This Southwest chile fondue blends Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese with cream, cream cheese, and plenty of Southwestern flavor. Offer sturdy tortilla chips, warm flour tortillas, chunks of cooked chorizo sausage, and plenty of crunchy fresh vegetables as fondue dippers.–Peggy Fallon
LC What’d You Call That? Note
Um, depending on the crowd you run with, you may wish to refer to this as a “dip” rather than a “fondue.” Just saying…
Southwest Chile Cheese Fondue
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese shredded
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper finely diced
- 2 tomatoes seeded and finely chopped, or 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) petite cut diced tomatoes, well drained
- 2 or 3 jalapeno or serrano chile peppers seeded and minced
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- 2 cups light cream or half-and-half
- 6 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves and/or scallions
- In a large bowl, toss the Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese with the cornstarch to coat.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, chile peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the moisture evaporates, about 5 minutes. Pour in the light cream and cook, stirring, until the sauce just reaches a boil. Reduce the heat to low.
- Break the cream cheese into small pieces and gradually stir into the hot chile-tomato sauce until melted and smooth. Gradually stir in the shredded cheese mixture, letting each addition melt before adding more. Stir in the lime juice, cumin, and cayenne. Taste, adding salt if needed.
- Transfer to a fondue pot, preferable ceramic or enameled cast iron. Sprinkle the cilantro and scallions over the top of the fondue and serve at once. Regulate the heat under the pot, if possible, so that the cheese fondue remains warm, not hot.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This fondue is another recipe that is an A+ on my list to prepare for future parties or as a main entree. I loved the Southwest flavors of all the cheeses in this recipe as well as using veggies, sausages, and breads to accompany the fondue and so did my guest.
An excellent smooth and spicy fondue. As a bonus, the cold leftovers (of which there was only a bit) make a very tasty spread in themselves—sort of a spicy pimento and cheese. The minimum of two jalapenos specified will give a very mild fondue (not warm enough for Texas tastes), and those with any tolerance for heat will want to use more jalapeno and/or Serrano peppers. The results were excellent with either fresh or canned tomatoes. The colored flecks from the red peppers were attractive; two red peppers would not be amiss. This is a very thick fondue with lots of Southwest flavors, and only the sturdiest of tortilla chips will work well.
This is an easily made fondue and excellent flavors. Kind of a fun thing to do now and then.
We sometimes make fondues for supper and this was fantastic. I know I’ll be making this one again and again. We all loved it here.?I enjoyed making this Southwest chile fondue recipe and would make it again as stated, although I might add some salt or a more salty cheese.
This is a great fondue. I served it at a party and everyone loved it. The Southwest flavors come together exceptionally well, and the fondue pairs well with any of the dippers suggested—I served all of them! It holds well in the fondue pot, even for a couple of hours. With some other fondues similar to this, I have had them turn oily after they sat in the fondue pot for a while. This didn’t happen with this fondue. Everyone really loved the combination of southwestern flavors.
Originally published September 01, 2009