Thursday, June 25, 2015

Vegan Queso Fundido with Rioja Sauce

This queso fundido with  rioja sauce is absolutely the best! The flavor is very intense and rich. I served it on garlic toast along side some marinated mushrooms and corn fritters. It is not a true queso fundido, which traditionally has loads of meat and dairy cheese; it's better because it uses a creamy almond cheese. (You can find the Simple Almond Cheese recipe that I use HERE.)

The Rioja Sauce is the base for the queso fundido: it has everything good in it - tomato sauce, red wine, green olives, garlic, garlic, garlic and olive oil.

I served the sauce on my potato torte (HERE)  which was the perfect accompaniment. This sauce is much too concentrated to serve over pasta, so think of it as a dipping sauce, or a drizzling sauce or even something to spoon over your main meal. (Still eating chickens? It would be great over grilled tofu.)

In a recent post I mentioned that my mom inspired my potato torte and this rioja sauce was also inspired by her. See my note that suggests to serve the potatoes with rioja sauce?
I've been in a cooking dead-zone lately, so being with my mom and her incredible meals very much inspired me to get-back-in-the-cooking-saddle and put a meal on the table.

Any way, try the sauce. Try the fundido. Let me know.

Here's what you need:
1/4 C olive oil (I cut back on this)
1/4 C minced garlic (I did not cut back on this)
1 C dry red wine
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 T capers
1 C good green olives - leave them whole for a pretty presentation
2 T dried basil

Here's what you do:
Warm the garlic in the olive oil until it is cooked - NEVER brown your garlic - use a low heat. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to simmer until the sauce is thick and cooked down.

To Make the Queso Fundido:
Spoon some sauce into an oven proof serving dish (or a cast iron skillet). Spoon some Simple Almond Cheese over the top and bake until bubbly. NOTE: the rioja sauce really, really intensifies during its time in the oven! Perfect for garlic toast.

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