Quesadillas are one of the easiest meals to make and have become my go-to lunch or snack when nothing else sounds good.
My abuela would make them with homemade flour tortillas when we needed a little something between lunch and dinner.
My updated version includes homemade corn tortillas with fried cheese on the outside–––forming a crispy blanket that protects the savory fillings (poblano peppers, chorizo, Oaxaca cheese) on the inside.
Although, these are not my abuela’s quesadillas, I know she would absolutely love them!
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there are 3 parts to this recipe
Making the tortillas
Preparing and cooking the fillings
Assembling and cooking the quesadillas
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 18 corn tortillas
If you have a comal, griddle, or pan you can move faster by cooking multiple tortillas at once. Also, there is no shame in using store bought tortillas, they will still be just as delicious!
Corn Tortilla Ingredients
2 cups masa de maíz (corn flour)
(Note: The Maseca brand can be found in the Hispanic section of most markets.)
1 ½ cups warm water
(Note: Microwave the water for 35 seconds or use hot tap water.)
1 teaspoon salt
A tortilla press is ideal, but if you don’t have one, you can use a heavy skillet to press out a perfectly round tortilla.
Preparing Corn Tortillas
- In a mixing bowl, add salt to the flour and combine.
- Add hot water and mix until a soft dough forms.
(Note: You will know when it’s right because it will not be sticky.
Form small balls as evenly as possible, about 16 to 18 total. Keep covered until they are pressed and ready to use so they don’t dry out.
Cut a Ziploc bag open, like a book. This will be used to press the tortillas and avoid sticking.
Place the plastic inside the tortilla press.
Heat the comal or pan on medium to medium-high heat. While it’s heating start preparing the tortillas.
Place one ball into the press with the plastic wrapping around the ball.
Press down on the ball until it is flattened and formed into a flat disc. If using a pan to press, place the dough ball inside the plastic on the counter and place the pan on top applying pressure to flatten the ball into a disc.
Carefully lift the wrapped disc, removing the plastic gently so the dough does not break.
Place it into the skillet and cook for 1 minute on each side. If using a comal or griddle, this will go by much faster.
The tortilla will puff up, which is good. Press gently with a spatula and when medium brown spots begin to form, flip the tortilla over for another minute. Lower the heat slightly if the brown spots are too dark. Raise the heat if they are not forming fast enough.
Place on a plate and wrap with a towel. This will steam the tortillas and soften them. They will be ready within 15 minutes.
Prep Time: 15minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35-40 minutes
Yields: 8-9 double sided
tips before starting
Make sure to prepare the fillings ahead of time. This prep can all be done in one pan and/or skillet. I highly suggest using a cast iron skillet.
Once you have all of your fillings prepared, it will make the process run smoothly and easily.
I used poblanos, chorizo, red peppers, onions and cheese, but feel free to use other vegetables. Mushrooms also work great!
Ingredients for the filling
1 poblano pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
½ onion, chopped (chop about the same size as the peppers).
½ lb of chorizo or soyrizo (your choice)
1 pound of grated cheese––Colby-Jack, Oaxaca, or mild cheddar (it should be a good melting cheese).
16 - 18 corn tortillas
Preparing the filling
- Chop the poblano pepper into small pieces, removing the seeds and stem.
- Sauté the pepper until soft. Season with salt. Place into a small bowl, set aside.
- Chop red pepper the same size as the poblanos and cook exactly the same way. Place in a small bowl.
- Chop the onion and sauté, place into a small bowl.
- Cook the chorizo, breaking it up so that you are left with crumbled chorizo. Place it into a small bowl.
- Grate the cheese and place into a small bowl.
*Note: You will use 2 tortillas per quesadilla. If you use store bought corn tortillas you may use only one tortilla by folding it in half. The homemade tortillas are thicker and not as easy to fold in half.
Preparing the quesadilla
- In the same pan or skillet where you cooked all your fillings, on medium to medium-high heat, place a medium handful of grated cheese into the center of the pan, It should start to melt immediately.
- Place a tortilla directly on top of the melting cheese, pressing slightly to ensure the tortilla and the cheese make contact.
- While the cheese and the tortilla are heating, place a tablespoon of cheese, and 2 teaspoons of any combination of fillings (poblano, red peppers, onions, or chorizo) onto the tortilla, spreading it evenly.
- Top with another tortilla to form the two sided quesadilla.
- Using a spatula, press and check the bottom tortilla. When it’s ready to flip the cheese will no longer be soft and gooey, it will become crispy and will release easily (about 30 seconds).
- Turn it over and cook until the other side is crispy (about 20 - 30 seconds).
*Note: There is no added oil because the cheese releases enough oil to lightly fry the second side.
Remove the quesadilla from the pan and top it with your choice of garnish––queso fresco, pickled onions, jalapeños, avocado, cilantro.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
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