I keep seeing mentions of the Mexican dish Queso Fundido lately so I went to investigate and decided it looked rather delicious, very simple and used only store cupboard basics. Perfect for a lazy Saturday lunch that the whole family would enjoy. It could be described as a bit like lasagne without the pasta or layered cheesy chilli. I didn't use anywhere near enough cheese though - I had two balls of mozzarella which I thought would be enough but it wasn't - so if I try it again, I'll double the quantities (which I've done in the recipe below).
650g minced beef
1 clove garlic
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
a sprinkle of chilli powder (optional)
garlic pepper, salt, cumin
a handful of cherry tomatoes (to garnish)
Preheat the oven to 180°.
We had everything we needed in the fridge/cupboard which is always a bonus and it ended up being a bargain basement meal because both the minced beef and the mozzarella was half price, reduced for quick sale !
Fry the minced beef with a sprinkle of salt, garlic pepper and cumin. Put in a bowl and reserve.
Chop up all the veggies and gently fry for 5 minutes until they are soft. I love the rainbow of colours. While it's cooking, chop up the mozzarella into small pieces and put into four piles.
Time to start filling up the ovenproof dish. The first layer is cheese.
Followed by meat then more cheese. I already figured we didn't have enough cheese but there wasn't much to do about it at this stage !
Next come the veggies followed by more cheese.
Then add the rest of the meat and the final layer of cheese. Sprinkle with chilli powder for a bit of a kick, if desired.
After glancing in the oven, I knew I had nowhere near enough cheese so I added the remaining parmesan that was in the fridge to help it out. Just before serving, I added some chopped cherry tomatoes on top, just for an extra splash of colour.
All of the recipes that I have seen suggest serving this with flour tortillas or tortilla chips, but I had a pack of wholemeal pitta pockets in the freezer so I defrosted those. The kids loved stuffing them with meat and vegetables and polished them off !
If you want to see how Queso Fundido should look with oodles of lovely melted cheese, check out these two which are the height of indulgence - The Pioneer Woman blog for an American take or the Kitchen Trotter blog for a French version. Yes, I admit it, they're both better than mine ... but at least I could eat mine with a clear conscience before jumping on the scales tomorrow !
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