Raw Cheese Queso and Fried Tortilla Chips

All local ingredients, including goat milk, raw cheddar, fresh jalapeños, herbs, vine-ripened tomatoes and toasted spices..


Gather jalapeños, tomatoes, green onions, garlic and cilantro from your backyard (or CSA, farmers’ market or co-op), grab some fresh cream-top goat milk and raw milk cheddar from the fridge and whole cumin, coriander, sea salt, pepper, chili powder and Mexican oregano from the pantry.

Toast the seeds in a dry pan over moderate heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add oregano, garlic, chili powder and milk and simmer for a few minutes.

Stirring briskly, add peppers, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and lots of shredded cheese.  Continue to stir until cheese is melted and sauce is thickened, perhaps 5 minutes (do not let the mixture boil, or you will lose valuable nutritional value and risk curdling the sauce).  Add a little more milk if too thick, a little more cheese if too thin.  Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat a scant amount of rendered pork fat in a comal or skillet over medium heat.  Fry freshly made tortillas for about 2 minutes, flip and fry 1 minute more.  Allow to drain briefly on paper towels before cutting into triangles; they should turn out flaky-crisp, not greasy.

This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays

Bookmark and Share

21 thoughts on “Raw Cheese Queso and Fried Tortilla Chips

      • The one you picked up while we where there and then forgot what it was. We all looked at it… guessing… pepper….tomato….could be anything….

        Just wondering what it turned out to be.

        • Ah. It was a tomatillo plant – I ate some when they were about grape-sized (really good!), but the Texas sun burnt the rest up before I got my giant umbrella thing going.

    • About 2 days if using raw milk and you keep the cooking temperature below 165 degrees.  About 5 days if using pasteurized milk or raw milk heated to above 165 degrees.

      The raw, eat-it-all-now method is the best.

      Thanks, Elya!

  1. If you’re heating it on low/medium for 5 minutes, you think it would still be considered raw? Just curious. I guess I’d have to go find a working thermometer.. the hubby needs the good cultures in raw dairy to help break down lactose he can’t normally eat.

    This looks like it would be marvelously primal/grain-free on top of some celery, carrot sticks, or even some bell pepper slices. Yum!

    • I’m not a scientist, but 5 minutes below 162° F (well short of pasteurization) is not likely to kill the beneficial bacteria present in raw milk.


  2. Ren, is there anything else other than pork rendered fat I could use to fry the tortillas? I was at Wheatsville and Whole Foods today and they didn’t have it. May be butter?

    • Elya, the easiest thing to do is to get some pork belly from Richardson Farms (Wheatsville, Whole Foods, Triangle or greenling.com) and render it yourself. The leftover cracklings are delicious and can be used in all sorts of things like scrambled eggs or chicken liver paté.


      Leaf lard or fat back is better than belly, but can be a lot harder to find. You might call Johnny G’s or Peach Creek Farm, or just head over to Fiesta Mart on 38th..

      Hope that helps!

  3. Oh, I LOVE Kay and Jim from Richardson Farms!!! They come to Sunset Valley farmer’s market on Saturdays and they are soooo nice! Did Whole Foods finally start carrying their meat?? Good for them!

    I just e-mailed them asking to bring some pork belly next Saturday. And the recipe on homesicktexan does not look hard at all! Thank you, Ren!

Leave a Reply