Former White House Chef Unveils LBJ’s Favorite Queso Recipe
President Lyndon Baines Johnson was born in Texas in 1908, and with an awesome home state like that you might assume he loved chips and queso. If you want his favorite and famous queso recipe from his time in the White House , look no further!
President LBJ took office in 1963, after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He was born in Stonewall, in the Texas Hill Country near Fredericksburg, and that’s the site for the LBJ National Historical Park now that draws thousands of visitors every year.
And boy, did he love some queso. What Texan doesn’t, really. The queso recipe that the White House chef used to make for LBJ sounds like it was unlike anything we’ve ever see before — thicker than mud, kinda like concrete right before it dries. Yum. If it breaks the chip, I’m sure you could just scoop some up with a spoon and crush some chips on top, because as my dad always used to say, “It all goes in the same place.”
The Houston Chronicle posted the recipe by LBJ’s cook, Zephyr Wright, and it’s one that will make you clear your schedule for an afternoon. It’s not one of those fifteen or thirty minute quickies, but rather a two hour process that might call for a frosty beverage while you’re cookin’ it.
And this begs the question, what Tyler restaurant has the best queso? You can always try this one to tide you over.
Zephyr Wright’s Chili Con Queso Recipe (via Scrumptious Chef)
- 1 No. 2 can tomatoes
- 1 large onion chopped fine
- 1 bud garlic chopped fine
- tsp. salt
- 4 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp, powdered comino seed
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 lb. aged cheddar cheese
Simmer all this except cheese slowly for about 2 hours, covered, stirring often. Uncover, turn heat up high and stir constantly until all fluid is gone and you have a thick paste. This paste can be frozen. If so, set out to thaw a couple of hours ahead allowing for about 30 minutes in a double boiler before serving time. Add to it, in double boiler, 1 pound best aged cheddar cheese cut up in chunks.
Cover and let stand over water that is simmering, not boiling, as boiling water tends to make cheese stringy. Stir occasionally to mix well. Taste and add salt if needed.
Let us know how your version turned out. We’ll probably wind up doing a taste test in the studios because it’s always a good time for queso!