Since last year sometime, queso blanco has been hard to find. In the last couple of months it’s not on any shelves here, so when I ran out of the stash we had for making pizzas I had to search for recipes. Now that I’ve made this, that commercial stuff just won’t cut it anymore. Our chicken chili pizza just got an upgrade.
This comes together quickly and makes a big batch, but will keep refrigerated for at least a week. We made chicken nachos with it last night. Since there’s still some left we’ll be making chicken chili skillet pizzas unless we feel ambitious enough to fire up one of our wood-burning ovens. We’ll have to see what the weather does in the next few days. For a week we’ve been enjoying spring temperatures that melted all of the snow but the forecast is not so rosy.
Buy blocks of cheese and grate it yourself for the best results. Pre-shredded cheese is handy for lots of recipes but it’s coated with an anti-caking agent that can affect how it melts, and queso is all about smooth, melty cheese. Using evaporated milk and cornstarch establishes a thick, creamy base. Add sour cream, shredded cheese, some seasonings and you’re done. You can customize this by using your favorite meltable cheeses, maybe even some with flavorings, and adjusting seasoning to your tastes. Make a variation on the dip by adding salsa. Pour queso over eggs, burritos, hash browns, make these scalloped potatoes, pour it over Hungry man breakfast and Mexican rice, and by all means use it as a pizza sauce. It makes a mean breakfast pizza with scrambled eggs, sausage, onions, and peppers, topped with more cheese and drizzled with hot sauce.
– Joan, 19 March 2021
Homemade queso blanco
- 1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup full-fat sour cream
- 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
- 2 oz. monterey jack cheese, grated
- 3 tablespoons, or more or less to taste, canned jalapeños, chopped
- 1 4-oz. can diced or chopped fire-roasted chiles
- 1 tablespoon juice from the canned jalapeños
- 1-2 teaspoons chile powder, depending on heat of jalapeños and chiles
- 1-2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder, optional
- 1/2-1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2-1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- salt to taste
Grate all of the cheese and set aside. Pour the evaporated milk into a large, heavy pot. Use a fine mesh strainer to sift the cornstarch over the milk, then whisk it in till it is completely dispersed, with no lumps. Stir over low-medium heat till milk just begins to bubble around the edges. Do not allow it to boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in the sour cream till smooth. Start adding cheese a handful at a time, stirring to melt. Once all of the cheese has been added and the mixture is smooth, turn off the heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Serve or use immediately. Leftover sauce should be covered and refrigerated. It will thicken but can be gently reheated on the stovetop or in a microwave.