☰ menu   

Queso Flameado

queso flameado

Queso Flameado

Chef Hugo Ortega
Once you’ve mastered this simple recipe, improvise with other meat-and-veggie combos. Serve the queso bubbling hot and stuff it into soft tortillas or use as a dip.
Servings 4


  • 2 tablespoons corn oil divided, plus more for greasing skillet
  • 12 ounces skirt steak
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • 1 cup thinly sliced white onion
  • 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
  • 3 cups grated Chihuahua cheese or substitute Monterey Jack
  • 12 corn tortillas to serve


  • Warm a large, heavy skillet over high heat and lightly grease with oil. Reduce heat to medium. Season steak with salt and pepper and sear for 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak reads 145°F (for medium rare). Remove from heat and set steak aside to rest. Wipe out skillet and turn off heat.
  • Heat broiler to high. Place poblano pepper on a small baking sheet under broiler, turning occasionally, for 4 minutes, or until blackened on all sides. Place in a paper bag, close, and let rest 5 minutes. Remove pepper and rub off blackened skin, remove stem and seeds and discard, and cut pepper into roughly ½-inch strips.
  • Heat oven to 400°F. Add 2 tablespoons corn oil to a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 30 seconds. Add poblano strips and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes more, or until mushrooms are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cut steak into ¼-inch-thick slices, add to skillet with vegetables, and toss to combine. Sprinkle cheese over dish and place in oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling. While cheese is melting, heat tortillas in a large skillet over medium-low until softened and warmed through. Serve queso straight from the oven family style, spooning it out onto the tortillas.

Chef Hugo Ortega

Hugo Ortega is executive chef/co-owner of four of Houston’s top restaurants – Backstreet Cafe, Hugo’s, Caracol and Xochi, and winner of Best Chef: Southwest at the prestigious 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards. (He was a finalist for the award for six consecutive years, 2012- 2017.) Ortega has been recognized locally, nationally and globally for his inspirational story and his passion for sharing traditional Mexican cooking and culture.