Friday, May 25, 2012

Queso Flameado

I remember once while living in California several years ago I was at a Mexican restaurant and asked if they had queso. The waitress was puzzled. Finally she answered "yes, we have cheese".   I never asked again. Queso wasn't popular there at the time. The only place you could find it was Chevy's or On The Border when they rolled into town. After 15 years in So Cal it was nice to have even some chain restaurant Tex-Mex.

This queso is inspired by two that I had recently. One in Austin at Guerro's and one in Southlake at Baja Grill. Both very similar and pretty much exactly what I like.  Creamy white cheese, a little greasy but not overly and a little bit of heat. We are not talking your Sunday afternoon football party queso here. There is no Velveeta and no Rotel.  While there is a time and place for that version its not really high on my list of things to eat. I like to use Oaxacan (pronounced Wah-Haw-Ken) cheese. I guess you could call it a Mexican mozzarella.  It it melts really well and gets nice and stringy. Perfect for a queso.

Enough with the jibber jabber, time to make some queso!


1 lb (or 1 package) of Oaxacan Cheese, broken into small pieces
1-2 strips of thick slice bacon, cut into small cubes
1/2 of a large white onion, diced
1 medium Jalapeno, diced, remove the seeds and white flesh if you don't like the heat.
1 clove of garlic, diced,
1 tablespoon chile powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, depending on your heat tolerance
6-8 flour tortillas
1 8 inch cast iron skillet


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the iron skillet over medium flame and toss in the chopped bacon.  Cook until its about half cooked. You want to cook it slowly to render some of the fat out but not make the bacon crisp, 

Add the onion and jalapeno to the pan and saute until soft then add the garlic and cook until fragrant.  Sprinkle on the chile powder, paprika and cayenne.  stir and saute for another minute to wake up the seasonings.

Scrape everything from the skillet into a bowl and set aside. Place the cheese pieces in the skillet and put the skillet in the oven.  Once the cheese is about half melted, remove from the oven and pour your bacon/onion/garlic mix into the center of the cheese.  Return to the oven and cook until fully melted, bubbling and starting to brown.

Remove from the oven and serve family style with the flour tortillas.  Be careful. This stuff is like white napalm!  Hot!  



  1. I've been looking for a good flameado recipe lately. Thanks!

  2. I love Oaxacan cheese! This skillet method for queso sounds perfect. I'd be scooping up every last gooey bit.

    1. With the Oaxacan cheese the skillet works perfectly. This is a pretty quick recipe too. Next time am adding some shrimp to the mix.