Sunday, February 9, 2014

Goat Cheese Queso Fundido with Crumbled Smokehouse Sausage + Pepper Jelly Drizzle

Goat Cheese Queso Fundido with Crumbled Smokehouse Sausage + Pepper Jelly Drizzle
I am so mad at myself... why didn't I think of making this recipe a week ago for the Super Bowl? It's a shame because it's damn good and I'm sad I didn't have it for a party. Boo hiss. Oh well, you don't need a special occasion to enjoy this dip because it's great ANY time. Like  yesterday for instance, the weather finally turned a corner this weekend and the sun came out. Holy crap. It was 65 degrees and as sunny as it could be. And what could be more delightful than yummy chips + dip with an ice cold beer or fancy margarita... well, nothing probably. I have made Queso Fundido in the past, but nothing quite like this. With the simple addition of creamy goat cheese, the flavor profile is brought to a different dimension. The melty monterey jack cheese compliments it perfectly and has that always-lovable stringy quality to it. I don't know, it has a certain "je ne sais quoi" about it all. Ya know? The tang of the goat cheese balances in complete harmony with the crumbled smokehouse sausage. Tangy + Smoky... who doesn't love that? Nobodyyyy. I put my southern twist on the dish with the sausage and the drizzle of homemade pepper jelly. Pepper jelly and creamy cheese are like the South's peanut butter + jelly. No lie, I will spread some cream cheese and this spicy condiment on two pieces of toasted bread and devour it in seconds. Just like how this dip was hoovered in .57 seconds. Yep, it was quite the task, but we did not even struggle. The recipe has it all... salty, sweet, smoky, spicy, creamy, crunchy. I mean really, if it was a person, I would hate it for being an overachieving perfectionist. But c'est la vie, this is (thank god) just an easy queso fundido that only took about 15 minutes to prep & cook. There's nothin' to hate about that. So, call all y'all's galpals and/or bro's and whip up this dip-- everyone is gonna love it!! Enjoy :)
it starts with a layer of crumbled smokehouse sausage.
then you pour over the queso, crumble some goat cheese, and sprinkle with spices
and toast it to perfection.
garnish it with a drizzle of pepper jelly + some diced, roasted red peppers
just dig in + go for it...
because when something this cheesy + gooey is in front of you...
you won't be able to control yourself. word. 
For the Goat Cheese Queso Fundido:
16oz Ground Smokehouse Sausage (or any southern sausage/chorizo/ground meat)
1T Unsalted Butter + 1T AP Flour
1C Whole Milk
12oz Monterey Jack Cheese, Shredded
¼t Salt + Pepper
Chili Powder, Cayenne, & Dried Oregano (for sprinkling)
8oz Goat Cheese, Crumbled into Big Pieces
Homemade Southern Pepper Jelly, For Drizzling
Diced Roasted Red Peppers, Pico de Gallo, or Corn Salsa (for garnishing)
Fresh Cilantro, Minced (for garnishing)
Warmed Tortilla Chips, For Dipping

1. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and cook the ground sausage until the meat is crispy on the outsides, but cooked through (make sure to break it up in the small bite-size pieces). Drain out all of the fat that has been rendered, so that your dip will not be oily.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven broiler. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in milk and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the grated Monterey Jack cheese and season with the salt and pepper. Scrape the mixture into the 8-inch cast iron skillet that is filled with the cooked sausage. Sprinkle the top of the queso with some chili powder, cayenne, & dried oregano. Top it with the crumbled goat cheese evenly throughout the pan. Place the pan under the broiler and broil until the goat cheese is golden brown on top.
3. Remove from the oven and drizzle with homemade pepper jelly and finish with some diced roasted red peppers and a sprinkle of minced cilantro. Serve with warmed chips and a cold beer.

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