Tex-Mex basically equals queso, really. My brother spent two years in Mexico City and said he never once saw chips, queso, or salsa. Not once! I remember growing up we had this one babysitter in particular who would chop up all of my parents’ expensive cheddar cheese, melt it, throw some salsa in there, and eat it with chips. I thought it was absolutely heavenly. Forbidden, guilty, heaven.
Except the bowl of oily, clumpy, stringy melted cheddar cheese looked nothing like what you get at your favorite Mexican restaurant. Most cheese separates into the oil and, well, the leftover cheese when you melt it and let it sit. Fortunately, my 10-year-old self didn’t know better. We’ve all had Velveeta queso, and you really can’t go wrong with its melt-factor. It’s perfect. But it’s fake cheese. Real chemicals. I’ve also tried for a queso blanco with white American cheese. While it melted beautifully, I ended up with a hot mess of oily, clumpy queso. Sad face. I was on a mission.
Asadero cheese is where it’s at, amigos! Finding asadero is half the battle. I went to store after store and could not find it. I tried three other cheeses in the process: queso quesadilla, queso blanco, and Mexican ‘melting cheese’. All no bueno. I finally sucked it up and drove far, far away to one of our local Mexican specialty grocery stores. Not only did I pick up some Asadero, but I got some homemade tortilla chips (you can smell the oil in the fried chips), yummy carne asada, Mexican cokes, and some delicious tortillas. They were selling aloe vera–not in a bottle, but the 2-foot-long spiny plants! I’m thinking I should plan on a monthly trip to Fiesta Mart….
Anyway, welcome to Blendtec week! SO SO SO excited to be giving away a Blendtec. Several years ago, my husband read Eat To Live and changed our lives forever. Dramatic, yes, but true. He didn’t need to lose weight, we’ve both always been lucky enough to have good genes, eat pretty healthy, and try to be active. We both do love to indulge, and we both have quite the sweet tooth. We felt there was room for improvement, so why not? The book basically proposes at plant-based diet. He decided we must go out and purchase a super-awesome blender for our new lifestyle. He decided on the Blendtec, and I must say, I seriously love that thing. Yes, we use it for green smoothies all.of.the.time, but I also love it for soups made of roasted veggies, salad dressings, grinding my oatmeal mix with nuts, and shredding chicken. This thing shreds chicken in like 3 pulses. It’s fabulous. Have you seen the new ones? They’re beautiful.
Roast some veggies: for the queso, I chose red bell pepper, poblano pepper, jalapeño, and onion. Another couple of pulses.
Chop up the asadero cheese, add some milk, and microwave.
Until you have the most beautifully-melted cheese you ever did see. The package says buttery, and that was my first thought the first time I had it. Buttery, melty, creamy queso.
Place your shredded chicken, peppers, and onions in a bowl, top with cilantro, and pour your melted asadero over it.
Mix it up, and you have the creamiest real cheese queso you ever did see. And eat. And dream about.
The crunch of the salty chip combined with the shredded chicken, peppers, and velvety queso gets me every time. Queso blanco just gets it.
So does guacamole.
- 12 oz. asadero cheese
- 3/4 c whole milk
- 1 chicken breast
- red bell pepper stem and seeds removed
- poblano pepper stem and seeds removed
- jalapeno stem and seeds removed
- 1/4 yellow onion
- 1/4 t salt
Preheat frying pan with 1 t oil over medium heat. Season chicken breast with salt, pepper, and paprika. Cook chicken breast, flipping after 5 minutes. Let cook another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and place in blender to shred.
Heat oil in pan and grill bell pepper, poblano pepper, jalapeño pepper, and onion until softened. Place in blender with chicken.
Pulse chicken and peppers until shredded. Place mixture in bowl, top with chopped cilantro.
Chop asadero cheese and place into bowl. Pour milk in. Microwave until melted (about 2 minutes), stirring every 30 seconds.
Pour melted asadero over chicken mixture. Stir until well-combined. Serve in heated crock pot, or other warmer to keep warm.