- Make sure you use fresh Mexican-style chorizo, not the dried Spanish variety
- We used queso fresco. For a saltier cheese, try crumbling some Mexican panela cheese. Like queso fresco, queso panela is not a melting cheese. For some melting action, try queso asadero or Oaxacan-style Mexican cheese.
- Dried chile de árbol is a bright red, slender pepper that’s about 2-3 inches long. It packs more heat than a serrano pepper but less than a habanero pepper. If you can’t find chile de árbol, you can use dried cayenne pepper powder to taste.
- To lessen the heat, remove seeds from chiles.
Makes one 9-inch quiche
One prepared or homemade 9-inch pie crust
3 to 5 dried chili de arbol chilies (see tips above)
10-ounce package soy chorizo, like Cacique brand (see tips above)
1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
About 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
3/4 cup milk or half-and-half
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the chilies: To rehydrate the dried chiles, boil enough water to cover and remove from heat. Add chiles to water and let them reconstitute, 5-10 minutes. Place chiles and some of the liquid (start with about 3 tablespoons) in a blender or food processor and blend. (Don’t breathe too deeply — the chili dust can get you!) Add more water, if needed, until you have a slightly watery paste (if it’s too watery, you can cook the extra liquid off once you add it to the pan).
Prepare the chorizo: Add the onion and soy chorizo to a fry pan and sauté over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes, or until the onion is cooked and the chorizo and sauce look nicely incorporated. Add the chili mix to the pan, and sauté about 5 more minutes to meld the flavors and cook the chilies. If your chili mixture is watery, let the liquid cook off. Set it all aside and let cool slightly (you don’t want the mixture to cook the eggs when everything is combined).
Assemble the quiche: Spread about half the queso fresco in the bottom of the pie crust. Beat eggs and milk together in a large bowl. When the chorizo mixture is cool enough to avoid curdling the eggs, stir it all together, season with salt and pepper, and pour into the pie crust. Crumble the last of the queso fresco on top, and bake in a 375-degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until the center is set.
Originally published in “Collective Quiche Goes Pan-Latin”