Hey guys! I’m back with another recipe, and a little bit of a lesson on Queso Flameado/Queso Fundido. If the word queso immediately conjures up an image of dipping chips in a big bowl of cheese this isn’t what you’re looking for. (Instead, see my Tex Mex Queso, commonly known as chile con queso)
Yes, this is literally a bowl of melted cheese with some meat thrown in for fun. But it isn’t the smooth, melty, creamy goodness you think of when you hear the word queso. It wont coat your chip with cheesy deliciousness – it will break your chip. And then nobody is happy.
Queso Flameado (or queso fundido) translates into flamed/melted cheese. It’s the process of melting a bunch of shredded cheese with some meat (in this case, chicken) and sharing it with your closest friends or family. It is spooned into warm flour tortillas and eaten like a taco. Consider it a “do-it-yourself” tableside quesadilla.
So you’d think that something called “flamed cheese” would be flaming. In many cases that is correct. And I so wish I had I lit these on fire for my pictures, but safety comes first. And it’s what I recommend you to consider when making this recipe. It truly is for show (but what a show!) and really doesn’t contribute to the flavor unless you like alcohol in your cheese. I’ve got clumsy guys and even clumsier dogs in the house, so my answer was clear. But by all means, if you are making this for a dinner party and really want to WOW your friends, it is really a cool sight to behold.
And everyone will say you should be on a cooking show.
All you need is a high-proof alcohol and a lighter, and a good understanding of fire safety rules. (It should go without saying, this can produce some high flames so exercise EXTREME CAUTION. I am not liable if you burn your house down. Ha)
There are a few things you should know before starting this recipe. As easy as it is, there are still ways to ruin it. Buy the block of cheese, not the pre-shredded stuff. It’s coated with a substance that makes it very difficult to melt and congeal properly. So shredding it yourself, while it does take a little bit of effort, will produce a much better dish.
Second, this uses pre-cooked chicken. I don’t give steps for cooking the chicken, but the quality of your seasoning directly impacts the quality of this dish. Plain boiled chicken will taste like plain boiled chicken no matter how much cheese you add to it.
Which is why this dish is perfect for re-purposing leftovers! I personally love this recipe for a fajita marinade and this marinade for Mediterranean Chicken. Try one of these recipes or your favorite chicken recipe (or swap it out for your favorite protein! Beef, chorizo, shrimp are all amazing in flameado) and just save some extra for this recipe later in the week. Super easy, and you’re one step closer to meal prepping.
And finally, the dish it is in plays a part in the cooking time. A 1.5 qt. casserole or 8 in. cast iron is ideal. Shallow, wide dishes will cook faster than deep dishes, so if you have any issues with the center not melting properly, give it a good stir and pop it back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
So have you ever had queso flameado before? Let me know how this dish measures up. And if you get fancy with your flames, make sure to snap a pic and share it on our hashtag #aftbeats! I’d love to see how it goes and your photo might get featured on our social media channels!
Until next time. X
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Simple Queso Flameado (Fundido)
A delicious Tex-Mex appetizer, queso flameado is a warm bowl of cheese and meat served in tortillas.
- 5 c. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese*
- 2 c. cubed pre-cooked chicken **
- 10–15 flour tortillas, for serving
- 1/2 oz. high-proof alcohol
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a 1.5qt casserole, 8 in. cast iron skillet or other oven-safe dish, combine the cheese and chicken.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese has fully melted. Serve immediately with warm flour tortillas.
- Pour the alcohol over the top of the cheese and light on fire just before serving. Either let the alcohol burn off or if it starts burning the cheese past your tastes it is easy to just blow the flame out. Be good. Be safe. Be observing your local fire safety laws.
*Monterey Jack is easiest to find in stores. If you want to go a little more authentic, use a 50/50 combination of asadero (or oaxaca or chihuahua) cheese and monterey jack. And always buy the block, not pre-shredded.
**See post for my favorite chicken marinades.
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