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.

Addicted to Mexican Food? Carnitas will satisfy the craving!

carnitas 2I have an addiction to Mexican food. I want to eat it all the time. I could eat it all the time. But the problem with making homemade Mexican food (at least for me) is that it doesn’t always taste super authentic. Well, I found this recipe on Pinterest and it has solved my problem. This recipe is perfect so I don’t ever change a thing.

To get the directions for these delicious carnitas, and check out other amazing recipes, please head over to My Kitchen Escapades.

I think this dish will ABSOLUTELY satisfy that craving. Give it a try!

Yo Quiero Queso

quesoI really like queso. A lot. And this recipe uses real cheese. Not that other stuff. I’m not going to talk smack, but I’ll just say that I don’t cook with it.

We eat this in my house, often. It’s very easy to make and eat straight out of the pot, or you can transfer to a small crockpot, keep on low and serve to guests. It’s also versatile as far as using different types of cheese. And I bet if you make this once, you won’t go back to that orange-ish block of expensive “cheese”.

queso ingredientQueso Blanco

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 c. onion, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, chopped (if you like it spicy, leave the seeds and membrane)
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/8-1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 c. milk (I use 1%)
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese *see note below

Melt butter in a saucepan or small pot on medium heat. Add onions and jalapeno and sauté for approximately 3 minutes. Add garlic, stir, then sprinkle with flour and stir together. Add milk, cilantro and tomato. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat. It should be a thicker consistency. Add cheese a little bit at a time, making sure to stir and let it melt before adding more cheese. *If you like a little kick, half Monterey Jack and half pepper jack is a great choice. Or half sharp cheddar and half Monterey Jack makes for a sharper flavor. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

queso 2

You want to eat just this for lunch? Go ahead. I’ve done it myself.

Olé! Olé! Olé! Olé!

The essentials to starting your fiesta off right

The essentials to starting your fiesta off right

Craving Mexican food? Me too. Don’t feel like spending upwards of $50 at a restaurant? ME NEITHER! Well I’m no math wizard, but those ingredients to your left sure look like they cost a lot less than $50. And that right there, turns into shredded chicken that you can use in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, or whatever your Mexican food craving little heart desires.

Here’s the breakdown as best as I can manage. I only used four of those chicken thighs and the entire package was under $5. That bell pepper was $.50, and I used half of it. The three pound bag of organic onions cost me $2.99 and I used half of one onion. One stick of celery? Cheap! A can of tomato sauce, cheap! You get the idea. I’d venture to say this whole meal cost me under $7 to make, which fed my family of five, and had enough leftovers to make a burrito for Adam to take to work the next day. But wait, we still have shredded chicken left over. Can you really beat that? I didn’t think so. So what are you waiting for?

Time to eat!

Time to eat!

Shredded Chicken

  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I highly recommend thighs, I’m not a big fan of chicken breasts in the slow cooker)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1/2 c. tomato sauce, or one of those smaller cans
  • 1 tsp. chicken base
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder, or 1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin

Place all ingredients in your slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 3-4 hours. Shred with a fork when it’s done. Olé!

Taco Tuesday anyone?