Queso Flameado (Melted Cheese Flambéed In Tequila)

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Queso Flameado (Melted Cheese Flambéed In Tequila)

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Jalisco’s famed melted cheese dish, queso fundido, is better known as “queso flameado” in the northern state of Chihuahua. For a spectacular presentation, dim the lights and flambé it at the table. Serve with warm tortillas or crispy tostada chips or as an accompaniment to grilled meats for a heartier meal. Chile con queso in vintage painted clay cazuela. Recipe by Lucinda Hutson.


  • 1⁄2 large white onion, cut into thin slices
  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 4–6 New Mexico or Anaheim green chiles or poblanos, roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into rajas
  • 2 jalapeños or serranos, stemmed and seeded, chopped, optional
  • 2 tablespoons tequila reposado plus 2 more tablespoons to flambé
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces creamy white cheese, grated

  • chopped tomatoes
  • avocado wedges drizzled with fresh lime juice
  • chopped green onions
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • your favorite salsa

To Serve:
  • 12 warm flour or corn tortillas
  • tostada chips
  • red bell pepper wedges and other vegetable crudités

Recipe Info

  1. Briefly sauté onion and garlic in the oil and butter; add chile rajas and jalapeños or serranos, 2 tablespoons tequila, salt and pepper to taste, stirring until the tequila is absorbed. Do not overcook.

Place grated cheese in a shallow 9 × 9-inch earthen- ware dish or in 6 individual flameproof ramekins. Top with the pepper/onion mixture. Place 6 inches under a pre-heated broiler and heat until bubbly, melted, and lightly browned (about 4–5 minutes). Serves 6.

  3. To serve: Dim lights. Remove cheese from oven. Briefly heat remaining 2 tablespoons tequila in a small, heavy saucepan; do not boil! Bring to the table, care- fully igniting warmed tequila as you pour it from the saucepan over the sizzling cheese. Accompany with small bowls of condiments, a basket of hot tortillas, crispy tostadas, or crudités.

  4. Variation: Sauté a handful of sliced mushrooms or squash blossoms with the pepper/onion mixture. Or substitute about 1⁄2 pound of crumbled fried chorizo (spicy Mexican pork sausage) for the rajas.

  5. Excerpt from ¡Viva Tequila!: Cocktails, Cooking, and Other Agave Adventures by Lucinda Hutson (Copyright © 1995 and 2013 by Lucinda Hutson) used by permission of the University of Texas Press. For more information visit www.utexaspress.com.

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