Quesadillas (kay-see-dee-yaa) are probably the most popular Mexican food. Kids or grown-ups, no one can really refuse one. I like the ones that ooze cheese from the sides, and are made with attention to detail so that there are no empty patches, no opportunity lost to stuff them with goodies and cheese. I must have flipped literally thousands of these when I had command over the grill at the Mexican joint I worked at. And coming up with interesting combinations of stuffing the quesadillas was always an ongoing contest – like loads of jalapenos with the cheese, or fajita veggies and cheese, or jalapenos and pineapple, etc. etc.
There are two or three main aspects to a killer quesadilla – a good wrap – any flour tortilla or wheat wrap really. At home in India, where rotis are easily available, the roti ends up being the outer wrap. The next important part is the cheese – lots of it! You can use any mix you like – cheddar, monterey jack, mozzarella etc. I personally prefer sharp cheddar, monterrey jack and some pepperjack for that extra kick. Now the fillings – you can go with just cheese and pico, or grilled veggies or tofu.
I am using scrambled tofu and fajita veggies here. The onions and peppers are always welcome, and tofu adds substance and creaminess so that you can get away with using less cheese. In India, Go Cheese has come out with some really good shredded cheese blends, and their Mexican mix is good for this. The processed cheese available in tins, made by Amul or Britannia will also work well. If you live in the Pune area, Baramati Cheddar cheese is also a good option.
The recipe here is more like a method. The same can be used with any stuffing.
6-8 tortilla wraps ( Mission 10 inch or home made)
1 packet tofu
1 medium onion
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
2-3 cups shredded cheddar/Jack cheese
2-3 Tbsp oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp taco seasoning or chili powderOn the side -Salsa
1) Remove all preservative liquid off the tofu, wash, press and drain. Mash it roughly with a fork.
2) Heat 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan and add the chopped garlic. Add the mashed tofu and fry until liquid evaporates. Add the taco seasoning and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.
3) Slice the onion and peppers in long fajita like strips. Heat some more oil in a pan and grill the onions and peppers, a few at a time, until they are charred. Do not crowd the pan. Season after removing from the pan.
4) Now take a tortilla wrap and nuke it for 2-3 seconds to soften it. Fold it over until ends meet and unfold. This will give you an idea of how much area is covered by the half wrap.
5) Spoon the scrambled tofu mixture on the half part of the tortilla until it evenly covers the surface. Spoon cheese over the tofu similarly.
6) Now fold the wrap and gently place it on a hot pan. Press down with a spatula if needed. Adjust the heat to ensure that the tortilla does not burn.
7) When the cheese seems to melt slightly, flip over to the other side. The quesadilla is done when the cheese melts and seals the tortilla.
8) Serve hot with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.
You can use any fillings such as mushrooms, zucchini etc. inside the quesadilla. These will also go well with my Roasted Corn Salsa. Want to make tortillas from scratch? Check my detailed post on veggie Fajitas to learn how to make your own tortillas.
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