Chorizo Nachos with Homemade White Queso

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Today, Matt Swaim from Sacred Heart Radio’s Sonrise Morning Show and I talked about the upcoming
All Saints and All Souls Day and how they relate to a secular Halloween.
When was All Saints Day first instituted?
Lots of legends abound about the beginning of All Saints Day. From what I can gather, though, way back in the 800’s the Pope chose November 1 for All Saints Day in an attempt to override the pagan Festival of the Dead held on the same day.

All Saints’ Day is observed by Christians in many countries around the world.
First, All Saints Day is also known as All Hallows Mas.  Hallows means saints and Mas means Mass.  We celebrate the souls who have gone to heaven on this day. Halloween/Hallows Eve happens on the day before All Saints Day, Oct. 31. 
In countries such as Spain, Portugal and Mexico, offerings are made on this day. In Europe people bring flowers to the graves and also light candles on top of graves.  Now in the Phillippines, they clean up the graves and lay flowers and candles on them. 

In France by the time evening comes on All Saints Day the focus turns toward the dead who have not yet reached heaven, like the souls in purgatory. 

All Saints’ Day is not to be confused with All Souls Day which was first instituted at the monastery in Cluny in 993 CE and quickly spread among Christians.

The practice for praying for the souls in purgatory spread  pretty quickly throughout the Christian world.  All Souls’ Day is a day of alms giving and prayers for the dead. The intent is for the living to assist those in purgatory. 

In many Catholic countries, people attend churches, which are appropriately draped in black, and  again visit family graves to honor their ancestors. 

All Souls’ Day in Mexico  is a national holiday called Day of the Dead. 

Many people believe that the spirits of the dead return to enjoy a visit to their friends and relatives on this day. It’s not a sad occasion, but more like a party. Long before sunrise, people stream into the cemeteries laden with candles, flowers and food that is often shaped and decorated to resemble the symbols of death, like candy skulls and coffins. 

With Halloween coming up, even though the parties may be small there’s still food, like chorizo nachos!  

Difference between Spanish chorizo and Mexican chorizo
Chorizo is first of all, a type of pork sausage. Spanish chorizo can be sweet or spicy, is dried and cured in a casing. Most can be eaten as is, casings and all. But if you go to cook it, I suggest removing the casings first.  Spanish chorizo has a dense and chewy texture. 
Mexican chorizo is a spicy ground pork sausage that’s usually fresh and uncooked, either loose or in a casing. 
Both chorizos owe their vibrant color to paprika.
Spanish chorizos are so good in soups, or as part of a charcuterie tray.
Mexican chorizo is popular in tacos, eggs and again, soups.
1-1/2 to 2 pounds Mexican style chorizo
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced or more to taste
1 cup finely minced onion
1 can, 4 oz. green chilies
1 large bag tortilla chips
White queso sauce 
Heat a bit of oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chorizo, jalapenos and onion and cook until chorizo is done and onion is soft, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Stir in chilies. Remove and set aside. Can be done a few days ahead and refrigerated. 
Make white queso sauce (see recipe below).
Preheat oven to 450 and spray 2 large rimmed baking pans with nonstick spray. 
Spread tortilla chips evenly on pans and top with cooked chorizo. 
Bake until chips are warm, about 5 minutes. 
Drizzle nachos with warm queso and serve immediately alongside various toppings. 
(Alternately, heat individual nacho servings on small oven-safe dishes arranged on a large baking sheet.)
Easy White Queso Sauce
1 lb pepper jack cheese or half pepper jack and half white American, cubed
8 oz full-fat cream cheese
1⁄2 cup full-fat sour cream
1 10oz can original Rotel tomatoes & green chilies, drained
3⁄4 cup whole milk (if needed)
Optional but good: 1 teaspoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder

In a medium pot over low heat, combine cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, and Rotel.
Cook until cheeses melt and a smooth cream forms, stirring often, about 15 minutes or so. Add spices if desired. Add milk if needed.
Once melted, serve immediately, or transfer to a slow cooker with a “warm” setting to keep dip warm and melted.

Additional toppings

Diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, lime wedges, avocados or guacamole, shredded lettuce, diced red onions, jalapenos, salsa, cilantro, sour cream or Mexican crema, refried or black beans, cotija cheese

Chorizo and queso recipes adapted from and
Photo from



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