheese in a bag – I used Tillamook! The shredded cheese has a powder on it to prevent the cheese from caking in the bag, so the block cheese will melt much better.
Monterey Jack Queso Adapted from BHG Appetizers
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, more as needed to thin
2 heaping (lightly packed) cups of shredded Monterey Pepper Jack Cheese (I buy the block & shred myself)
1 Tablespoon cornstarch (or flour)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sugar
large pinch of coarse kosher salt
1 – 2 jalapenos (seeded and finely chopped)*
1/3 of a large red bell pepper (seeded and finely chopped)*
cilantro, chopped (optional)
In a medium bowl, toss the shredded cheese with cornstarch to coat. Set aside.
In a medium pot, sauté the onions in butter (on medium heat) until they are translucent. Add in the heavy cream, cumin, sugar and salt. Then stir in half of the cheese, stirring for a few minutes until melted.
Add in the remaining cheese, and stir in until melted. Add in the peppers. Stir until combined. Add more heavy cream if needed to thin sauce consistency, if you prefer.
Serve warm with a sprinkling of cilantro.
Enjoy with tortillas, tortilla chips, on top of enchiladas, or fresh veggies. Store any leftovers in a covered container, and use within 3 days.
*Feel free to add more peppers if you like it spicy! Just taste as you add.