MAKE AHEAD MEAL: Creamy Queso
Queso is a recent discovery for me. I avoided it because it reminded me too much of Velveeta cheese from my youth; you know the stuff, the rubbery rendition of liquid cheese. Nonetheless, I painted Queso with the same brush. Boy, have times changed!
Bon Appetit is one of my favourite magazines, as it’s full of delicious food inspiration that just gets me going lol; with both recipes that take a full day in the kitchen, to the simple stuff that just gets you through the week (hello meal prep and planning!).
This Queso recipe is a share because I love it, but alas I didn’t create it; but what I wanted to share in this post is how you MAKE QUESO AHEAD and enjoy it with your friends and family.
QUESO MEAL PREP TIPS
MAKE AHEAD MEAL PREP TIP #1
The Picadillo is effectively the flavour bit in the Queso, kinda like salsa, but the chunky, “get-in-mexico” style salsa; and you can make it a few days ahead! Picadillo can also be consumed with chips (traditionalists rejoice), or as a garnish on salad or meat. Don’t sleep on all the other uses for Picadillo.
MAKE AHEAD MEAL PREP TIP #2
The full queso can be prepared ahead, and stored in the refrigerator for 1 day, BUT don’t assemble all the elements until you’ve reheated the queso and are prepared to serve.
KETO OR PALEO QUESO MEAL PREP TIP
Instead of using all purpose white flour, which is what is used to make the creamy, cheesy roux, use Cassava flour instead. This flour is 100% gluten and grain free AND falls within reasonable macros!
Make Ahead Queso Recipe
from bon appetit magazine
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef chuck (not lean)
½ medium onion, chopped
½ green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
QUESO + ASSEMBLY
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ medium onion, finely chopped
1 large poblano chile, chopped
3 jalapeños, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ cups (or more) milk
½ pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated
½ pound young medium or sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Sour cream, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, chopped Chives, chopped Cilantro, and corn chips (for serving)
For the Picadillo
Heat oil in a large skillet over high. Cook beef, breaking up with a spoon, until browned on all sides but not completely cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, leaving as much fat in pan as possible.
Reduce heat to medium and cook onion, bell pepper, and garlic, stirring, until tender but not browned, 6–8 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add cumin and chili powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken stock and reserved beef along with any accumulated juices to pan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from the skillet, until liquid is evaporated, 8–10 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover, let sit until ready to use.
Make the Queso and Assemble the Queso
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, chile, jalapeños, and garlic, stirring, until tender but not browned, 8–10 minutes. Add tomatoes, season with salt, and continue to cook until juices have evaporated, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until incorporated, about 1 minute. Whisk in milk and continue to cook until mixture comes to a boil and thickens, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low, gradually add both cheeses, and cook, stirring constantly, until cheese is completely melted and queso is smooth. If it seems too thick, stir in a little more milk.
Spread warm picadillo in a. baking dish. Pour hot queso over meat. Top with a generous scoop each of pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream. Sprinkle with chives and cilantro. Serve hot dip with chips.