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Living in Monterrey, N.L. gives you the opportunity to enjoy some of the finest restaurants and steakhouses in Mexico, similar to those here in the United States. Monterrey is the third largest metropolitan area in the country, and although it’s regarded as greatly Americanized for being so close to the US-Mexico border, there is still a little pleasure that most of their habitants enjoy to eat: Tacos. The variety of taco stands (either morning tacos or tacos that are sold only at night) is so diverse that you can plan a whole tour just to get to try them all.
|Monterrey, Nuevo León, México., at the foothill of the Sierra Madre Oriental. The "Sadle Chair" Mountain in the background.|
(Photo Courtesy of: Wikipedia.org)
While living there, we used to go to a "taqueria" (taco restaurant) where they also offered this steak quesadilla in their menu, called a “quesadilla mixta”. It was my son’s absolute favorite, to the point that he always asked to order one extra "quesadilla mixta" to go. That way he could have one during recess time at school the next day. My son’s memories of his childhood are the inspiration behind this recipe. The cooking technique used here is different from the one used in the taquerias, were the steak is grilled first with large slices of onion and then chopped finely. I prefer to chop the onions and steak first because it’s a faster and more convenient way to make it at home.
If you’re planning a Mexican-themed party for this "Cinco de Mayo", and want to try something new and don’t have too much time to cook, this is an option that you can make ahead time and offer as an appetizer to your guests. You can cook them a day ahead and simply reheat them in your oven the next day.
SERVES 4 QUESADILLAS
- 1 Tb. vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
- lb. fajita, sirloin or rib eye steak, finely diced.
- Salt and pepper to season steak
- 8 medium size, flour tortillas
- 1 (12 oz) Oaxaca Cheese package
- avocado slices or guacamole
- pico de gallo salsa
- lime slices
- Cacique Mexican Cream
- This is a great way to use leftover grilled meats.
- While making the quesadillas, you can turn your oven on at 250F to keep them warm while you finish cooking the rest of them.
- To reheat, place in a baking sheet on a 300 degree oven, loosely covered with aluminum paper.
- To make this quesadilla you can use rib eye, fajitas or sirloin steak and, of course, a good quality melting cheese. I like to use Oaxaca Cheese from Cacique, so that the quesadillas will have the lovely melted cheese oozing out when you squeeze the tortilla with each bite. Who doesn't like that, right? Mexican dishes (especially Quesadillas) taste best when using authentic ingredients, and nowadays cheeses like Mexican Quesadilla Cheese, Queso Fresco, and Queso Ranchero are easily available from the Cacique brand.
1. Heat a skillet over medium high heat, and add the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and sauté for about 2 minutes.
2. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Add the chopped meat to the skillet and cook until browned, about 6 minutes…
3. Now, make the quesadillas by topping one tortilla first with 1/4 of the cooked meat and then with 1/4 of the Cacique Oaxaca Cheese that has been separated into strings.
4. Top with another tortilla and, with the help of a wide spatula, place on a preheated griddle or comal. (I don't grease the griddle, but if you want to you can add a teaspoon of oil for each quesadilla) Press gently to seal the tortillas.
5. Cook the quesadilla on medium heat. Cook the quesadilla for 2 or 3 minutes and turn to cook the other side. When ready, the tortilla will be crispy with brown spots and the cheese will have melted. Repeat this process with the rest of the quesadillas.
Cinco de Mayo parties aren't complete without quesadillas as appetizers or entrees. ¡Buen provecho!
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