Recipe: Quesadilla/Sincronizada

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Loads of food cultures have a variation of cheese and bread heated together. We have the cheese toastie. In Mexico they have the quesadilla, using corn or flour tortillas. There are two variations, the quesadilla where one tortilla is filled and folded in half and the sincronizada where the filling is sandwiched between two tortillas. In both cases the tortilla is dry fried (or fried) on a frying pan or griddle. You’ll tend to find sincronizadas called quesadillas if you see them in restaurants and having started writing this blog entry I think that’s because quesadilla is easier to spell.

They’re a great and easy snack/lunch to make. Once you have the technique down pat, then there are a wide variety of versions you can make. I’ve listed some ideas at the bottom. In my experiments with this I’ve found flour tortillas slightly easier to handle, although the corn ones have more flavour. I would also warn people to keep the filling fairly frugal to be sure that it cooks through properly and to make it easier to eat.

I’ve done two recipes in this entry, a cheese based one and a vegan option. To be authentic for the vegan one, I should be using refried beans, which you can find in some supermarkets now, but in fairly large tins. As I’m giving the recipe for two people, I’m going to use baked beans. If anyone wants to report me to the Mexican Embassy over this, their number is 020 7499 8586.

Quesadilla photo DSCN0725_zps381529f6.jpg

Ingredients – cheese
50g cheese, grated
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, deseeded and finely chopped
1/3 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
4 small flour or corn tortillas

Ingredients – baked beans
1 small tin baked beans
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/3 red chilli, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
4 small flour or corn tortillas

Add the filling ingredients to a bowl and mix well. If you’re doing the baked beans version, try and mush the beans together a little as you mix.
Season with salt and pepper.
Put a small frying pan on a medium to high heat.
When it’s hot add the first tortilla and spread half the filling over it.
Heat until the bottom of the tortilla is looking a little browned and crispy.
Cover the lower tortilla and filling with a second tortilla and press down.
Using a fish slice or a spatula, carefully turn the tortilla sandwich over.
Heat the tortilla until it is now toasted.
Remove from the pan and cut into quarters.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Serves 2 as a light lunch or snack.

Once you have mastered this technique then the variations are only limited by imagination and taste. Off the top of my head you could try tapenade and mozzarella; hummus and chopped green olives; mozzarella, tomato and basil; crumbled falafel and tapenade. You could even try a sweet version with peanut butter and grated chocolate or Nutella. Cheese on toast was never this good.

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2 responses »

    • Yes, well, I thought someone might take away my Foodie Badge from the food I cooked during my £5 week. Using baked beans is probably a step too far!

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