RECIPE

How to prepare cheesy mushroom quesadillas

The stuffing depends on your choice. You can have it vegetarian or loaded with meat

In Summary

• A quesadilla is a Mexican dish made of tortilla bread filled with cheese, meat, spices

Mushroom quesadillas accompanied with salsa, guacamole and red cabbage salsa
Mushroom quesadillas accompanied with salsa, guacamole and red cabbage salsa
Image: HANNIE PETRA

A quesadilla is a Mexican dish that consists of tortilla bread that is filled primarily with cheese meats, spices and other fillings, then cooked on a griddle or stove until golden.

The quesadilla was developed once Spanish settlers came to Mexico in the 16th century. Turnover-type foods were popular in Medieval Spain, and they were blended with New World foods.

So on that note, the quesadilla is a blended product of both the Old and New World and is prepared on soft bread tortillas.

The tortilla is a thin, circular unleavened flatbread, originally made from maize hominy meal but now also from wheat flour. 

The word originated from the Spanish word tort, which means "cake".

However, similar flatbread is now made in different parts of the world with unique different names.

Tortilla breads with fillings to make the quesadillas
Tortilla breads with fillings to make the quesadillas
Image: HANNIE PETRA

The stuffing entirely depends on one's choice. You can have it vegetarian or loaded with meat, spicy or not.

They can be a quick snack or a full meal, depending on whether you serve them with accompaniments or not. 

Mushroom quesadillas are vegetarian-friendly, and the crunch from the fried mushrooms gives them an extra twist.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 pound cremini, button, or wild mushrooms (thickly sliced)

  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)

  • 1/2 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

  • A handful of fresh cilantro leaves

  • 10 (6-inch) corn tortillas

  • Salt to taste

PREPARATION

In a large pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it shimmers, then add the mushrooms and chopped onions to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring them.

Add the garlic and scallions to the pan and cook for 2-4 minutes or until the garlic is aromatic and the scallions soften.

Add the salt and pepper, stir then turn off the heat and set the pan aside.

Place another pan on medium heat. Once hot, place an empty tortilla bread in the pan and scatter with 2 tablespoons of cheese and 2 tablespoons of the mushrooms. Top with cilantro leaves and another 2 tablespoons of cheese. Place a second tortilla on top and press down lightly.

Pan-fried mushrooms, onions and spices on a tortilla bread
Pan-fried mushrooms, onions and spices on a tortilla bread
Image: HANNIE PETRA

Cook on one side for about 1 minute, or until the cheese begins to melt and the bread browns a little.

With a large spatula, flip the quesadilla over and cook for another 30 seconds, or until the cheese melts and the tortillas are lightly toasted with a few brown spots. Repeat with remaining tortillas, cheese and filling.

Quesadilla stuffed with pan-fried mushrooms, spies and grated cheese
Quesadilla stuffed with pan-fried mushrooms, spies and grated cheese
Image: HANNIE PETRA

If you opt to use a microwave instead of the pan, assemble the quesadillas as above, then place them on a plate and microwave for about 1 minute, or until the cheese melts.

Then cut them into quarters.

However, you should note your quesadillas will be softer and less crispy if you choose this method.

Quesadillas are best served with salsa or guacamole.

Or you can choose to have both for a flavourful delight or add a salad on the side to make it a meal.

Enjoy.