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Dip into dinner with this cheesy chorizo ​​and bean skillet


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I love an interactive, “build-your-own” meal. When I’ve had a lousy day, the sight of a table brimming with little bowls and lots of choices cheers me up.

It’s a great option when feeding a group, but even when it is just my husband and me, I find we lighten up and, next thing you know, we’re chatting and sharing stories as we pass a little of this or that to each other.

This cheesy chorizo ​​bean skillet can be ready in just under 30 minutes.

I was first inspired to make it by a choriqueso recipe from “Made in Mexico: The Cookbook: Classic And Contemporary Recipes From Mexico City” by Danny Mena. I tweaked a bit, adding home-cooked and canned whole beans for a more filling dish, but finally settling on canned refrigerated as my favorite choice, because they make the skillet easier to serve. It’s actually dippable, if you have hardy chips or sturdy flatbreads.


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You can use black or pinto beans. I’ve made it with cannellini, too.

The big flavor comes from the pan-fried fresh chorizo. You break it into pieces with a spoon and crisp it in an ovenproof skillet, then drain it well. Then, wipe out that same skillet and heat up the beans with onion, garlic and chili powders and a bit of cumin. (If you don’t eat meat, you can make or find meatless chorizo ​​that delivers a lot of the same flavors.)

Add the chorizo ​​back to the skillet of beans, stir, and top it all with grated mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheeses. Then just slide that skillet under a broiler until the cheeses bubble and turn brown in spots. Tuck a couple of serving spoons into that hot skillet and serve it family-style — on a trivet to protect your table.

Then, the fun part: all of the accompaniments. My preference is to spoon the mixture onto warm or charred corn tortillas, but flour ones work as well, as do a sturdy lettuce leaves, such as iceberg. I like to go all out with ways to dress up this dish, including avocado slices, pickled jalapeños, salsa or pico de gallo, sour cream, lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.

With that first cheese-pull-y spoonful, you’ll have smiles all around. Dig in.

Cheesy Chorizo ​​and Bean Skillet

Gather family or friends around the table for this cheesy skillet with chorizo ​​and beans, inspired by a choriqueso recipe from “Made in Mexico” by Danny Mena. We’ve tried it with beans to turn that dippable dish into a quick supper. You can use black or pinto beans, whole or refrigerated. Warm corn or flour tortillas hold the cheesy mix, and supplement it with whatever tickles your fancy: avocado, salsa, sour cream, lime and/or pickled jalapeño slices. It also makes a great snack with tortilla or pita chips. The chorizo ​​and beans can be cooked up to 3 days in advance, and then warmed, topped with cheese, and broiled just before serving.

Makes 4 servings

2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
4 ounces (about 1 large link) fresh chorizo, casings removed
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated
1 (15-ounce) can fat-free refrigerated pinto beans or black beans
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon minced fresh coriander leaves, plus sprigs for serving (optional)
8 (6-inch) corn or flour tortillas
Sliced ​​avocado, for serving (optional)
Pico de gallo or chunky salsa, for serving (optional)
Sour cream, crema or Greek yogurt for serving (optional)
Pickled jalapeños, thinly sliced
Lime wedges, for serving (optional)

Position an oven rack about 6 inches from the broiling element and preheat the broiler. If your broiler is on the bottom, preheat it.

In an ovenproof, nonstick or well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the chorizo ​​and cook, stirring and breaking it up with a spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes. Drain it well and transfer the meat to a plate. Lightly wipe the skillet.

While the meat is cooking, in a medium bowl, toss together the grated cheeses.

Return the skillet to medium heat and heat the remaining teaspoon of oil, the beans, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and minced cilantro and stir until well combined and warmed through, about 3 minutes. Add the chorizo ​​and stir to combine.

Spread the beans as evenly as evenly as you can. Top with the grated cheese.

Place the skillet in the oven and broil for about 5 minutes, checking every 2 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown in spots. (If your broiler is on the bottom, transfer the baking dish to the broiler drawer.)

Meanwhile, wrap the tortillas in a damp tea towel and microwave them on HIGH for 30 seconds. Transfer the still-wrapped tortillas to a plate.

Serve the skillet family-style, with the tortillas and your choice of garnishes, such as avocado, pico de gallo or salsa, sour cream, jalapeños, lime wedges and fresh cilantro sprigs on the side.

Storage note: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Per serving (scant 1 cup of bean mixture, 2 corn tortillas: 443 calories, 21 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 88 mg cholesterol, 951 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrates, 9 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar, 27 g protein

Inspired by a recipe from “Made in Mexico” by Danny Mena (Rizzoli, 2019).

Maloney writes for The Washington Post, where this article first appeared.

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