Produced in partnership with Founders Brewing Co.
Here are two universal truths: Everybody loves queso; and, when you have the option, it’s better to cook outside than in. So it should come as no surprise that one of the hottest social media-ready recipe trends combines both: Hello, grilled queso. We’re not sure if it’s the slight smoke flavor or just the act of creating this dish al fresco, unexpectedly, but we’re hooked on the stuff. And while there’s nothing wrong with serving a queso based on a box of that orange processed stuff and a can of tomatoes and peppers—everybody will gobble it up, no questions asked—we think you can do better with market-fresh ingredients that have more flavor and less preservatives. Better yet: The stuff is easy to customize.
Here’s how to do it:
- Heat up your grill or smoker to LOW, or about 350°F. Use indirect heat if possible.
- Take a cast-iron pan and with a drizzle of olive oil, sauté a diced onion and sliced and diced peppers of your liking: red bell, jalapeño, poblano or serrano. Add in a pound of meat, if you’d like, such as chorizo or day-old brisket. Brown and drain off any excess grease.
- Add to the pan 2 pounds of cubed queso fresco or Mexican-style manchego cheese (either can be found at a Hispanic market). Stir the mixture occasionally, for up to about 20 minutes, until all cheese is melted and flavors have melded. If the queso is close to burning while cooking, turn down the heat. The queso will contain hearty chunks, and might look different than the stuff you’re used to—but it will taste better. If you’re looking for a smoother queso, add in a mixture of 1 tbsp of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of milk (whisk these together before adding).
- In the last few minutes of cooking, add a half-cup of chopped cilantro.
- Serve with tortilla chips (fresh, if possible) and a few cans of Founders Más Agave Premium Hard Seltzer. The crisp, all-natural fruit juice flavors are real, as is the subtle agave sweetener, which makes it a cut above the synthetic seltzers on the market. And of course it’s a great match for your al fresco queso fundido.