San Luis Potosi-Style Quesadillas

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(Quesadillas Potosinas)

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MAKES 14

These quesadillas are made with fresh corn masa, not with flour tortillas as in the U.S.

3 cups lard
2 large white onions, peeled and chopped
16 serrano chiles, stemmed and chopped
2 tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and chopped
1 lb. queso fresco, crumbled
2 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
4 cups masa harina
1 tsp. salt
11/2 tsp. baking powder
2 Mexican chorizos
1/2 cup shredded queso añejo
Leaves of 1 head bibb lettuce
1 bunch radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced

1. Heat 1/4 cup of the lard in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, 8-10 minutes. Add serrano chiles and tomatillos and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to a medium bowl. Add queso fresco, mix well, and set aside to let fi lling cool.

2. Put ancho chiles into a bowl, cover with 21/2 cups hot water, and let soften, about 30 minutes. Put chiles and soaking water into a blender, puree until smooth, then transfer to a large bowl. Add masa, salt, baking powder, and 1 tbsp. of the lard and mix with your hands until well combined. Divide dough evenly into 14 balls and cover with plastic wrap. Drape plastic wrap over base of a tortilla press. Put 1 dough ball at a time in center of press, cover with plastic wrap, and close press to fl atten into a 6" disk. (Alternatively, put dough between 2 pieces of plastic and roll out with a rolling pin.) Set plastic-covered tortillas aside.

3. Unwrap a tortilla and put about 1/3 cup of the filling in the center. Fold tortilla into a half-moon shape and press edges together to seal. Repeat process with remaining tortillas and fi lling.

4. Melt remaining lard in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat and heat until hot. Add chorizos, fry until browned, 5—7 minutes, and set aside. Working in batches, fry quesadillas until lightly browned on each side, 1—2 minutes per side. Drain quesadillas on paper towels as done. Slice chorizos.

5. Serve quesadillas garnished with queso añejo and with chorizo slices, lettuce, and radishes on the side.