Whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, I’m always looking for a way to infuse Mexican ingredients into our family’s holiday traditions. I came up with this turkey stuffing recipe that’s a riff on my mom’s traditional turkey stuffing, but with a little kick from jalapeño chiles and soy chorizo (aka soyrizo).
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.
Queso fundido is a classic Mexican appetizer that can be eaten with warm tortillas or tortilla chips. You choose the mix-ins!
- 4 to 5 ounces cooked chorizo
- 14 ounces shredded Chihuahua or Quesadilla cheese
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Cook your chorizo first and set aside to drain the grease over paper towels.
- In a microwave-proof dish, grate the Chihuahua or Quesadilla 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 or oven-proof dish from underneath the broiler.
- Place the crock or dish on a trivet and serve with warm tortillas to make 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?
If you’ve spent even one Thanksgiving at an average American dinner table, you’ve likely encountered sweet potatoes or yams with some kind of brown sugar or maple syrup and a marshmallow topping. I’m not knocking the tradition—in fact, I grew up eating it and usually get a craving around this time of year—but there are lots of other interesting things you can do with sweet potatoes, in my honest opinion.
Now that everyone in my family knows about my culinary skills, I’ve felt the need to give my menu a few new touches to keep things interesting. Though Thanksgiving is not a Mexican holiday, I decided this year to give a few traditional dishes a Mexican twist to surprise my family.
Here’s a recipe I developed to dress up the traditional sweet potatoes we usually serve on our Thanksgiving table. And, with the calorie-rich menus typically served around the holidays, this recipe is a bit healthier than traditional mashed potatoes that may be made with tons of butter and heavy cream. The marsala is a non-traditional ingredient to Mexican cooking but adds an interesting depth and sweet, nutty flavor to this dish. The chipotle should add a smoky flavor, but not be too spicy. If you’re afraid your troops will stage a revolt at the dinner table for doing something too different, you can always cut out the chipotle and add twice the adobo sauce to weaken the chile flavor so they don’t notice too much that you’ve given them the old switcheroo on the sweet potatoes.
Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours!
At any parrillada, you can count on one side dish being the same, no matter what kind of meats are chosen for the main dish: cebollitas.
I love grilling. The smell of the charcoal, the crackling sound of the fire roasting the food and the anticipation of what’s about to land on my plate. And whenever we grill in Mexico, my suegro (father-in-law) is the king of the barbecue.
This dish is so simple and easy (and almost totally impossible to mess up even if you’re not a grilling pro), it’s the single dish that most reminds me of a Sunday parrillada in Mexico.
RELATED RECIPE: Calabacitas con elote
You can add as much or as little lime juice and salsa Maggi, a Worcestershire-style seasoning sauce, or soy sauce as you like – it all depends on your taste buds. The Maggi sold in the U.S. doesn’t taste the same as salsa Maggi sold in Mexico, so I sometimes substitute soy sauce.
Not only is this dish often served at barbecues and family gatherings, you can also often find them at little street food stands around Mexico. I especially love to pair this side dish with tacos de rib eye and my Mexican chimichurri-marinated flank steak….
One of the things I love most about the summer is grilling. It’s an opportunity to do all kinds of different things with meats and vegetables that I don’t get a chance to do during the rest of the year.
During the spring and summer, my local Mexican markets have a wider variety of produce which means endless combinations for creative dinners at my house. I’ve recently been craving calabacita, a zucchini-like squash that has lighter green speckled skin, and is also one of José’s favorites. As I was strolling through the aisles, I was trying to decide what to stuff them with and as soon as I saw chilaca chiles, I knew that was what I wanted.
They’re long and skinny with dark green skin, but you may recognize them better when they’re dried – known as chile pasilla. When fresh, they’re mild with a very subtle sweet flavor and you can char and peel them just the same way you do with a poblano.
This dish is a variation of one that José grew up eating and when I served it for dinner over the weekend, the first thing he said after taking a bite was, “sabe a mi casa.” To me, that’s the ultimate compliment.
TIPS: If you don’t have a grill or want to make this dish during other times of the year, you can also use a grill pan to cook the calabacitas. You can roast and sweat chilaca chiles in the same way you would with poblano chiles.
If you’ve never roasted chiles before, check out my tutorial on how to roast poblano chiles.
This dish can also be made vegetarian-friendly if you substitute soyrizo for the chorizo….
To me, wintertime means lots of comfort foods. And pardon the pun, but during the blizzard we had here last week, I was cooking up a storm while I was cooped up inside for three whole days. One of my favorite comfort foods is papas gratinadas, a Mexican version of potatoes au gratin.
I love it so much, in fact, that while I’m writing this, I’m thinking about going to the store for more potatoes so I can make another batch. The last two times I’ve made this dish, it disappeared in less than 24 hours. And my friend Silvia over at Mamá Latina Tips has been asking me to post this recipe for several weeks since I told her I made it because her mom used to make papas gratinadas for her and it’s one of her favorites, too.
These are a great side dish (or, um…an afternoon snack) when you need hearty, warm food to keep you full and fueled to fight the cold outside. Here’s a quick video tutorial on how to make this recipe.