Squash Blossoms Quesadillas made with fresh made tortillas and with store-bought tortillas. Either way you make them, they make a delectable treat!
Last Summer while visiting a Latin grocery store almost an hour away going East from my place, I found these beauties you see in the picture above. So neatly packaged in this plastic box. You can’t imagine my excitement. Yes, I know, you must be thinking: “exciting for Squash Blossoms”? See, for 2 Summers, I tried to plant, care for and harvest zucchini plants in my balcony without any success. One Summer only 2 flowers showed up. So I gave up on the fantasy that such plants will do well in this barely sunny piece of concrete. Now, my only wish is that we could have a well stocked store like that one closer to my home. That way I could cook Zucchini Flowers stuffed with cheese, in a soup or a salad more often.
But for now we will have quesadillas, the typical quesadilla sold at the markets and streets surrounding them, where a lady with a huge round griddle will be patting the white or blue corn masa (dough) forming this simple mouth watering parcels at her own rhythm as she handles the dough, place the filling of your choice, tenders the customers, turns the quesadilla, turns it a couple of times more until it gets a little toasty, feeding your body and your memories.
Quesadillas made with store bought corn tortillas or Corn Masa flour
Ingredients for 6 quesadillas:
- 6 corn tortillas
- 12 squash blossoms
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cup Oaxaca cheese (or any other melting cheese shredded)
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped white onion
- 1 small garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 small serrano pepper (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Epazote leaves*
- About 2 tablespoons of lard or vegetable oil to grease the griddle.
*Note: Epazote is hard to find in some areas. You can use dried epazote if you find this option. If you find fresh epazote and don’t use it often, wash it, dry it with paper towels and place it in a plastic bag and store in your freezer for future uses.
Instructions for the filling:
1. Remove the steam from the flower, place flowers in cold water and gentle rinse. Place over paper towels to absorbed excess water.
2. Heat oil in a skillet over a medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, and serrano pepper if using. Tossing until onion looks translucent, about 3 minutes. Add Blossoms and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing until blossoms are heated through, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the Epazote. Slightly cool before using.
Preparing the Quesadillas with Corn Masa Flour:
- 1 1/2 cup of Masa flour
- Approximately 3/4 cup of warm water.
Prepare the dough according to package directions. The dough has to be soft and not dry or crumble. Cover with a damp kitchen towel. Preheat a griddle over medium heat right before you start forming the quesadillas.
1. Divide the dough in small golf-ball size pieces. Using the Tortilla press, place one ball of dough between to pieces of plastic to from a circle. You can also use the method I used HERE. Add a little of the blossoms filling in one half disc and some shreds of the cheese.
2. Once the filling is placed, fold half the tortilla disc with the help of the plastic. Press the edges and remove the plastic holding the quesadilla in your hand like the picture below. (Traditionally the tortilla is placed directly on the griddle, sprinkled with cheese and topped with filling, and then folded. Here we will form the quesadilla first as making empanadas).
3. Using a paper towel spread 1 teaspoon of oil or lard on hot griddle.When the oil is hot place the quesadilla and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. (Make sure the griddle is not to hot, the outside will burn and the dough will be will not be cooked). Cook until is golden in both side and filing is warm with a melting cheese. Repeat these steps with the rest of the dough, adding more oil as needed, this will prevent the dough from sticking to the pan.
Making the quesadillas with store-bought tortillas is easier since you just place fillings in each tortilla, fold and proceed to cook in the griddle as directed above.
Serve as soon as they are ready. If making several at once, keep them warm in an preheat oven.
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