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Chorizo and Cheese Quesadillas

You can change the flavor of this quesadilla by substituting a cured sausage or peppered salami for the chorizo. If using a cured pork product, omit the initial cooking and simply cut it into small dice.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 lb. fresh chorizo sausage, casings removed
  • 1 1/3 cups coarsely grated jalapeño jack cheese
  • 1 1/3 cups coarsely grated white cheddar cheese
  • 4 green onions, white and pale green parts only, very thinly sliced
  • 4 tsp. canola oil, or as needed, for frying
  • 8 flour tortillas, each about 8 inches in diameter
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

Fry the sausage
In a large fry pan over medium heat, cook the chorizo, stirring to break it apart, until browned, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined plate and let cool for 5 minutes. Using your hands, crumble into small bits.

In a bowl, toss together the jack and cheddar cheeses, green onions and cooked chorizo.

Cook the quesadillas
Wipe out the chorizo pan with paper towels, add 1 tsp. of the canola oil and set over medium-low heat. Working in batches, place 1 tortilla in the pan and scatter one-quarter of the cheese-chorizo mixture evenly over the tortilla, leaving a 1/2-inch border uncovered. Top with a second tortilla. Cook, pressing down with a spatula occasionally, until golden brown on the first side, about 2 minutes. Using a large spatula, carefully turn the quesadilla and cook until golden on the second side and the cheese has melted, about 1 minute longer. Repeat this process to make 4 quesadillas total.

Cut each quesadilla into wedges and arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with queso fresco and cilantro and serve. Makes about 24 wedges.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Small Plates, by Brigit L. Binns (Oxmoor House, 2007).