these days, life is a little crazy.
we have two little ones and a very busy schedule. somehow we, well i, got away from one of my dearest loves: entertaining/taking care of people in our home. the house is often a mess and i get stressed over the day and sometimes it’s just too much to handle making dinner and trying to clean the place. all that said, i am working on it. we are making plans and inviting people over to watch basketball games, tidying up as best we can while still knowing a little mess IS OKAY – a daily reminder of one of my favorite mantras, present over perfect (thanks to my friend shauna, who encourages so many with this quote + chapter from the lovely bread & wine).
and it sure makes it easy when i have something yummy ready in the kitchen that i am dying to share with someone.
this recipe is one of those things. although i could have easily taken it out of the oven, grabbed a bag of tortilla chips, walked back to my bedroom, locked the door, and eaten the entire thing all by mineself. and then licked the bowl wholeheartedly.
monterey jack & goat cheese queso fundido with hatch green chile vinaigrette
adapted from bobby flay
for the vinaigrette:
one 4 oz can hatch green chiles, drained & chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 tsp agave nectar
1/4 cup sunflower seed or grapeseed oil (or an oil with mild flavor)
for the queso:
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
4 cups grated monterey jack cheese (about 1 1/2 eight ounce blocks)
5 oz goat cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
sea salt & freshly ground pepper
blue corn tortilla chips, for serving
1. to make the vinaigrette, combine the chiles, vinegar, garlic, agave, and oil, plus a good sized pinch of the cilantro in a blender and puree until smooth. season with salt & pepper.
2. to make the queso: melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. add the flour and cook, constantly whisking, about 1 minute. add the milk and cook, constantly whisking, until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. remove from heat and whisk in monterey jack, one handful at a time (don’t add the next handful until cheese has completely melted). add a scant 1/4 tsp salt, and a bit of pepper to taste.
3. turn on the broiler. scrape the melted cheese mixture into an 8 inch baking dish. scatter the crumbled goat cheese over the top, covering evenly. broil until golden brown in spots, about 5-7 minutes. remove from the oven and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, to allow the cheese to set. drizzle the vinaigrette over the top* and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. serve warm with tortilla chips.
*i drizzled about 1/2 of the vinaigrette just after it came out of the oven. as we ate, i drizzled more on top.