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Melty cheese with meaty chorizo crumbles and succulent cactus paddle — dip on in!

Nopalito, the San Francisco Mexican eatery that’s captured hearts and appetites all over the city, has a new cookbook out that’s going to add a little fire to your cocina Mexicano. We can’t think of a better way to kick off dinner than a delightful little skillet of bubbling cheese, spicy sausage and nopales. Queso flameado with chorizo, anyone? 

This delicious dish of molten cheese and crumbled, spiced chorizo is loved all over Mexico, but my favorite versions are in the southern part of the country, where cooks often add tender cactus leaves, or nopales. (Outside of Mexico you can usually find cactus at Mexican markets or online.) Once you have all the ingredients prepared and layered, it takes just 10 minutes in the oven.

A cazuela is a Spanish-style ovenproof dish; you can use any comparable casserole dish or cast-iron pot. Queso flameado is best eaten hot, so be sure to get it onto the table just as soon as it is out of the oven.

Reprinted with permission from Nopalito