Southwestern Chile-Cheese Fondue
Flavorful Pepper Jack cheese needs little help to make it taste wonderful. The pickled jalapeños may be eaten as a relish or dipped in the fondue and are especially suited to those who like fiery foods. Use fresh corn or flour tortillas, if available, and at serving time, place tortilla wedges in baskets lined with a damp napkin or dish towel. Warm in the microwave for 20 seconds and set out smaller baskets filled with tortilla chips. For festive color, garnish fondue with chopped red peppers.
- 1 clove garlic, mashed
- 2½ cups Dos Equis or other Mexi- can beer
- 2 Tbs. cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup raw, hulled pumpkin seeds, ground fine
- 1½ lbs. Pepper Jack cheese, shredded, about 4 cups
- ½ cup diced roasted green chiles
- 2 dozen corn or flour tortillas, cut in wedges
- 1 lb. tortilla chips, preferably baked
- 3- to 4-qt. combination raw and steamed vegetables for dipping, such as carrot sticks, bell peppers, celery, radishes, baby carrots, broccoli pieces and sugar snap peas, cut into serving size
- 2 cups whole pickled jalapeños
- Place garlic and beer in saucepan, and heat over low until simmering.
- Mix cornstarch with water, stirring to make paste, and stir into beer. Increase heat and cook beer until it boils and begins to thicken. Reduce heat to low. Add pumpkin seeds and cook 2 minutes.
- Add cheese and, using generous handfuls at a time, stir into beer until cheese melts, 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat until cheese is gone. Stir in green chiles.
- Transfer cheese mixture to fondue pot or crockpot. Keep fondue warm over alcohol burner or in crockpot over lowest setting. Serve with accompaniments.
Cook with beer? Drink beer? Dos Equis beer is a fine Mexican product available in a light Special lager and a medium-bodied Vienna-style Amber lager. If you want to try other Mexican beers, look for such labels as Superior, Negra Modelo—they also brew Corona—Pacífico, Carta Blanca and Tecate.