The Very Best Queso

the very best queso

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Make this for any gathering, and you’ll have happy guests. 


  • 2 poblano peppers, (about 1/2 pound)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cassava flour
  • 2 large or 3 small roma tomatoes, (about 1/2 pound, seeded and minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pound cheese* (grated (about 4 heaping cups))


  1. Roast the poblanos: If you have a gas range, place them directly over the burner on high heat, turning occasionally with tongs, until charred all over. If you don’t have a gas range: Place the poblanos on a baking sheet and place directly under the broiler, turning occasionally with tongs, until charred all over. Once they’re completely charred, transfer to a heat proof bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside. After about 5 minutes, rub off the skins, remove the seeds, and mince. (Resist the urge to run under water to remove the skins, you’ll wash off most of the smoky flavor.)
  2. Heat the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and the salt and sauté for about 8-10 minutes, or until softened and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally
  3. Stir in the cassava flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in the minced tomatoes, minced poblanos, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Cook for another minute or so, stirring constantly.
  5. Pour in the cream and scrape up any bits that stuck to the bottom of the pot. Stir constantly while it heats. Once the cream begins to simmer and thicken, stir in a handful of cheese at a time, mixing until each addition is melted. When you add the last handful, turn off the heat and stir until the all of the cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt, smoked paprika, and cayenne, if desired.
  6. Serve warm with your favorite chips.


* For the cheese: I like a combo of (roughly) equal parts jack, pepper jack, and mild or medium cheddar. Chipotle cheddar is great too, if you can find it. Feel free to use your favorite jack / cheddar type cheeses, depending on your preference.