March 8th, 2009
Quesadillas (pronounced with the l and s silent) is a Mexican snack that is also treated as an appetizer in restaurant menus. Queso means cheese in Spanish and a Quesadillas is typically a filling of cheese and other ingredients stuffed inside a tortilla and cooked again. The tortilla could be corn, wheat or made with plain flour. The stuffing can vary according to region and the cook’s imagination. The combination of cheese and vegetables is quite irresistible in any form and this makes a tasty treat for children and adults alike.
Picture hungry kids coming back from school and devouring piping hot quesadillas, satiating their appetites without compromising on their much wanted nutrition. Or a ravenous executive, back from a busy day at work and warming up a quesadillas to satisfy those hunger pangs. The quesadilla suits both these occasions perfectly well, and can also fit into an everyday meal or as part of a lunch or dinner party.
Since I don’t get good ready made tortillas here in Mumbai, I prefer to make my own*. Once you have the tortillas ready, you can throw in any vegetable combinations of your choice and along with the cheese you are in for a fast, easy and delectable meal by itself.
Vegetarian Quesadillas Recipe
You can play around with vegetables here. Leftover Indian rotis are an acceptable substitute to the tortillas.
4 large (8” or 9”) flour Tortillas
Vegetable oil for cooking
300 gm Monterey Jack Cheese or Sharp Cheddar cheese
1 Green bell pepper (chopped fine)
10 to 12 black olives
1 cup cooked corn or 1 tin canned yellow corn
pepper and salt for seasoning
Heat a cast iron griddle or frying pan over a medium flame. Assemble all the stuffing ingredients in a bowl. Divide the stuffing into 4 equal portions. Take a tortilla and place a portion of the mixture over one half of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla covering the mixture into a half moon shape. Place this on the moderately hot pan and smear a little oil over the tortilla.
Press the tortilla slightly for a few seconds and allow the cheese to melt.Flip the quesadilla to the other side and smear some oil over it. Cook until nice brown spots appear and the quesadilla is slightly crisp. Take care of the heat source for the pan so as to not to blacken the tortilla. Cut into triangles.
Serve with lettuce, salsa, sour cream or guacamole.
Makes 4 Quesadillas
* Tortilla recipe
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup plain flour
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp salt
¼ cup warm water
Method: Mix all the above ingredients and make into dough. Divide into 4 parts. On a floured, clean surface roll into a circle. Lightly cook on a griddle or in a frying pan and use as required.
* For a vegan version, use vegan cheese!