Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chorizo Quesadillas

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I like it quick, easy, and a little spicy. How about you? I'm talking about quesadillas and with a toddler who keeps me busy, I don't have the same carefree time as I used to in the kitchen (unless it's in the wee hours of the night/morning while he's sleeping.) So one meal that satisfies my need for quick, easy and spicy are quesadillas. In this case, Chorizo Quesadillas that are filled with a slightly spicy Mexican chorizo, fresh cilantro and a blend of quesadilla cheese hit the spot perfectly. Without much time or effort, you can get dinner on the table and it's easy on the budget too!...


I've been eating my fair share of quesadillas since it's naturally a gluten free dish, that is, if it's made with corn tortillas. I find the corn tortillas provides a nice texture when toasted up, not to mention a great rustic flavor that flour tortillas don't have. For this variation on a quesadilla, I used a raw Mexican chorizo which is readily available at latin grocery stores and most supermarkets (near the meat section where the sausages are located.) This recipe using the soft kind that is often packaged in a cellophane casing. When cooking, the texture is like a very soft ground beef with more moisture. You'll need to cook this in a skillet first before using in the quesadillas. When it's time to assemble the quesadillas, I like sandwiching the filling so that the cheese is up against the tortillas to help seal everything together, while the cooked chorizo and fresh cilantro is in the middle. Play around with quesadillas because they're a great way to use up random ingredients and come up with delicious filling combinations!




Chorizo Quesadillas
recipe adapted from Rachel Ray

1 teaspoon vegetable oil or cooking spray to prevent sticking
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey pepper Jack or Quesadilla cheese
1 large link raw Mexican chorizo, casing removed and crumbled
1/4 cup cilantro, finely minced

Salsa:
3 small plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
Handful cilantro, finely chopped
Coarse salt
Sour cream for serving

Preheat a nonstick skillet or griddle pan to high heat.  Add oil.

Crumble in the Mexican chorizo and cook until cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside.

In another nonstick skillet over medium high heat, toast a corn tortilla for 20 seconds, flip. Cover half the tortilla surface with shredded cheese, bits of cooked chorizo, and cilantro. Add another sprinkle of cheese over the chorizo/cilantro layer then top with another corn tortilla. When the bottom tortilla is toasted and cheese is melted, carefully flip the quesadilla to cook the other side. Press down gently with a spatula to get all the filling sandwiched together.

Remove the quesadilla from the skillet and cut quesadillas into 4 wedges; top with salsa and sour cream.

Repeat with the remaining filling ingredients and corn tortillas.

For salsa, combine ingredients in a small bowl and spoon over wedges of quesadilla, as you snack.

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