Smoked Cheese Quesadillas
Buenos días amigos! Do you also feel that autumn is coming? If you wanna keep a bit of summer atmosphere, here is an idea for you – quesadillas! Oh myyy, I ´ve heard this word about a thousand times today. I was...
Buenos días amigos! Do you also feel that autumn is coming? If you wanna keep a bit of summer atmosphere, here is an idea for you – quesadillas! Oh myyy, I ´ve heard this word about a thousand times today. I was cooking with my roomate Mary, who just picked up Spanish at university and is thrilled about the sound of every Spanish word she learns. Quesadilla has apparently become one of her favorites (even before eating one) and so she was dancing around the kitchen counter singing quesadilla all around (my dear Mary even typed „quesadilla“ into YouTube searching for a song that would fit her quesadilla dance but didn´t find an appropriate one).
That´s why I said that quesadillas will bring summer back into your home. Maybe it´s their origin that makes them alive – Mexico! For us Europeans, moreover Eastern Europeans, Mexico is the equivalent of passion; dancing (mostly thanks to Dirty dancing), hot weather and all the Latin words leave an impression of holidays in the sun. And saying quesadilla so many times that day really brought warmth to our place.
I decided to make a vegetarian version of quesadilla with smoked cheese, which is quite an unusual choice for this dish. Still I enjoy that smoked taste which brings meat-like flavour to any meal. Pepper, aubergine and tomatoes is a combo that would spontaneously remind us of Italy rather than Mexico but I love to make these kinds of contrasting experiments. Combining national cuisines always has surprising results and creates original recipes. Many people have those stereotypes like pizza with tomato sauce, tortilla with guacamole... Replace tomato sauce with cream and guacamole with aubergine filling and you get a brand new combination that might not fit your taste but can also result in a recipe that you stick to for years and present to your friends as „your crazy food invention!“
It always feels good, so go and make yourself a nice quesadilla. Here is some inspiration, but if you feel creative today go your own way!
Vegetarian Quesadilla with Smoked Cheese
- 1 bigger onion
- 1 small‘ish red bell pepper
- 1 aubergine
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 2 spring onions
- 4 tortillas
- 200g smoked cheese (edam type)
- 200g Crème Fraîche
- Olive oil, salt, pepper
- Chop the onion finely and cut spring onion in thin circles. Peel the aubergine and cut in cubes about 1cm in diameter, cut red pepper and tomatoes in the same manner.
- Preheat a pan to medium heat. Sauté chopped onion with 2 tablespoons of olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add aubergines and bell pepper and roast for about 5 minutes.
- Baste with some water, season with some salt and pepper, cover with lid and cook for about 15 minutes until tender, almost paste like. Set aside.
- Preheat a big dry pan to medium heat (not using any fat). Set the first tortilla onto a pan, on one half spread ¼ of aubergine mixture, sprikle with fresh chopped tomatoes, spring onions and grated cheese and cover with the other half. Roast for about 8 minutes until crispy and golden brown, turn to the other side and roast for an additional 8 minutes. Continue in the same way for another 3 tortillas.
- Cut in triangles and serve accompanied by Crème Fraîche with fresh chopped chives.
Queso + Tortilla = Quesadilla
Queso, meaning cheese in Spanish
- we use tortilla made from ordinary flour or corn flour
- if you prefer going the healthy way try also whole-meal tortillas
- if you are using small tortillas (in the size on your palm) use two pieces and make a round quesadilla instead of folding it into a half-moon shape
- you may also fry your quesadilla by filling one and dipping it into hot oil, frying from both sides.
- Your result:
- Sincronizada (Spanish for "synchronized") is simply a cheese and ham sandwich together between two tortillas and cut in wedges, seems very similar to tortilla but is considered to be a completely different dish in Mexico
Tips for fillings
In Mexico, it is very popular to add a filling with huitlacoche (corn smut) „corn truffle“ which is a pathogenic plant fungus attacking upper parts of corn. Huitlacoche is a gray to blueish color when raw and for its preparation it is necessary, for a significant amount of time, to simmer until the blue color changes to black and the texture is almost paste like. The flavor is earthy, shroomy with a hint of corn and is considered a delicacy in Mexico while farmers in U.S.A. strongly protect their corn from this fungus.
- Tex Mex - Chicken + cheddar + corn + red pepper + kidney beans
- Spinach + mushrooms + goat cheese
- Bacon + tomatoes + avocado