December 12, 2007

Shrimp & Chorizo Quesadilla

1/2 to 3/4 lb medium shrimp, steamed and peeled
1/2 lb Spanish style chorizo, sliced thinly
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 avocado, sliced
flour tortillas
salsa (optional)

Heat a pan large enough for a large tortilla to lay flat. Place one tortilla in the pan and heat until warmed through and slightly browned, flipping once. Repeat. Remove from heat. Sprinkle one tortilla with a thin layer of cheese. Top with a thin layer of spinach. Add the shrimp, avocado and chorizo in a single layer on top of the spinach. Dot with salsa if desired. Sprinkle the whole mixture with more Monterey Jack. Make sure that you get a good sprinkling of cheese on both sides of the filling, this will keep your quesadilla from falling apart. Place the second tortilla on the top of all of this and return it to the pan. Cook until the cheese has melted, spinning it occasionally around the pan with your finger tips, and the bottom is slightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Carefully flip it and cook it on that side for an additional 1 minute. Remove to a large plate and slice (a pizza cutter works well) into wedges and serve with sour cream to dip.

Yield: about 2 quesadillas

My thoughts:
My husband is normally the quesadilla maker in our house but we had some shrimp and chorizo on hand and I remembered a quesadilla I had out years ago that used just those ingredients. Now when Matt makes a quesadilla, he always, always uses homemade refried beans. He was skeptical when I told them I was making a quesadilla sans beans, but I swear, it works. The cheese is all you need for the whole thing to stick together. While I love refried beans on chicken or steak 'dillas. I think they are a little overpowering when you are using shrimp. He also was skeptical about my refusal to saute the chorizo before layering it in, but I really think that is an unnecessary step. Chorizo is already cured and if you slice it thinly, it will cook through while it is sandwiched between the tortilla. Anyway, this is a quick, easy (if somewhat nontraditional) dinner recipe.

I also want to point out that I used Spanish style chorizo, not Mexican chorizo. They are two very different products. Do not substitute one for the other.