One of my favorite taco fillings is chorizo and potato. I was wondering how the combination might translate to quesadillas and, as it happens, it’s pretty good. These quesadillas would make a great starter for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Or serve them as a main course for four people with a salad full of greens, tomatoes, and avocado. Pour your favorite beverage to go alongside and enjoy!
Chorizo and Potato Quesadillas
(4 main course servings or 8-12 starter servings)
1 8 ounce Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into small dice
8 ounces bulk, Mexican-style chorizo (I use an organic brand called “Dos Mamacitas“)
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
4 9-inch flour tortillas (burrito size)
8 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, grated
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
Fresh salsa, for serving
Preheat the oven to 200F. Place the diced potatoes in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a lively simmer, season with salt, and cook until just tender (this will take about 6-8 minutes). Drain the potatoes and set aside. Place a 10- or 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and crumble the chorizo into the pan. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and is lightly browned. Lower the heat to medium and add the drained, diced potatoes. Toss the mixture to combine the potatoes and chorizo, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon or spatula. Set aside in a warm spot. Wipe out the pan thoroughly. Butter one side of each tortilla and place them, buttered side down, on your work surface. Portion a quarter of the grated cheese over each tortilla, covering only half of each and leaving a 1/2 inch or so margin at the edge. Distribute the chorizo and potato mixture atop the cheese in a similar fashion. Sprinkle the cilantro leaves atop the filling and fold each tortilla in half to enclose the filling. Replace the skillet over medium heat and cook two quesadillas, covered, until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Uncover the skillet and flip the quesadillas. Cook the second side until golden and the cheese is completely melted. Transfer the quesadillas to the oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining two. Cut each quesadilla in half, for main course servings, or in smaller wedges for appetizer portions. Serve with your favorite accompaniments (fresh salsa, guacamole, and so on).
(adapted from “Fine Cooking” volume number 79)