This is a quick dinner (or lunch) that’s a nice change from your regular ole’ cheese quesadilla. And even though this recipe only has a few ingredients, I consider these quesadillas unique since I veered away from the standard cheddar cheese and instead used queso fresco. It’s crumbly, mild and goes great with the chorizo.
I recommend making your own chorizo but if you don’t have the time, store bought works in a pinch. But seriously, don’t let my chorizo recipe scare you off. It’s really easy! And for awhile there, I was scared of store bought chorizo since someone told me it was full of nodes and lips and all kinds of parts I wasn’t interested in eating. BBBUUUTTT, I’ve found that certain markets make some pretty clean and straight forward versions (minus the nasty parts) right there in the store, so ask your meat guy if you don’t have the time, or inclination, to make your own.
Chorizo Quesadillas (makes 3)
- 1 pound chorizo, homemade or store bought (see my recipe below)
- 6 flour tortillas
- 1, 12 ounce package queso fresco, crumbled
- 1 large green onion, sliced
- 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
- 1 lb. ground pork or ground dark meat chicken
- 3 New Mexico dried chilies (ancho or guajillo chilies can also be used)
- 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. water or chili water
- 1/4 c. onion, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1/2 tsp. each of chili powder, paprika, ground oregano
- 1 tsp. each of cumin and salt
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Pull off the stems and remove the seeds from the chilies. Bake in the oven for approximately 5 minutes. Place chilies in a bowl and pour hot water over them. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
Remove the chilies from the water, reserving the water, and place chilies into a blender, along with the vinegar, onion and garlic. Add 2 tbsp. of the leftover chili water as well. Blend until smooth. Pour the chili mixture over the meat, and add the seasonings. Mix well and refrigerate. This can be made ahead of time or right before it’s time to eat.
To make the quesadillas:
In a skillet over medium to medium high heat, cook the chorizo until crumbly and no longer pink. Drain off grease and set aside.
In a non stick pan or a griddle (I prefer using the griddle since I can fit way more food on it) lay a tortilla down. Add some queso fresco, then chorizo, green onions, cilantro and more queso fresco. Make sure to divide all the ingredients evenly among the three tortillas. Lay another tortilla on top and turn the heat on medium. Let cook for several minutes or until the underside of the tortilla is brown and crisped up. Flip over and cook for a few more minutes. Remove to a plate. Cut and eat! This is yummy with sour cream and salsa on the side.
*Quick tip: I do not butter my tortillas at all. I know some people do this when they make quesadillas but I don’t. If you’re using non stick cookware, the quesadillas won’t stick and the heat is enough to crisp and brown them without the added calories of butter. If you don’t have non stick cookware, then use some cooking spray so the quesadillas won’t stick.