Chicharrón de queso

On any trip to Mexico City, I look forward to my first visit to any of my usual taquerías. Not only because I need to satiate my appetite for tacos (read: stuff myself to practically the point of no return), but also because I get an order of chicharrón de queso while I wait.

It’s a delicate, crunchy salty treat—the name basically translates to cheese cracklings.

For years, I never considered making my own chicharrón de queso. Not because I thought it was too hard, but because I don’t have a flat top griddle like the taquerías do. I thought the hot griddle was the key to the texture and the high heat was responsible for the ability to mold it; but one day I had a nagging craving that forced me to experiment and I discovered it can be done at home in an easy way that doesn’t sacrifice any of the things that you’d expect from a good chicharrón de queso…. 

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VEGETARIAN: Tacos de hongo, chile poblano y cebolla

I’ve really been wanting to reduce the amount of meat we eat on a daily basis in order to be a bit healthier. I love veggies and don’t mind vegetarian meals, but when you live with a serious carnivore, it’s sometimes really difficult to convince them that a vegetarian meal is a) good and b) filling enough to be a meal and not just an appetizer.

Sometimes the mere mention of serving a vegetarian meal summons an apocalyptic response in my household. If you can’t get your family to eat a full vegetarian meal, this dish makes a great appetizer to ease them into enjoying it; just double or triple the recipe depending on how many people you’re feeding. They may soon see that an all-veggie meal isn’t so bad after all.

And if you’re truly desperate to get them to eat veggies, you can always add a little crumbled chorizo to this dish. It’s not meatless, but hey, at least they’re eating veggies, right? (You could also attempt to substitute soyrizo for chorizo if you’re brave, but I can’t be held responsible if they figure you out and throw chanclas at you.)

Regardless, whether you’re vegetarian, trying to get your family to eat less meat or just trying to observe meatless meals during Lent, this is a quick and easy recipe you’re bound to enjoy.

I like to use baby portabellas for this recipe, but you can use  just about any kind of regular-sized mushroom you like so long as you slice them somewhat thickly so that when they saute with the onions and butter, they don’t shrink too much or get too thin when they’re fully cooked…. 

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Queso fundido

During the winter, I love to eat warm, hearty treats. There’s something about the winter weather that makes you want to eat things that’ll stick to your ribs, right?

This past weekend, I made a very simple queso fundido that really hit the spot. Given that I just shared a recipe for homemade chorizo earlier this week, I thought it would be nice to give you another way to use that during the holidays for a quick and easy party treat.

Whether you’re hosting at home or need to bring a dish to a posada or any other type of party, this is a super simple recipe that’s sure to wow guests. To take it to go, just prepare in the crock or a casserole dish and wait until you arrive at the party to pop it under the broiler for a few minutes. Don’t forget to bring some tortillas!

We like to make tacos out of this recipe, but you can absolutely also serve it dip-style with chips if you like.

RECETA

QUESO FUNDIDO | CHORIZO AND CHEESE MELT

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 to 5 ounces cooked chorizo
  • 14 ounces shredded Chihuahua cheese
  • Non-stick cooking spray

DIRECTIONS

Cook your chorizo first and set aside to drain the grease over paper towels.

Then, in a microwave-proof dish, grate the Chihuahua cheese and microwave at intervals of 30 seconds until mostly melted. Stir if necessary to heat evenly.

Spray a little non-stick cooking spray in a small oven-proof crock (an individual-size soup crock will hold half this recipe and is what I typically use and make a second serving). Pour the melted cheese into the crock. Add half the chorizo and fold in gently.

Set your oven broiler on low and place the crock at least 6-8 inches from the flame. Heat for about 5-6 minutes or until the cheese bubbles and gets brown spots. Be sure to use a pot holder or oven mitt to remove the crock from underneath the broiler.

Place the crock on a trivet and serve with warm tortillas to make tacos (yields about 10 tacos) or hearty tortilla chips if you want to serve it more as a dip.

Note: the cooking spray is completely optional; I like to use it because it helps a lot with cleanup and getting all the cheese out of the dish before it makes it to my sink.

  • What do you like in your queso fundido?

Antojos de la calle: Chicharrones de harina

Have you ever wondered how to make your own chicharrones de harina? You know, the crunchy, salty and mysteriously orange-colored street food snack eaten with lime juice and drizzles of salsa?

Us too. So we decided to learn and make a video to show you so you can make them at home too.

YouTube Preview Image

Head on over to the Kenmore Genius blog for the full recipe and low-down on chicharrones de harina.

And don’t forget: you can also have a similar snack on the go with potato chips! Check out my easy instructions on how to make your own papitas con limón y salsa.

  • Have you ever made your own chicharrones de harina before? Do you do anything differently?

Antojos de la calle: papitas con limón y salsa

In many places in Mexico, you can find street vendors with little carts, selling antojitos, or snacks.

Usually, the standard offerings include chicharrones (pork rinds), chicharrones de harina (a fried, puffed wheat snack that looks orange) or papitas (potato chips).

Served in a little plastic bag with a squeeze of lime juice and your choice of salsa, it’s a great snack whether you’re on the go or just want to take a leisurely stroll through the park.

I like to keep a little bag of potato chips in my desk at work so I can make a quick afternoon snack—the only thing I need to remember to bring is a lime and a small bottle of salsa.

It’s a very simple and typical Mexican snack. You can choose whatever kind of salsa you like; spicy, medium, mild or even a salsa like chamoy, which is a sweet and spicy mixture usually made with chile powder and a salted fruit brine. It’s up to you!

I like to use the salsa pictured here, salsa clasica de Búfalo (but don’t be fooled; it’s not anything like buffalo sauce you’re used to seeing in the U.S.). It’s a slightly spicy and vinegary red salsa.

All you have to do to make your own is open the bag (be careful not to tear it), squeeze half a lime (or more if you like) inside the bag and then pour as much salsa in the bag as you like. Close the bag up and shake it so the salsa and lime juice distribute somewhat evenly and then just open the bag up and enjoy. ¿Que rico, no?

  • What’s your favorite kind of antojo de la calle?
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