December 1, 2018

Tex-Mex - Felix's Chile con Queso Recipe

Houstonians who remember dining at Felix's Mexican Restaurant remember the restaurant's chile con queso fondly.

A few years back I did some research, looking through the food sections of the Houston Post and the Houston Chronicle, and calling upon my own memories of the queso (in the 70's I probably ate at a Felix's at least once a week without fail).

I have a gut feeling that Felix Tijerina was friends with either a French chef or someone trained in the French style, as his chile con queso is very reminiscent of a cheese sauce one might find on a French menu (the flour roux, oil, and milk in the recipe makes me think so). 

And Felix's used American cheese, not Velveeta in their queso. So try to track down a 1 lb. block of it so you won't be peeling the plastic wrappers off the individual slices (Costco?).

Now, the recipe, or at least one iteration of it, has been preserved at El Patio Mexican Restaurant on Westheimer.

Here is my adaptation based on several sources I have come across over the past few years. I hope you enjoy it. 

Felix's Chili con Queso

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup canned tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
Garlic powder to taste
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 pound American cheese, grated (2 cups)

Combine oil, onion, salt, pepper, tomatoes, cayenne, sugar, paprika and garlic powder in heavy pot and simmer 25 to 30 minutes over medium heat.

Mix flour and water in small bowl; add to onion mixture gradually, stirring until smooth and thick. Add cheese, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. Cook until well-blended and smooth.

Serve warm with tortilla chips.

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