Be sure to soak your cashews overnight in cool water or in very hot water for 1 hour before starting this recipe. Drain and then proceed with recipe.
Preheat oven to medium broil and add jalapeños to a baking sheet. Broil on the top oven rack for 4-7 minutes or until slightly blackened on the outside. Wrap in foil to steam for a few minutes. Then carefully peel outside skin away and remove any seeds/stems. (Note: Be sure to wash your hands after peeling to avoid getting any lingering heat on your skin or your eyes.)
Add soaked, drained cashews and jalapeños to a blender along with nutritional yeast, water, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and hot sauce (optional).
Blend, adding more water as needed to create a creamy, pourable cheese sauce. Scrape down sides as needed.
Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more nutritional yeast for depth of flavor and cheesiness, remaining jalapeńo or chili powder for heat, cumin for smokiness, salt for saltiness, or hot sauce for additional heat.
Serve immediately. Will be fine at room temperature for several hours. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate. *Original recipe makes ~2 cups queso. *Recipe inspired by the jalapeño queso at Prasad in Portland, OR.