1 1/4 cups grated jalapeno jack cheese
5 tablespoons coarsely chopped, fresh cilantro
2 (15-ounce) packages prepared pie crusts
2 eggs, beaten to blend
For the filling, in a large, heavy skillet, over medium, cook chorizo until well browned, about 10 minutes, using a fork to break up larger pieces as they cook. Use a slotted spoon to transfer chorizo to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon fat from skillet. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add beans with liquids in can to onion mixture and cook, mashing beans and stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cooked chorizo. Cool completely, then add grated cheese and cilantro.
To fill, heat oven to 400 degrees. Use vegetable shortening to grease 2 large baking sheets. On a lightly floured surface, roll one pie crust round to 1/8 inch thick. Use a 4 1/2 inch diameter round bowl as a guide, cut 6 rounds from the pie crust piece. Repeat with remaining dough, cutting a total of 24 rounds.
Mound some of the filling in the center of each small round. Brush edges of dough lightly with water. Fold dough over to enclose filling. Using a fork, seal crust edges by crimping them. Carefully transfer empanadas to prepared baking sheets. Brush empanadas with beaten eggs. Bake until crusts are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and serve with suggested accompaniments. Makes 24 empanadas.
In Spanish, it's queso fundido, pronounced kay-so foon-dee-doh. This is a fun party dish (so we're making quite a lot of it). You can even institute a fine for those who insist on double-dipping — or make them do the dishes.
5 large poblano chiles, aka pasilla chiles
One 1/4 pound uncooked Andouille sausage, casings removed
5 large garlic cloves, chopped
24 green onions, chopped
2/3 cup mild, chunky tomato-based salsa
2 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/4 pounds Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated (about 5 cups)
1 1/4 pounds whole-milk mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated (about 5 cups)
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups reduced fat/sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
Tortilla chips, for dipping
Char chilies directly over a gas flame or cook under broiler until blackened on all sides. Remove to a paper bag, and let stand 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel chiles, remove seeds and pith, and chop coarsely.
In a large, heavy skillet, over medium-high, sauté Andouille sausage until browned, breaking up larger pieces with a wooden spoon, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and green onions; stir until green onions are wilted, about 5 minutes. Add mild salsa, and heat through. Remove from heat. Add cilantro and poblano chilies.
In a large bowl, toss both cheeses with cornstarch until coated. In a large pot, over medium-high, heat chicken broth cup. Add both cheeses, cup by cup, whisking until each addition is almost melted before adding more. Remove from heat. Stir in chorizo mixture. Thin with more (heated) chicken broth if fondue gets too thick. Transfer to a warm chafing dish. Serve with tortilla chips.