Chile con queso, queso con chile. Mexican cheese in a fresh salsa. I love everything about this recipe! This post is in honor of Josefina Velaquez De Leon. In my opinion, she was a pioneer when it came to Mexican gastronomy. Between the years of 1930’s- 1960’s Josefina was the first to launch a cooking radio show, launch a publishing house and teach cooking classes on t.v. in Mexico. She published a total of 140 cookbooks during here career as a Mexican cook. Josefina was the first to publish a “taco” recipe in a cookbook! First ever!
What happened to all of her cookbooks?
In the late 1930’s the Velazquez de Leon Cooking Academy was formed. She traveled to various states through out Mexico promoting the gastronomy, good eating, family spending, nutrition, history, and regional cuisine. Upon her death on September 21, 1968, her sisters tried to carry on her legacy. Unfortunately, the Velázquez de León Cooking Academy closed its doors and the rights to her books were sold. You can find some of her books for sale on E-bay, Etsy and some places through out Mexico. The books are fragile and can be very expensive. There is a current movement to try and get her books republished.
As soon as I saw the Nuevo Leon book I knew!
As soon as my friend, Denise, showed me a few recipes from the Nuevo Leon cookbook, I was instantly attracted to the the cover! She shared three recipes with me and as soon as I saw chile con queso, I knew that was the one! The ingredients were simple and very familiar to me. Mom prepared this exact recipe, except that she used a blender for her fresh salsa instead of the molcajete. I couldn’t wait to recreate it! to see more of Josefina’s recipes brought back to life through video, visit my friend, Denise’s page on Instagram @hechovistocomido today!
The recipes were simple and meant to showcase the products and ingredients of the region.
La Bandera! The Flag!
Growing up visiting Monterrey the first twenty one years of my life left a huge impact on me. As very young children, my cousins and I were often sent to the local family deposito(convenient store). Times were different back then and we felt safe. On occasion, our abuelita (guelita), Sarita would hand us those oversized heavy Mexican coins out of a little satchel. Our job was to purchase “la bandera”, chile serrano, onion and tomato!
Chile Con Queso-Josefina Velaquez de Leon
- 4 large roma tomatoes sliced in half
- 6 serrano peppers stems removed
- ½ c Onion sliced thin or diced
- 2 tbsp pork Manteca or your favorite oil
- Salt, to taste
- 12-16 oz queso fresco or panela sliced
- On a preheated comal(griddle), at medium heat, dry roast the tomatoes and serrano peppers. Cooking times may vary, but typically take about 20 minutes. Using the molcajete, grind chiles and tomato into a coarse looking salsa. Set aside. Or you can use the blender or food processor if you like.
- At medium heat, fry and saute the onion in the preheated pork lard for a few minutes. Pour in the salsa, plus 1 c of hot water. Season with salt, to taste. it may seem like too much water, but it's best if you let the salsa reduce and thicken before adding the cheese. The flavors will develop as it cooks.
- When the salsa has reduced and is lightly simmering, add in the sliced queso panela or queso fresco. Heat for just a few more minutes.
- Mom served chile con queso with fresh pan frances(bolillos), a Mexican bread. The bread was perfect for sopping up all that delicious salsa! Some beans and fresh avocado is typically served on the side. All I had was black beans on this day and I had cooked some red rice.