Made a trek yesterday to College Station to do some shopping. On our way into town we passed a Ninfa’s Restaurant. For those not familiar with Ninfa’s – they started in Houston many years ago – and then kind of faded away – and now it would seem to be popping up again as this appeared to be a brand new restaurant. Since we hadn’t eaten at a Ninfa’s in a very long time, we thought we’d go back and have lunch. Beautiful building, beautiful interior design but sadly, the food was not what it used to be. In the ‘old days’ Ninfa’s had a reputation for excellent fajitas and tasty green sauce. But the fajitas we were served had no flavor at all. Oddly enough, it was kind of strange . . . we were both sitting there eating- but there was no taste. And, the green sauce that once was flavorful and spicy was thin and flavorless. Guess nothing stays the same. Probably should have ordered the queso – a boat of queso, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and meat of choice. That used to be good as well – but then don’t think I’ll find out as I have no plans to return.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest – let me give you my recipe which is a take on the Queso dish I remember being served at Ninfa’s a long time ago. I served that today for lunch with shrimp but you can use sliced, cooked chicken, beef or pork. A side dish of rice and guacamole makes it complete.
- Meat of choice,
- 6-8 oz of Pepper Jack Cheese,
- 1/2 onion,
- 1/2 small bell pepper,
- 1 can (4oz) of mushrooms,
- 1/4 cup white wine,
- 1-2 tablespoons oil, garlic powder (optional).
In a non-stick skillet heat the oil and add in the onions and bell pepper (chopped bite size). Cook these over medium heat until they are just beginning to get soft. Add in the mushrooms and wine – continue to cook for another 2-4 minutes. You want most of the wine to evaporate. Add a dash of garlic powder – this is optional. Slice the cheese and lay it on top of the veggies, cover and continue cooking over a low heat stirring occasionally so that the cheese melts and everything gets mixed up together.
Once you have the cheese melted you can spoon into warmed tortillas along with warmed meat, roll and eat . . . or you can put the whole cheese thing into a casserole dish and bake or broil on high to get a bubbly, crusty top to serve on the table.
If you have any of this delicious cheese concoction left over – don’t throw it out! It makes an awesome omelet.