Recipe: Felix Mexican Restaurant Chile Con Queso by Michael Graves

Source: Felix Mexican Restaurant, Houston, Texas – A recipe that I worked on when doing recipe testing for The Tex-Mex Cookbook by Robb Walsh. For many of us growing up in Houston, we remember this queso very fondly. It is still available at El Patio on Westheimer.

My own personal theory is that Felix Tijerina might have known a French chef or had access to a French cookbook, as his particular queso is very reminiscent of the cheese sauces of France.

The Recipe
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.

Note: A similar recipe attributed to Felix’s appears in the Houston Junior Forum cookbook, Buffet on the Bayou. But the sugar is omitted and the paprika is increased to 3 tablespoons.

- Jay Francis, VP-Membership, WHCA