Que Sera Sera Quesadillas

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Posted by Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

Have you ever met someone who doesn’t like tortillas?

I didn’t think so.

These days, there’s a tortilla on the market for every taste and dietary preference: corn tortillas for gluten-free eating; oat bran tortillas for lower-carb eating; spinach or sun-dried tortillas for colorful eating. I always have a few different types of tortilla in my refrigerator and freezer.

Originally from Mexico, tortillas are the ultimate flatbread, made from corn cured in lime water; the process, called nixtamalization, causes the skin of the corn kernels to peel off, which increases the nutritional value by activating the niacin and tryptophan in the corn.

My newest passion is Joseph's brand wheat-oat bran-flax tortilla, with 70 calories and just 5 net carbs. With the carbs reduced, tortillas seem to lose a bit of their heft, so they're not wonderful for heavy fillings, but they're perfect for quesadillas, and the kids in our family love them.

A quesadilla (pronounced kay-sah-DEE-yah) is nothing more than a thin grilled cheese sandwich, made on a tortilla instead of bread. And like any good grilled cheese sandwich, you can make it with any kind of cheese, on any kind of tortilla, with any kind of stuff stuffed inside. Cook it on the grill, in a frying pan, on a griddle, or even under the broiler.

It’s really fun to make your own salsa (which is Spanish for “sauce”) for topping, but you can also buy good salsa in the store. Salsa doesn’t have to be hot and spicy – it can be mildly spicy, or sweet, depending on what you like. In the summer, you can make salsa from fruit (like peaches or mangoes), and in the winter from canned tomatoes.

OH – and you parents may remember this from Doris Day movies – que sera sera means “whatever will be, will be” – and that fits this recipe perfectly.

Que Sera Sera Quesadillas
This isn’t really a recipe; it’s just a starting point. Serves 2, 4, 6, 8…..

2 large flour tortillas (or 4 small ones), per person – plain or flavored tortillas of your choice

Two handfuls of grated cheese – Monterey Jack, cheddar, or a mix – shredded on the large holes of a box grater (store-bought shredded cheese works well, too)

Optional add-ins:
Chopped cilantro
Mole sauce
Canned black or red beans, drained and rinsed in water
Chopped fresh tomato
Leftover cooked chicken, shredded
Cooked sausage
Jalapeño peppers, seeds removed, minced
Canned chopped green chiles
Cooked onions or green or red bell pepper
Goat cheese
Cooked hamburger (or veggie burger), crumbled
Chopped sun-dried tomato

Method: Preheat your griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Place one tortilla on your work surface. Sprinkle a bit of cheese, then arrange any optional add-ins. Sprinkle remaining cheese, and top with the other tortilla. Don’t mound up too many toppings on your tortilla; you need the cheese to melt and hold the quesadilla together.

Place your quesadilla in the frying pan or griddle (no oil necessary), and cook for 2-3 minutes. Gently lift one edge of the top tortilla; if the cheese on the bottom has started to melt, and if the bottom tortilla has started to brown ever so slightly, it’s time to flip the whole quesadilla over. Cook 2-3 minutes more, until the cheese has melted and the quesadilla is stuck together. Remove to a cutting board, let it rest for a minute, then cut into small wedges and serve with salsa.

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This Post was written by Lydia from The Perfect Pantry


Wonderful! The lighter tortillas are my true friend when I'm counting calories, though I will always love traditional corn the best.

Anonymous said...
April 10, 2008 at 12:33:00 PM GMT+2  

Quesadillas or questatipas as my youngest calls them are my friend when they're clamouring for food, wanting something cooked but don't want to wait.

We don't have all those different sorts here in England but they're definitely something every Mum should cook and experiment with.

April 10, 2008 at 5:48:00 PM GMT+2  

What a cute name :)
Whole-wheat tortillas have become a pantry staple in my home, and I often use them as a substitute for rotis in Indian meals (shh...don't tell).
Your fillings sound delicious; mole sauce is something I have always wanted to make at home.

Anonymous said...
April 11, 2008 at 1:17:00 AM GMT+2  

hehe - I actually wanted to disclose the same secret as Nupur. This time while I was in Dubai my mum and I had lunch at a place called "Bombay Chowpatty" and they had a snack called Frankies. It was simply roti with different fillings - I had one with spicy paneer. Lydia, this post reminded me that I have a great alternative to roti and will try making a Frankie fusion with tortillas!

Meeta K. Wolff said...
April 11, 2008 at 9:13:00 PM GMT+2  

Hi Meeta
I too have had frankies , the best one is at the Shivaji park Dadar entrance!! Its just YUM!! I tried to recreate the taste with raw bananas and chaat masala and somethingss.. I dont remm.. but it was close and not too close..! If you find the prefect recipe for a Frankie do post it.

Sandhya N said...
April 11, 2008 at 9:20:00 PM GMT+2  

Always keep a package of tortillas in the fridge ready to roll up with some turkey ,cheese or whatever is available and pop it in the microwave! Everyone does love a delicious quesadillas or two!

Jann said...
April 12, 2008 at 3:55:00 AM GMT+2  

We also love torillias, but don't really have much luck with them in the microwave -- they dry out and become rather "yuckle," as my 4 yr old puts it. Can someone recommend a type that stand up to microwaving? Or way to cook them in the microwave without it happening? Thanks, Wendy

Anonymous said...
April 12, 2008 at 9:34:00 AM GMT+2  

Ann, nothing compares to a freshly made corn tortilla from a tortilleria, but for everyday I've been quite happy with these lighter-carb versions from the supermarket.

Amanda, our grandkids love to fill their own from whatever they find in the fridge. Great fun!

Nupur, I won't tell! I use them in place of pancakes for Chinese moo shu dishes, too.

Meeta, Sandy: I've never heard of Frankies. Where have I been???

Jann, same here, tortillas make any kind of quick roll-up really easy. Great way to use leftovers, too.

Anonymous, I don't do quesadillas in the microwave, mostly because the cheese tends to burn and the tortilla gets a bit rubbery. They take only 3-4 minutes in a dry frying pan, which is easy to clean up and keeps the tortillas a bit crispy.

April 12, 2008 at 3:14:00 PM GMT+2  

love ur version of quesadillas..nice one

Unknown said...
April 18, 2008 at 9:41:00 AM GMT+2  

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