Chile Con Queso + Cinco de Mayo Ideas

Chile Con Queso

Warmer weather is slowly arriving here in Portland and with that Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner! Chile con Queso, chips, salsa, guacamole, margaritas, tacos, some of my most favorite things! In Portland I love to head to XICO and Stella TACO which are both in walking distance from my studio, hello summer! Tight Tacos is great for that authentic food truck style. And of course Porque No? which is also close to the studio and always a crowd favorite. 

But sometimes I don't want to deal with the lines and the crowds and just want to invite my friends and family over and make all the margaritas at home. Because that might actually be my favorite. I partnered with Garden Fresh Gourmet to put together some of my favorite recipes for Cinco de Mayo! From my simple, yet favorite margarita, to much preferred take on guacamole. Then, there is this Chile con Queso, topped with Garden Fresh salsa! Which consists of ground meat at the bottom, and lots and lots of perfectly melty cheese over top, ok and a few other things too, but you get the idea. From there I shared a simple and easy approach to fish tacos. I love making fish tacos for crowds, as I love the approach of sealing up the fillets in a parchment pack. The fish always turns out moist and flaky. From there you simply warm up some tortillas, top with red cabbage, hot sauce, and Mango Salsa

chips, salsa and guacamole
Chile con Queso
Chile con Queso
Fish Tacos

my favorite margarita
makes 1

2 ounces silver 100% agave tequila
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon agave nectar
kosher or sea salt
lime wedges to serve

fill jar with ice and all ingredients. put lid on. SHAKE. 

run cut lime wedge along glass rim. fill small plate with sea salt. dip glass into salt and roll it. add ice cubes to glass. strain liquid into glass. garnish with slice of lime.

simple avocado mash
makes 1 cup

1 large ripe avocado
1 lime, juiced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup red onion, diced
kosher salt to taste

begin mashing avocado with lime juice, until the avocado is broken down. stir in garlic, cilantro and red onion, and salt to taste. 

the best chile con queso
serves 8


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt + pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup chicken stock


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 white onion, diced
1 large pobleno chile, diced
2 jalapenos, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Topping options:
Garden Gourmet Restaurant Style Salsa
avocado mash
sour cream
pickled jalapeños

PRCOESS Picadillo

Add oil to large skillet and heat over high. Stir in ground beef and cook until completed browned. With a slotted spoon remove cooked beef and set aside. Using the fat in the pan, turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic, onion and bell pepper. Cook for about six minutes, until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cumin and chili powder and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken stock and add the beef back into the pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Taste and season. Remove from the heat, transfer the piccalillo to a bowl and cover. 


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, chile, jalapeños, and garlic. Occasionally stir for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season with salt, cook for another 6 minutes. Add the flour and stir for 1 minute, then add the milk and continue to stir for 4 minutes, until the mixtures comes to a boil and thickens. Turn the heat down to low, and begin adding handfuls of cheeses stirring as you go until all of the cheese has been added and is melted. 

In a deep baking dish or shallow bowl, add the picadillo. Pour the hot queso over the meat and add 1/4 cup salsa and any additional garnishes. Serve with chips and or warm tortillas. 

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa
serves 4


1 pound of halibut (or another preferred white fish)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon thinly sliced
kosher salt + pepper
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sour cream
Garden Gourmet Mango Salsa
chopped cilantro leaves
lime wedges
8 corn tortillas, warm

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Lay out a large piece of parchment paper, place the fish towards the left side, leaving 2 inches to the left. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and spread lemon slices over top. Fold the parchment over, and begin crimping and pressing the edges tightly. Place the parchment packet onto a baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and flaky. 

To serve:

Open parchment paper with cooked fish and take 2 forks to flake apart. Place in the middle of the table with a stack of warmed tortillas, along with taco topping options (especially the mango salsa which is my favorite for fish tacos!) and let your guest build their own. Just make sure to fill the table with plenty of chips, salsas, avocado mash, chille con queso and all the margaritas and agua frescas!

Chile con Queso