Saturday, 19 February 2011

RECIPE · The Magic of the Plain Quesadilla

With Mexican food, sometimes less is more.

People outside México are often led to believe that food is always overelaborate, showy and real gooey. That's not always the case and quesadillas are an example of that. A true quesadilla is nothing but a corn tortilla folded in half, filled with oaxacan cheese and warmed up on a hot pan until the cheese melts. Quick, cheap and really easy to make.

Plain Cheese Quesadilla and Jalapeños

You might need some extra oomph though, so you can add a lick of refried beans, dip it in guacamole, salsa verde or salsa pico de gallo, or even just have some jalapeño chilies on the side to nibble on between bites (that's SUCH a Mexican thing to do).

So in order to prepare a plain quesadilla making do with stuff available in most supermarkets in the UK you need:

We've found that this cheese is the most similar to Oaxacan cheese (cheddar tends to be a bit too strong even in its mildest variety). Also, pictured are some Mexican Discovery Green Jalapeños.

Then all you need to do is to heat up a pan (no need to add oil), warm up the tortilla and add the grated cheese. Fold it in half and keep cooking until the cheese has melted. Eat immediately!

Again, this isn't proper Mexican as such. Ideally the tortillas would be 100% corn (Old El Paso Corn Tortillas are only 27% corn flour and the rest is wheat flour).

OK, so where on Earth to get proper tortillas and salsas you ask?

That proves a bit more difficult than simply popping down to your local Sainsbury's but it's not impossible. Cool Chile sells packs of a dozen corn tortillas here, and we just found out about Rico Mexican Kitchen who have an impressive array of salsas right here. If you live in London, go to Wholefoods Market and ask for Sabores Aztecas Green Salsa for the most amazing tomatillo salsa imported directly from México.

1 comment:

  1. The Daily Mexican is a riot (as well as being really informative). I don't know why the Americans (or British) have such a misconception about Mexican food? I really miss Vera Cruz with its shrimp-stuffed avocados for US$1.00. I never had a hard taco until I ate at Taco Bell here in the EEUU.
    Las Mananitas was always my favorite in Cuernavaca, but now, I understand you need a kevlar vest in that town.
    Please post more recipes!