You have to try pretty hard to not love tortilla chips dipped in melted cheese. Like come on, who doesn't love queso? My dad, who is notorious in our family for being the pickiest of picky eaters (the man eats almost nothing that's actually delicious and flavorful), absolutely loves queso. He didn't even eat pizza until meeting my mom, who quickly changed that absurdity by threatening to end their relationship immediately. But queso? My dad is all over queso.
This isn't just your ordinary bowl of melted heavily-processed-cheese. Heck no. We can do better. We deserve better. This, my friends, is ultimate queso time.
Do you remember that show Captain Planet? That was the stuff. Earth. Water. Fire. Wind. When our powers combine... That's what I feel like this queso is all about: Real deal queso. Flavor-packed roasted poblano sauce. Sweet-spicy-tangy pepper relish. When their flavors combine...
This is one of those dishes where each of the individual components by themselves taste all good and fine, but when they are put together into one glorious bite, crazy stupid good things happen.
Not just crazy. Not just good. Crazy stupid good.
I love both the melt-ability of monterey jack and the flavor of sharp cheddar. Definitely use both. I've tried just using monterey jack. It was gooey but lacked flavor. I tried just cheddar, but it was missing some of the melty-cheese factor.
Make sure to use whole milk for the queso. Reduced-fat milk won't thicken the way we need it to here. If you are worried about it being too fattening... listen. It's queso. Queso isn't health food.
Let's talk about this Roasted Poblano Sauce and Pepper Relish. This is where the magic starts to happen.
The sauce and relish are kind of like that really charismatic friend you have that's the life of every party. You know the person I'm talking about. Totally outgoing. Liked by your wild friends and conservative parents alike. It's kind of annoying how much everyone loves them. Yea, that friend.
The roasted poblano sauce and pepper relish are like that... they make the queso pop. It makes this party a par-tay.
You'll have much more of the Roasted Poblano Sauce than needed for just this queso. Feel free to pare down the recipe for it if you wish, but I love the extra to use in other ways.
You can drizzle a bit of it over some grilled chicken or steak, as a sauce for tacos, or even as a substitute for mayo for a spicy zing on sandwiches and wraps. Hmm, or how about combining it with a bit of olive oil for a vinaigrette for salads or to spoon over some roasted vegetables.
I really don't like the name "pepper relish", but I just don't know what else to call it. Let me know if you come up with something a bit more creative. 🙂
And if you're thinking of skipping the pepper relish, don't you dare. It's super easy to make and goes so, so ridiculously well with the queso. I promise. I wouldn't lie to you, now would I? I like you way to much to do that.
This recipe is inspired by and adapted from Bobby Flay.Print