Mexican Quesadillas



"Quesadillas are one of the Mexicans' favorite simple snacks. They are, in fact, uncooked tortillas stuffed with one of various fillings and folded over to make a "turnover." They are then toasted on a hot griddle or fried until golden. In many parts of Mexico they are filled with strips of Chihuahua cheese, which melts and "strings" nicely--a Mexican requirement...the farther south one goes the more complicated they become. For instance, in central Mexico the simplest ones are filled with some of the braided Oaxaca cheese, a few fresh leaves of epazote and strips of peeled chile poblano. Potato and chorizo filling--that used for tacos...--is also a favorite version, while the most highly esteemed of all are those of sauteed squash blossoms (flor de calabaza) or the ambrosial fungus that grows on the corn blossoms (huitlachoche), both of which are at their best during the rainy months of summer and early fall." Quote from Diana Kennedy -The Tortilla Book, Diana Kennedy [Harper & Row:New York] 1975 -(p. 106)

Basic Quesadilla Recipe

4 teaspoons canola oil 
8 corn or flour tortillas 
2 cups grated cheese, like queso blanco or Monterey Jack 
Sour cream, for serving (optional) 
Tomato Salsa, for serving (optional) 
Guacamole, for serving (optional) 

Heat a comal or cast iron skillet over medium heat, and add 1/2 teaspoon oil. When oil hot, place 1 tortilla in pan; sprinkle with 1/4 cup grated cheese. Top with second tortilla, and cook until cheese is melting and the bottom of tortilla is golden brown. 

Flip, and cook until golden on both sides, the cheese is melted, and the filling hot. 

To serve, cut quesadillas into wedges, and serve with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole on the side, if desired.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients, serving each quesadilla hot from the pan. 

If you are feeding several people then quesadillas can be kept warm in a 300 degree oven on a baking sheet until ready to serve.

Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.