I have been trying to make something like the queso sauce they serve at Taco Villa in Topeka since about 1986 when I lived near there. I have had countless fails. I was there again yesterday and decided to try one last time. I think I nailed it.
Makes 4 cups
- 28 oz. can of Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilis
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 9 oz. Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese. If you grate your own from a block of cheese, it melts better. Pre-shredded cheese has less moisture, so it is more difficult to melt.
- 2 Tablespoons diced jalapeno pepper
- 1 Tablespoon diced jalapeno pepper juice (to taste).
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt.
- Blend the Rotel in a blender until smooth.
- Press the mixture through a strainer to remove all the skins and seeds. I used a chinois strainer, so I could push out all the juice.
- Add the butter and olive oil to a medium sized stock pot.
- Melt the butter over medium heat and stir it into the olive oil.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly (this is the roux base for our cheese sauce).
- Reduce the heat to a high simmer. (below medium)
- Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until fully melted.
- Stir in the Rotel juice and salt.
- Add the diced jalapeno (without the juice)
- Add the jalapeno juice gradually, to taste (this is where the queso gets its piquancy (spiciness).
- Simmer for a few minutes to let the flavors meld.