Last month I spent a week in Austin and got to eat some amazing tacos at Torchy’s, which is one of the many taco darlings there. I wasn’t able to try the queso because it was full of dairy, but some of my friends got some and it looked stunning. My Vegan Torchy’s Queso Copycat is made with Idaho Potatoes as the base of the cheese along with an easy-to-make homemade rojo sauce.
This is another in my series of posts sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission. I love potatoes and they are amazing disguised as queso!
My best friend, Dawn, met me in Austin for a day and we went back. I told her I wanted to veganize the queso and she asked me how I’d figure it out. I decided to go up to the person that took the orders and ask point blank what was in it.
Dawn stood there shocked while the guy gave me the low down. That was right before he said, I shouldn’t have told you that like Hagrid in just about every Harry Potter book. I may be a big old geek, but at least I’m a geek that people trust and tell their secrets too!
You probably guessed from the title that the rojo sauce is probably the key to this queso and you’d be correct. What the heck is a rojo sauce? It’s made with dried chilies that you toast and reconstitute with water. Then blend with spices and garlic to create a crazy-delicious sauce that you can use on any of your favorite Tex-Mex recipes.
- 2 cups diced cooked Idaho® Potatoes
- ½ cup water
- 1 recipe of homemade rojo sauce, with a few teaspoons reserved for topping
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ to 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 (4 ounce) can diced roasted green chilies
- chopped cilantro, for topping
- Guacamole, for topping
- Add the cooked Idaho® Potatoes, water, rojo sauce, nutritional yeast, salt and oregano to your blender. Blend until smooth. You will need to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender several times to make sure everything is smooth.
- Scrape the mixture into a small mixing bowl and mix in the diced chilies.
- Spread the queso mixture in a wide servings bowl. Place a large scoop of guacamole in the center. Top with chopped cilantro and reserved rojo sauce.
- 2 dried New Mexican or Pasilla Chile Peppers
- ¼ cup water (or cooking liquid from peppers)
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Toast the chilies in a dry saute pan over medium heat until they become fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Then carefully remove the stem and seeds.
- Put the peppers into a small saucepan and cover with water. Cook over medium until the peppers are reconstituted, about 10 minutes.
- Place the cooked peppers, water or cooking liquid, garlic, paprika, cumin, oregano, and salt into your blender and blend until smooth. You will need to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender several times to make sure everything is smooth.