About This Blog

This is, as the title indicates, my kitchen notebook (the header is actually a scanned image of the cover of a notebook that I started using about 25 years ago and the background is a stained page from that book). I am not a professional recipe writer. If you try any recipe here, please keep that in mind, these recipes have not been tested by an independent tester. The "recipes" are often not even really recipes but rather a list of ingredients that I've noted after preparing a dish on the fly that I thought came out well. Perhaps I've also added some instructions, but I rarely keep accurate track of what I've done in terms of time or temperature, I've just noted to the best of my memory (feeble) what I did.

Please feel free to take some inspiration from here, but on the other hand, please give credit where it is due. I also welcome any constructive comments that you might have if you are inspired to try a recipe. Questions are welcome, but keep in mind that I may not remember specifics. The dishes do evolve over time...

Thank you and enjoy!

Queso Fundido

This is a hybrid of recipes that I culled from books and online that suited what I had on hand last night. Basically, it seems that you can just melt cheese in your favorite version of Tomatillo sauce. There were various recommendations for cheeses to use such as white cheddar, Manchego, mozzarella, goat, or more authentic Mexican cheeses such as Oaxaca or Chihuahua (don't know anything about those). Optional ingredients are sauteed chorizo sausage or fire roasted strips of poblano chiles. I decided to roast some of my glut of Pimento de Padron peppers and include those. Here's what I came up with and it was delicious, you take it from here....

1/4 cup raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1 thick slice of sweet onion such as Walla Walla
3 cloves garlic, not peeled
1/2 pound tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed to remove stickiness
olive oil, about a tablespoon
5 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
1 large ball of buffalo mozzarella (8 oz?), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
12 roasted Pimento de Padron peppers, stems and caps removed (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Toast the pepitas in a dry skillet until lightly browned and they stop popping. Remove from the skillet and let cool.

Brush the onion slice, garlic cloves, and tomatillos (I cut the giants in half) with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven 12 to 15 minutes until softened and the tomatillos are starting to release their juices. Peel the garlic cloves. Puree the vegetables along with the toasted pepitas in a blender until smooth. Add salt to taste.

Smear a shallow baking dish with a little bit of olive oil. I used a 10-inch terra cotta cazuela that I preheated over a low flame on the stove. Pour the warm sauce into the baking dish, scatter the cheeses evenly into the sauce, top with the peppers if using. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the cheeses are just runny.

Serve immediately with warm flour tortillas or tortilla chips, be prepared with plenty of napkins for a cheesey gooey mess.

My husband and I managed to devour most of this all by our porky selves... but it should be enough to serve 4 people as an appetizer.

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