When I started this blog, I had decided to first post recipes of the dishes which I've already photographed (and put together on the banner). Then I got sidetracked in the last couple of posts, writing about the ones I've cooked recently. Yesterday, I had a conversation with Vrinda chechi (of the No-Cook Fish Molee fame!) and the topic of Mexican food came up. That's when I remembered this lipsmacking quesadilla that I'd made and photographed a couple of months ago, inspired by a Nigella Lawson recipe on TLC. So that's what this post is about!
Basically, a quesadilla is a tortilla folded over with some stuffing inside, with cheese, and grilled. A tortilla can be called the Mexican version of our very own chapathi-only its made with refined flour, baking powder, and any vegetable shortening. If you roll up a couple of tortillas, filling them with cheese, sauce, and bake them with sauce on top, it becomes an enchilada.
My tryst with Mexican cuisine has so far been restricted to nachos, salsa dips, guacamole, and quesadillas. For nachos, I arrange them on a baking tray, grate cheese on top, and grill them for 5 minutes. Perfect hasty snack! As for guacamole, whenever avocados are in season (and they are available aplenty in Bangalore then), I make this dip by just combining it with lime juice, green chillies, coriander leaves, spring onions, sweet chilli sauce, and salt (again, by Nigella Lawson)-but you can add any other salad ingredients too, like onions, tomatoes, cheese, etc...use your imagination!
For this recipe, I had modified the original Nigella Lawson one by substituting and omitting certain things. You obviously can use any stuffing you like-just remember to use lots of cheese and grill it in the end to make it a quesadilla-I grilled it on a skillet/tava. Also, the original recipe used readymade tortilla, which I did not have, so I made them fresh. Here's how (after extensive web browsing, found the recipe here)
- White flour 2 cups (or use 1 cup wheat flour + 1 cup maida, for a healthier version)
- Baking powder 1-1/2 teaspoons
- Vegetable oil 2 teaspoon
- Water or milk 3/4th cup (lukewarm)
- Salt To taste
- Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another.
- Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and combine everything until it becomes a smooth dough.
- Leave to rest for 20 minutes, covered with a bowl or a damp muslin cloth.
- Divide into balls and roll out into a circle which is as thin as you want it to be.
- Now heat a skillet and place the tortilla on it.
- Turn sides every 30 seconds so that bubbles rise and it gets brown spots all over.
- Cook each one and keep warm by covering with a towel or storing in a warmer.
For the stuffing (for one person):
- Cured ham/bacon/salami Enough to cover one tortilla
- Green chillies To taste, finely sliced
- Spring onions/scallions 1, finely sliced
- Coriander leaves (cilantro) 1 tablespoon, chopped fine
- Grated cheese As much as you like!
To assemble the quesadilla:
- Place one tortilla on a plate, place the ham/bacon/salami on top, covering the tortilla surface.
- On one-half portion of the tortilla, arrange the green chillies, spring onions, cilantro, and sprinkle the cheese.
- Now fold one-half of the tortilla over the half with all the stuffing.
- Brush oil on all sides of the tortilla.
- Place on a hot tava and cook both sides until the cheese melts a little.
- Transfer to a plate, cut into two parts, and enjoy!
- This is a very, very filling snack that can double up as a quick dinner :-)