Chorizo Quesadillas

cq 5This 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

Homemade Chorizo

  • 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.

cqcq 2cq 3cq 4*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.

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Chorizo Burgers with Chipotle Mayo

chorizo burger 2I created this recipe because I had leftover pico de gallo and I wanted something different! I had everything to make burgers and I really wanted that pico on it. I kept thinking of Mexican flavors and thought of trying a chorizo burger. Luckily, it was a hit! Even with the kids. We hadn’t had chorizo in a long time but this really had all the right flavors. And this chorizo recipe would also be great for breakfast, cooked with some scrambled eggs. Ay yay yay!

Chorizo Burgers with Chipotle Mayo (makes 5 burgers)

  • 1 lb. ground pork or ground dark meat chicken (I used 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
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce (or 1 chipotle)
  • 1 cup pico de gallo (store bought or homemade, recipe below)
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 5 hamburger buns

ancho chilies 2Preheat 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.

ancho chiliesRemove 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.chorizo mixture

Mix together the mayo and the adobo sauce. If you like it spicy, add 1 chipotle. But if you have kids, I recommend just the adobo sauce. It’s more of a smoky flavor rather than spicy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

pico de galloAs for the pico de gallo, it’s very simple. If you choose to make it at home, it just requires some chopping.

  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 of a small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and membrane removed, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

Mix together, cover and refrigerate.

chorizo pattiesSpray a griddle with cooking spray and heat on your stovetop, medium heat. You can also do this on an outdoor grill. While this is heating, make your patties. Just divide the meat evenly into five balls and shape into patties. If you use chicken like I did, it’s more of a wet patty and holds together better when cold.

Place patties on griddle or grill and cook for 4-5 minutes per side. Toast buns and spread chipotle mayo on both sides of bun. Place chorizo patty on the bun, top with the pico and place shredded lettuce on the other side of the bun. Put together and now it’s time to stuff your face!

chorizo burger 4*If you want cheese on your burger, just add a thin slice of cheddar cheese (or whatever type of cheese you fancy) after you’ve flipped your burger over. Honestly, this burger is so full of flavor that you really don’t need the cheese.chorizo burger 3