One of my favorite chefs specializing in Mexican cuisine is Chicago's very own, Rick Bayless. No Cinco de Mayo menu would be complete with one of his represented! So for my recent birthday fiesta, I made Rick's recipe for Queso Fundido al Tequila and it was one of my favorites of the spread!
This appetizer is nothing more than a cheesy dip with a few things thrown for good measure. I adapted this recipe by adding some chorizo sausage and omitted the jalapenos for guests who don't care for it. This dip can be made in advance by preparing it through step one as written below. The mixture is then transferred into a baking dish and then covered with cheese. When you're waiting for your guests to arrive, pop this in a 200 degree oven to keep warm and serve when you're ready!
Queso Fundido al Tequila
recipe adapted from Rick Bayless
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium tomatoes—cored, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 pound browned chorizo sausage
2 jalapeños, seeded and minced (optional)
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 tablespoons tequila
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (3 cups)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
Warm corn tortillas or corn chips, for serving
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the chorizo, diced tomatoes, minced jalapeños, diced onion and a large pinch of salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Pour in the tequila and cook, stirring frequently, until the skillet looks nearly dry, about 2 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low. Add the cheese and cook, stirring constantly, until fully melted, about 30 seconds. Quickly transfer the queso fundido to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve immediately, with tortillas or chips.