I’m on my way to Austin, TX for SxSW, preparing for the 2 showcases Bright Antenna Records is hosting on Friday. It’s going to be intense!
Before I left, to put myself in the mood for SxSW, I made an attempt at Tex Mex. Chili Con Queso, if you don’t know, means peppers with cheese in Spanish. The dish is a fantastic cheese-based dip and can range anywhere from Velveeta melted into salsa to a blend of cheeses melted with fresh roasted chilis.
In other words, melted cheese and chilis. My two favorite things. So I took a little creative license.
This might be the least healthy meal I have ever cooked.
Chili Con Queso Grilled Cheese
Ingredients (Makes 2 sandwiches)
1/2 T + 1T butter, separated
1/4 c Mexican blend cheese
1 T sour cream
2 T onion, chopped finely
1/2 T cilantro, chopped finely
1 roma tomato, chopped finely
1 jalapeño pepper
4 thick slices of wheat bread
1/2 t salt
To begin, we’ll roast our jalapeño. Set the oven to broil and cook the jalapeño until the outer skin turns black, turning halfway through (approx. 8 minutes on each side).
When you remove the jalapeño from the oven, it won’t be fully roasted. Wrap in foil for 10 – 15 minutes. This will steam the jalapeño, cooking the insides.
And done. When it’s cool enough to touch, cut in half lengthwise and gently pull the blackened skin off the jalapeño.
Scrape out the seeds gently with the tip of a spoon. Go slowly because the whole membrane will probably come out as a chunk.
Cut into strips and set aside.
In a large skillet over low-medium heat, combine 1/2 T butter, salt, onion and cilantro. Sautée for 3 minutes.
Add the tomato slices on top. Cook for 2 minutes while stirring the onions.
Flip the tomato pieces and cook another 30 seconds or so, just to soften the second side. Remove everything from pan and set aside.
Allow the pan to cool for 5 minutes or until cool enough to touch.
Turn the flame to low under the same pan. Add remaining 1 T butter to the pan in two pats, let it melt halfway.
Place a slice of bread on top of each puddle of melted butter.
Place half of your cheese on the bread slices. Add the sour cream, cooked onion, cilantro, tomato and strips of jalapeno.
Add the rest of the cheese on top of that to hold the sandwich together. Top with the remaining bread.
Lay a spatula on top of one sandwich and press down lightly. Not hard enough to squish filling out of the sides. Repeat on the second sandwich.
Once the cheese has started to melt (3-4 minutes), repeat the spatula press before flipping.
Cook until the cheese has fully melted throughout the sandwich.
And then eat both sandwiches without sharing. Just kidding!