Thawing Out in Albany

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January 23, 2013 by caitlinvaclark

I’m getting a bit of a slow start this morning. I’m still trying to thaw out since the heat in our hotel room last night was broken. Have I mentioned that we are in Albany, where it was about one degree last night? And snowing? So yeah, that was a treat. But in good news, they comped our breakfast and moved us to a suite with a fireplace. Now I’m toasty.

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We are up in Albany for two days while Chris gets sworn in to the NY state bar. But I’m really here for Bombers Burritos and Dinosaur BBQ. Oh, and the Penzeys store at Crossgates Mall.

Being in this bone-chilling weather sends me right back to my college years in Ithaca, NY. Even back in college my girlfriends and I loved to entertain and one of my friends, Christina, introduced me to an awesome twist on a quesadilla: chorizo and goat cheese served with tomatillo salsa. She does these in the oven for a quick way to serve a crowd. Thanks to Christina I’ve been making these for years, but recently I developed a dip inspired by these flavors.

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Start by sautéing some diced chorizo. Try to use the hard Spanish chorizo, not the Mexican kind, but if that is all you can find just note that it is raw so make sure you cook it through.

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Use some (but probably not all) of the fat cooked out of the chorizo to sauté some onions. I add the vinegar to the onions to mimic the tangy flavor of the tomatillo salsa.

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Mix all the goodies together and spread into a baking dish.

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Cover with more cheese and put in the oven for about 20 minutes. After baking until gooey and melted and aaaamazing, serve with tortilla chips.

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If you can get your hands on some tomatillo sauce (which I had trouble with in London), drizzle it over top of the dip.

Goat Cheese & Chorizo Dip

Serves 6

5 oz. diced Spanish Chorizo

1 small onion, diced

3 Tbs. red wine vinegar

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

8 oz. goat cheese, room temperature

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup chopped scallions

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese, divided

¼ cup tomatillo salsa

Preheat oven to 375˚F.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and brown the chorizo, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and reserve.

Drain off all but ½ Tbs. of the chorizo drippings. Add the onion to the pan and cook for 8 minutes over medium-low heat. Add the red wine vinegar and cook for 2 minutes.

Stir together the onions and pan juices, chorizo, goat cheese, cream cheese, mayo, scallions, and ½ cup of cheese.

Spread dip into a small baking dish, cover with the remaining cheese and bake for 20 minutes.

Drizzle the tomatillo salsa over the dip and serve with tortilla chips.

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