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Queso Fundido with Walnut Chorizo

Serves4
IngredientsCheese
Menu PartAppetizer/Small Plate
Cuisine TypeLatin

Chef Daniel Yates
Seattle Marriott Redmond
Redmond, Wash.

The combination of fundido (Spanish for melted) with queso makes for a craveable melted cheese dip perfect for Super Bowl snacking. In many authentic versions of the recipe, meaty chorizo is added to bulk up the dish. As an alternative, chef Yates creates a plant-based chorizo with toasted walnuts and spices. Serve this gooey vegetarian queso fundido with plenty of tortilla chips.
 

Ingredients

Walnut chorizo
½ tbsp. cumin seed
½ tsp. coriander seed
1 whole clove
1 bay leaf
½ tbsp. granulated garlic
½ tbsp. ancho chili powder
½ tbsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1½ cups walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
1 tbsp. walnut oil

Queso fundido
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tomato, diced into ¼-in. pieces
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
½ onion, diced into ¼-in. pieces
¼ tsp. kosher salt
4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
4 oz. queso asadero, shredded
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Tortilla chips or soft corn tortillas
 

Steps

1. Prepare walnut chorizo: With mortar and pestle, grind cumin seed, coriander seed and cloves. Break up bay leaves with hands and add them to spices in mortar and pestle; grind to a fine powder.
2. Add remaining spices to mortar and pestle and grind until everything is well combined. In large bowl, toss spices and walnuts together; set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat walnut oil. Add spiced walnuts; cook about 2 minutes or until golden brown and evenly toasted, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Reserve warm until needed.
4. Prepare fundido: Preheat broiler to high. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add tomatoes, jalapenos, onion and a large pinch of salt. Cook 5 minutes or until softened, stirring often.
5. Reserve ¼ cup of walnut chorizo for garnish, then add the remaining walnut chorizo to the skillet and cook about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until skillet looks nearly dry. Reduce heat to low. Add cheeses and cook, stirring constantly, until fully melted, about 30 seconds.
6. Quickly transfer queso to an ovenproof serving bowl. Place under broiler until bubbly and lightly browned. Sprinkle with cilantro and remaining walnut chorizo; serve immediately with tortilla chips or soft corn tortillas.

Photo courtesy of California Walnuts

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