Queso flameado is one of the most beloved dishes in Mexico, both in restaurants and homes alike. There's something indescribably delicious about a mound of melted cheese, but when you top it with spicy chorizo and sautéed onions, then it just becomes irresistible. Put all that in a warm tortilla, top with a spoonful of spicy salsa, and you'll be transported to taco heaven!
It's said this dish originated in northern Mexico and southern United States, where it was prepared in the fields or camps over fires. As it evolved and became “chic”, it was finished with a “flambé”, as the name flameado suggests: alcohol poured over the top would be ignited and the flames would melt the cheese and char the chorizo. I’m all for ease of preparation, so I prefer to bake the cheese until it's nice and bubbly, no need to broil or flambé.
If you’d rather skip the meat, then you can use other toppings for your cheese. Sautéed mushrooms with sliced onions and jalapeño chiles would make a delicious alternative, as well as roasted poblano chiles sautéed with sliced onions and corn.
As for the cheese, the best in my opinion is a cheese that will become stringy as it melts, such as Mexican Chihuahua, Oaxaca or Menonita, but North American whole milk Mozzarella, Brick, or Monterey Jack are great alternatives. I tend to stay away from cheddar because it becomes extremely oily as it melts, but if you like the flavor, you could combine some cheddar with the mozzarella.
The salsa and tortillas are equally important for this dish. A spicy flavorful salsa is a must here. Whether it’s a roasted tomato salsa or a fresh green salsa, it's important that it be nice and spicy so that it enhances the creamy flavor of the cheese. Use the freshest tortillas you can get your hands on: flour or corn, your choice. Get some friends together and enjoy some of the best tacos you have ever had!