I recently went on a vacation of a lifetime. It was amazing, exhilarating, and exhausting. While it recharged one part of my spirit, it also depleted another part so tremendously. That’s why you haven’t seen me in a few weeks. Slowly I’m getting back to my center and this week’s supper club certainly helped. I made an amazing dish of pure cheesy decadence.
So many things have been running through my brain lately; memories and ideas galore. I think traveling unlocks a part of you that we normally have to keep shut away. When we travel we can be whoever, do whatever, and experience whatever. That kind of power and energy in the everyday is overwhelming and stifling, simultaneously, for me anyway,
One of the things my recent vacation reminded me was how much I love travel and adventure. The at home adventure I’ve found myself really missing is hiking. I’ve been seeking out trails in town and I’ve been doing more hiking lately. While finding trails near town is a little more challenging than in Portland, I have managed to find one right in my backyard, and another one about 30 minutes drive. I’m making my own little adventures.
With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, that was the theme of our dinner. Queso fundido has been on my to-do list for a while. Back in Portland, this was a staple of our weekly jaunts to a favorite restaurant, Oba. When I started searching google, I was almost amazed to find it really was a dish of actual Hispanic origins and not just some yummy variation of cheez wiz with a fun name. I also got confirmation from my coworker who lived for some time in Mexico. She gave me some tips and said there were all sorts of variations.
2-3 poblano peppers
1 pound Mexican chorizo (casing removed)
2 pounds Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 jar fresh Mexican crema
I made this dish entirely under the broiler.
Roast 2-3 poblano peppers under the broiler or on a grill until all the skin is black and charred. I did this under the broiler, rotating every couple of minutes. Once the entire thing is all black, put in a paper bag or a bowl covered with cling wrap. The steam will soften the skin so it is easily removed. Remove all skin, seeds and stem. Slice into strips, chop, and set aside.
In a cast iron skillet, cook chorizo until done. Crumble while cooking. Drain the chorizo on a paper towel, retaining a little of the fat in the skillet.
At this point, if you have time, put your empty cast iron skillet in the over for a couple of minutes to get good and hot.
Add half of your shredded cheese to the bottom of your skillet, top with all of the poblanos, chorizo, crema, and then finish with remaining cheese. Put back into the oven, under the broiler, until your cheese begins to melt. Pull the skillet out and stir. Do this every couple of minutes until your ingredients are combined. Allow the top to get bubbly and a little brown, about 5-7 minutes.
Serve straight out of the oven with tortilla chips or soft warm tortillas.
Don’t forget the margarita, we are toasting after all.