Okay, so I am pretty much a self-proclaimed foodie. So is Sarah! I simply love good food, and I am very picky about what I will and won’t eat. For example, I don’t do fast food. Pretty much ever. When we go on a road trip and stop for a quick meal along the way, I am known to do one of two things: a) pack my own food in a cooler or b) run into a local grocery store for gourmet cheeses, fruit and bread. Life is too short to eat bad food! There are a million new tastes to try…Moroccan spices, Indian curries, Spanish chorizo, Peruvian ceviche…and I don’t want to miss any of them. Andrew Zimmern, bring it on!
However….I’m about to reveal a deep, dark secret that only my family has known about me. Yes, it’s a big risk, and yes, I might be mocked and ridiculed, but I’m willing to chance it. There are two “foods” that you can get at any gas station that I absolutely, positively love to eat. I don’t indulge that often, and let’s just say, each time I hit a gas station, I have to avert my eyes and hurry out before I succumb to temptation. What are they??? Please don’t judge. Queso and Hostess cupcakes. Don’t worry…I don’t eat them together. But wow! For some reason, those are my go-to snacks if I really feel the need for a crash-and-burn junk food feast. Okay, I’ve said it. My deep, dark secret is out. Phew! I feel better.
Since queso is often made with bizarre, unpronounceable ingredients, I decided to create my own version. Notice I didn’t say “healthy.” Queso isn’t healthy. But this easy Queso Blanco is made from ingredients you can spell and recognize, and it tastes even better than the gas-station version. (Ha ha ha…I can’t believe I just said that! Please forgive.) Cinco de Mayo party? Movie night? Or just a craving for nachos? We gotcha covered.
- 1 lb. deli-counter good quality white American cheese
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1-2 jalapeños
- 1 tsp. cumin
- Dash chili powder
- 1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- White or black pepper
- Grate cheese.
- Dice jalapeños.
- In double boiler, add cheese and half of the half-and-half. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring often.
- Add jalapeños and spices to taste.
- Add half-and-half in small amounts until desired consistency is reached.
- Heat, stirring occasionally, until hot and completely melted.
*To keep the smooth texture, serve in fondue pot over heat.
*Add extra half-and-half as needed to retain smooth texture.
*Leftovers can be kept, refrigerated, for two to three days. To reheat, add half-and-half or milk, and heat in microwave or on the stove.