Casa Ole Chili con Queso

Source: Casa Ole, Houston, Texas - Another oft-requested recipe from Chronicle files. This is adapted from the smallest batch Case Ole makes, which calls for 45 pounds of cheese.

5 pounds American cheese, grated
3 1/4 cups (26 ounces) water, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (see note)
1 cup each chopped celery and green bell pepper (see note)
1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeno (see note)

Combine cheese and 3 cups water in the top of a double boiler and bring to a boil. Stir every 5 minutes. While cheese is melting, combine onion, celery, bell pepper and jalapeno in saucepan and add 1/4 cup water. Sauté over medium heat until vegetables come to a light boil.

When cheese has melted and is smooth, add vegetables and mix thoroughly. Simmer 5 minutes. This makes a large amount; recipe could be cut in half or thirds.

NOTE: Amounts are approximate. The file recipe calls for 13 ounces chopped onion, 9 ounces chopped celery, 10 ounces chopped bell pepper and 1 3/4 ounces chopped jalapenos.