This recipe and photos are courtesy of Cynthia Detterick-Pineda of Andrews, TX. More of Cynthia's
Quesadillas originated in the
central part of Mexico, but they have traveled across the southwest over the
years, and have taken on many different characteristics. Quesadillas are corn tortillas filled with cheese (thus
the name “quesa” dilla). Filling them with pumpkin or squash flowers are also
common, or a protein can be added.
The quesadillas found in the
United Stated are actually sincronizadas, and not actual quesadillas. They are
very similar, but Sincronizadas are made from wheat flour tortillas layered and
filled with cheese and other stuffings (something like a grilled cheese
sandwich, or should I say a grilled tortilla sandwich?) You will find the
stuffings are usually the same.
Sincronizadas are the ones I
generally make for a quick meal or snack. They can be filled with any variety
of cooked meats, sea foods, vegetables, eggs, squash flowers, or just cheese. They are great for using leftovers, and are so quick and easy that you might
find yourself tossing some together simply on a whim. They can also be dressed
up, cut in smaller bite sized pieces, and served as appetizers or hors
Yields: (10-inch) quesadillas.
Prep time: 15 min
4 (10-inch) flour or corn tortillas*
1/2 cup grated cheese of your liking (cheddar, Monterrey Jack, and/or Quesaquesadilla cheeses all work well)
1/2 thinly sliced cooked meat (beef or pork) or other filling of your choice
1/4 cup sliced green
onions (or minced white onion)
4 tablespoons minced green
chile peppers of your liking (such as roasted long green jalapeño and/or chipotle)
olive oil (corn oil may also be used)
Optional toppings for serving: Sour cream, salsa, minced cilantro, and/or
minced green onions
* You may
use purchased flour or corn tortillas. Also learn
How To Make Corn Tortillas
In a large sauté pan or
frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil.
NOTE: You may also lightly spray with non-stick cooking
spray. Make sure your pan is large enough to fit
the tortilla and for you to be able to flip it when the time comes.
Place one tortilla in the
pan and layer 1/8 cup cheese, meat, onion and other stuffing, 1/8 cup more
of cheese and top with the second tortilla. I use
this layering order so the cheese can melt somewhat before flipping and help
to hold it together.
Once the bottom
tortilla is browned, very carefully, using a wide spatula, flip the
quesadilla over and cook another 2 to 4 minutes, or until the quesadilla is
browned and the cheese is just melted (just as you would making a grilled cheese sandwich). I use this
layering order so the cheese can melt somewhat before flipping and help to
hold it together. The flipping is the hardest part and you can make a huge
mess if your pan or spatula are not large enough.
Adding the fillings.
After the second side has
browned, remove from heat, and slide the quesadilla onto a cutting board;
cut into equal pieces (usually quarters). The number of pieces can be
your choice - four or more make the quesadilla easier to handle if you are
using this as finger food, two or four make good servings for the more
civilized who wish to use knifes and forks.
Top with sour cream and
salsa of your choice and sprinkle with a small amount of minced fresh
Variation: An alternative
to using two tortillas for each quesadillas is to take one tortilla, layer
the stuffing ingredients to one side (using 1/2 of the ingredients that you
would use for two (2) tortillas. Fold over the empty side and flip after
Makes 2 (10-inch)
10-inch quesadillas can serve 3 to 4 people as an entrée, or 2 hungry ones. As a snack or hors d'oeuvres, one
quesadilla will make 16 bite-sized servings.