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Chorizo, potato and thyme quesadillas

publication date: Jun 26, 2010
author/source: Thomasina Miers
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A great recipe from Thomasina Miers fantastic new book Mexican Food Made Simple which I would definitely get someone to buy you if you're into Mexican food.
(Pictures by Tara Fisher)

Tommi writes: Quesadillas ([kay-sa-dee-yas] crispy and oozing with melted cheese and anything else you fancy are good any time of day.  For a fun, easy supper, make a few fillings and a few salsas, grate some cheese in a bowl and rustle up a salad.  Then let everyone make their own quesadillas, slice them into wedges and hand around.  Perfect for eating in front of a movie or big match
Enough for 4 large quesadillas
Cooking time: 20 minutes
350g potatoes, cooked and chopped
Olive oil
½ onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
200g fresh chorizo sausage, chopped
A few sprigs of thyme, shredded
400g grated cheese (ideally a mix of cheddar and mozzarella)
4 large flour or corn tortillas
Flaky sea salt and black pepper
Step 1 Cut the potatoes into even-sized chunks and fry till tender. Leave them to cool a little and cut into 1cm dice. Cook the onion until soft, add the garlic and cook for a further 3 mins.  Mix in the chorizo and potato, turn up the heat and fry for another 5 mintues.  Mix in the thyme leaves and season.  Assemble all the rest of the quesadilla ingredients.
Step 2  Spread the chorizo mix on one half of the tortilla and sprinkle with a fistful of cheese
Step 3  Fold the tortilla over so that you have a half moon. Brush it with a little olive oil (so the tortilla doesn’t stick to the pan) and place in hot, dry frying pan or griddle and cook until golden and crisp.
Step 4  Cut into wedges and serve with your favourite salsa like the one below
I find that a mix of extra mature English cheddar and a little grated mozzarella makes the perfect cheese mix, with a good flavour and the right gooiness.
Roast tomato and chilli salsa
This is an easy, quick and really simple table salsa, the likes of which grace every cantina table across Mexico.  Once you have a feel for how to roast vegetables on a dry griddle as I have done in this recipe, experiment with different chillies depending on your taste and how hot you dare to go.       
Serves 4
4 plum tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 large Jalapeno chilli
1 large tbsp of chopped coriander
1/2 white onion, finely chopped and rinsed under cold water
Juice of half a lime
Pinch of salt
Step 1. Heat a large heavy based frying pan over a high heat.  Place the tomatoes, the garlic and the chilli in the dry frying pan and dry roast until they are blackened, blistered and soft.  The tomatoes will take a little longer so remove the garlic and chilli first, as they are cooked (about 5-10 minutes).
Step 2.  Remove the stem from the chilli and the skin from the garlic and put both in a pestle and mortar.  Pound to a paste.
Step 3.  Add the tomatoes and work them into the chilli.
Step 4.  Add the coriander, onion and lime juice. Taste and check for seasoning.
Note:  This can all be done in a food processor but you will lose the lovely rough consistency that you get with the pestle and mortar. (And if you don't have time to make a proper salsa like this you can always chop up some cherry tomatoes and mix them with a bit of finely chopped onion, a little chopped chilli, some chopped fresh coriander and a good squeeze of lime or lemon juice FB)

Thomasina Miers first arrived in Mexico aged 18 and fell so in love with its food that she went back to live there. She opened up a cocktail bar in Mexico City and used her free time to travel the country and cook with some of Mexico's top chefs. After returning to London and winning Masterchef in 2005 she opened up the hugely successful Mexican street food restaurant Wahaca. She writes for the Times and has had her own TV series.




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