Melted Tetilla Cheese

Empellon Cocina’s Melted Tetilla Cheese

Every time I go to a Mexican restaurant I’m tempted by the queso fundido. Hot, melty cheese that I can scoop up with tortillas — what could be better?

Yet, so often, I’m disappointed. Sometimes the cheese arrives already cooled and congealed to the point that it needs to be cut with a knife and fork. Other times the cheese is so hot that it’s sitting under an unappetizing pool of its own grease.

The “Melted Tetilla Cheese” at East Village restaurant Empellon Cocina is simply queso fundido perfection.

Tetilla is a soft, buttery cow’s milk cheese from Galicia, Spain. Empellon Cocina serves it melted in a skillet with tomate frito (tomato salsa), kol (a sauce thickened with masa) and lobster.

Perfectly hot, creamy cheese peppered with quarter-sized pieces of tender lobster. At $19 a pop, it’s not a cheap appetizer. But it’s worth it. Plus, the light and pliable tortillas that accompany it make for quite a filling starter.

If you’re not in the NYC area and want to try this dish at home, Empellon Cocina kindly shares the recipe via tumblr. Making the tomate frito and kol looks pretty labor intensive, but this would be one seriously impressive dish at a Mexican-themed dinner party.

Empellon Cocina, 105 First Avenue, 212-780-0999

Photo: Empellon Cocina