Chile Con Queso (Chiles With Cheese)

Ingredients

  • 20 fresh green chiles -- roasted and peeled
  • 5 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 medium onion -- thinly sliced
  • 1 medium tomato -- skinned
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 pound muenster or mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Directions

I had always thought of chile con queso as a Texas dish until I went to Chihuahua. It is eaten thereas a vegetable with broiled meats, and it is also sered as an appetizer with hot tortillas. The light green Anaheim chile with which it is made is grown extensively in the north of Mexico and southwestern United States. It is used a great deal in the cooking of Chihuahau and Sonora.

Two of the best Mexican cheeses come from Chihuahua--the queso Chihuahua made by the Mennonites, living there in settlements, and the queso asadero, a very creamy, slightly acidy cheese that is layered like the mozzarella. It is always used cooked, and gives the lovely creamy stringiness that the mexicans hold in high esteem. It is curious that in some parts of the State they use a wild plant to coagulate the milk instead of the more usual rennet. I have not yet been able to find out what this is--possibly a type of thistle that I have seen mentioned in the same connection in an old Spanish cookbook.

Roast and peel the chiles and cut them into rajas (strips) without removing the seeds.

Heat the oil and cook the onion, without browning, until it is soft.

Slice the tomato thinly and add it with the rajas to the onions in the pan. Cover and cook over a medium flame for about 8 minutes.

Add the milk and water and let the mixture cook for a few minutes more.

Just before serving, cut the cheese into thin slices and add, with the salt, to the chile mixture. Serve as soon as the cheese melts.