Tortillas are omnipresent in Mexican cuisine. They are prepared in a thousand ways, used as bread, fried, rolled up, filled and baked. They are prepared with different flours of different sizes. In this vast culinary world, we want to offer you the recipe for the simplest, but very tasty, quesadillas . That is a kind of piadina filled with cheese, which is eaten as a snack (with the addition of meat, vegetables, black beans, avocado and so on and so forth). We offer it in veg version, with vegetables, but if you want vegan you can replace the cheese with a racy vegetable.
Quesadillas: prepare tortillas
The tortilla that serves as ‘piadina’ is prepared with a special white corn flour called masa harina. If you do not find it you can replace it with wheat flour and super-fine corn flour (like foil) in equal parts. For about 6 tortillas you will use 200 grams of flour, 175 grams of warm water, a teaspoon of salt. In a bowl, add the flour and salt, and add the water a little at a time, stirring well. Work the dough until you get a homogeneous, soft ball that comes off your hands. Divide it into 6 balls, which you will then flatten with a rolling pin. There is a special tool to press the balls of dough and make tortillas, but is hardly found in Italian homes. To avoid sticking to the rolling pin, use a sheet of parchment paper during the application.
Heat a non-stick pan, and cook each tortilla for a few minutes, until it becomes golden on both sides. It is not a problem if it inflates. You can also bake tortillas in the oven on a non-greased baking dish, about 5 minutes per side.
The filling of the quesadillas is cheese . To ‘imitate’ the Mexican queso you can use scamorza (not smoked) or any soft and stringy cheese, but with a delicate flavor. Mozzarella is too watery, avoid it. For a Mexican touch you can add sliced avocados, black beans, tomatoes and onions in small pieces, and some spice like coriander, cumin and paprika.
Alternatively, you can bake some watery vegetables such as pumpkin, aubergine and mushrooms. Or add corn and freshly cooked peppers.
Once you have filled half the tortilla with the chosen condiments, close it in half and heat it back into the pan for the cheese to become stringy. Accompany with spicy sauces, sour cream,