Oaxaca-style Mushroom and Cheese Quesadillas
Quesadillas de Hongos con Queso Estilo Oaxaca
1 tbsp safflower or corn oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup white onion, chopped
1 chile serrano, or jalapeño, finely chopped (seeding optional)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 lb fresh mushrooms, white or baby bello, or any that you prefer, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh epazote leaves, chopped, optional
2 tsp kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1 cup Oaxaca cheese, shredded (also good with mozzarella, muenster or monterey jack)
Corn tortillas, store bought or homemade
Salsa of your choice
Heat the oil and butter in a large sauté pan, set over medium-high heat. When butter starts to sizzle, add white onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the serrano chile and chopped garlic and cook until fragrant, for about a minute.
Incorporate the thinly sliced mushrooms and cook them for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Their juices will begin to come out and after a couple minutes they will begin to dry out. When they do, mix in the epazote leaves if using, and salt, stir and cook for another minute. The mushroom mix should be moist, not wet or too dry, which will be perfect for filling the quesadillas.
Heat the tortillas on a hot comal or dry skillet over medium heat for about 20 seconds. Place a tablespoon or two of the mushroom mix and a tablespoon or two of the shredded cheese (depending on how chubby you want them!) on the center of each tortilla. Fold it as if it were a turnover and press down. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, until cheese is completely melted and tortillas have begun to crisp a bit on the outside.
Serve with a side of a salsa of your choice.
24 FEBRUARY 2011
6:30 to 9:00 PM
Cooking demonstration and tasting dinner at the Mexican Cultural Institute.
Chef Alejandro Ruiz, utmost expert on Oaxacan food and moles, will do us the honor of joining us for this class: Straight from Oaxaca, from the Award winning Casa Oaxaca restaurant, he will come to share his food and expertise!
An intoxicating blend of chocolate, chiles, garlic, onions and nuts and so
Oaxaca is known as the land of the “seven moles”. But a quick visit to that
enchanting, incredibly diverse state will reveal that there are many more
than that. Comprising an infinite rainbow of earthy colors such as black,
brown, brick red, yellow and green and varying textures and ingredients.
The region’s moles which include, negro, rojo, coloradito, chichilo, verde,
amarillo, mancha manteles, almendrado, pipian, de Castilla use a variety of
chiles, almonds, raisins, pumpkin seeds, tomato, garlic, onions, plantains,
chocolate, spices, chile seeds and a wide array of ingredients. From the
incredibly complex and laborious to the simplest with just a handful of
ingredients, this is a class sure to surprise and please all your senses.
To register and for more information click here.
Oaxaca cheese is a mild tasting, gently salty, stringy white cheese with a deliciously chewy, full and filling bite. It is made in the same way as Mozzarella cheese. In fact, they taste very similar! Once the curds are formed, they are heated in water, stirred, and heated in water again. Throughout the process, as they are heated and stirred, they are made into very long threads that are pulled once and then again, until the desired consistency is achieved. Then the long threads are wrapped into balls.
In Mexico, and recently in some places abroad as well, you can find freshly made Oaxaca cheese, as it is usually found in small town and open air markets. You can also find commercially processed Oaxaca cheese in grocery stores, but the flavor and consistency changes considerably from the fresh ones.
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