18 April 2011

Queso Blanco with Chipotle, courtesy of Four Corners Creamery

Four Corners Creamery Queso Blanco with ground Chipotle.

With a cheese maker for a husband, occasionally I ask John to make me cheese and we barter and bargain for them....you don't want to know what I have to do to get Ricotta!

Lately, I've been on a Queso Blanco kick.  Queso Blanco at Four Corners Creamery is made with cultures and rennet versus just drained & pressed curd, so it has a bit of time to stay fresh, yet acts just like the fresh version.
Pure cows milk is gently pasteurized, inoculated and separated by rennet and then drained and pressed.  We occasionally make plain, but I really like when John adds ground Chipotle peppers.  The chipotle gives the mellow Queso Blanco a smokey flavor without too much heat.

Queso Blanco is a bit odd when used for cooking, it doesn't truly met, but softens and becomes a bit goopy (for lack of a better description) yet, doesn't spread.  This is so miraculous when making enchiladas as the cheese stays right in the tortilla!  I only cut the cheese into long slices and fill the tortilla...no grating of cheese required!
  I usually add refried pinto beans to the cheese filling as well.  I prefer canned pinto beans, rinsed and tossed into a saute pan with a bit of olive oil and chopped onion & salt.  I mash them as they warm and taste so much better than the already mashed canned refried beans.

I put about 2 Tablespoons of beans and a slice of cheese in the corn tortilla that has been flash fried in vegetable oil, roll it up and lay them side by side in a baking dish.

I mix a jar of crushed tomatoes(drained) with a can of diced chilis (drained) and pour over the top.  Top with a bit of cheese and bake 375 degrees for about 30 minutes!  Topped with some shredded lettuce and sour cream is fantastic!

Don't despair if you cannot find Queso Blanco with Chipotles in your area, simply use plain cheese and add a bit of chipotle powder to your refried beans!

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