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Spicy, cheesy dip capitalizes on season's roast chiles

An Indian-themed alternative to chips and dip inspired this blog’s previous post.

It’s true that baking naan bread from scratch may be more time than some of us want to invest. So prebaked, packaged naan is the compromise that still tastes fresher than packaged pita crisps.

Similarly, baking corn tortilla triangles until crisp in the home oven improves on the taste and texture of bagged tortilla chips. And when you’ve gone to that bit of effort, serve fresh-baked tortilla triangles with a spicy, cheesy dip that uses peak-season chiles from the home garden or farmers markets.

Consider eliminating one step in the process by taking advantage of just-roasted Hatch chiles. Clamshell containers of these chiles celebrated in the Southwest are a seasonal spectacle at local farmers markets, farm stores, such as Fry Family Farm, and locally owned grocers, including Food 4 Less in Medford.

Mexican-style chorizo adds even more authentic flavor and meaty savor to this dip, courtesy of Tribune News Service.

Queso Fundido With Chorizo

1 package white or yellow corn tortillas

2 tablespoons avocado or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

1 or 2 poblano chiles

1/2 cup crumbled Mexican chorizo

1/2 medium white onion, peeled and very thinly sliced

12 ounces shredded Chihuahua or other Mexican melting cheese, such as quesadilla, or a mixture

Chopped fresh tomatoes, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Make 8 triangles from the tortillas by cutting them into quarters and then into eighths.

Place pieces in a large bowl. Drizzle the oil and sprinkle the salt over triangles and, using your hands, mix well so everything is evenly coated.

Place tortillas in a large roasting pan or divide evenly between 2 baking sheets and spread into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Remove from oven and set aside; chips will keep in air-tight container for up to 4 days. Keep oven hot.

To make fundido, place the peppers directly on burner of a gas stove turned to high heat. When one side of pepper is fully blistered (this should take about 5 minutes), turn it with tongs and start charring another side. Repeat until entire pepper is blackened. Alternatively, rub peppers with a little vegetable oil, place on a cookie sheet and cook under broiler, turning frequently, until they are charred.

Place peppers in a plastic bag and seal, or place in a bowl and cover. Allow to steam for about 10 minutes to loosen skins. When peppers are cool enough to touch, rub skins off with your fingers or a paper towel. Chop into thin strips and set aside.

Add the chorizo to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon, until sausage is crisp and brown. Remove to a paper towel-covered plate to allow to drain.

Add the onions to pan and cook until they are starting to brown (you may have to add a little oil or butter), then add pepper strips and continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add half of cooked chorizo back to pan and stir to combine.

Place half of the shredded cheese in a small cast-iron skillet. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until it has melted completely. Remove from oven, and top with pepper-chorizo mixture. Cover with remaining cheese, then spoon remaining chorizo on top.

Place back in oven and bake for another 5 or so minutes, until cheese is oozing and browned along edges. Top with the chopped tomatoes, and serve immediately with chips.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Tribune News Service photo