I love quesadillas. A few jalapenos, a bit of red onion, some coriander and a handful of cheese melted between a couple of tortillas is a near instantly gratifying meal. Up until I read this I didn't realise people made them any other way but the thought of fresh masa with the same fillings sounded great. I've also just recently stocked up on masa harina so it was obviously meant to be. My tortilla press was like a pasta machine, bought with the best intentions the gadget got used once and then stuck in the back of cupboard, making for the most expensive pasta/corn tortillas in the history of the world. Here was a perfect opportunity to get it out again though.
I tend to use cheddar for quesadillas as it is always in the fridge but I turned to mozzarella for these as it is far closer to the stretchy oaxaca cheese they'd use in Mexico. The last thing you want is a load of liquid in your quesadilla so this is a rare time I'd use the harder dry blocks of mozzarella over those stored in bags of liquid. These quesadillas obviously take a lot longer to prepare than sticking some cheese in a wheat tortilla but I'll certainly do it again, even if the preparation time means they definitely won't replace my current versions. The resultant quesadillas have a lovely flavour from the masa harina and the fresh dough aspect creates a softer, slightly breadier texture that feels altogether more homemade.
Masa Quesadillas with Mushroom and Roasted Chili Recipe
Makes 6 quesadillas
135gr masa harina
160gr hot water
1 clove garlic
3 green chillies
A Salsa Fresca
2 ripe tomatoes
1 small red onion
1/2 small pack/12.5gr coriander
Juice of 1/2 a lime
For the masa mix the salt and masa harina together then add the water. Knead for a few minutes until smooth then wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest for an hour.
For the salsa dice the onion and tomato and finely chop the coriander. Mix together, squeeze on the lime juice and season to taste.
Roast the green chilies either under the grill or directly in the flame of your gas hob until black all over then put in a bowl and cover it with clingfilm, this will help loosen the skins. After a few minutes you should be able to remove the skins easily. Take off the stem, remove the seeds and shred.
Slice the mushrooms then fry in a little oil with the garlic until cooked.
Take a sixth of the dough and flatten, between two sheets of plastic (I split a ziplock bag), in the tortilla press. Fill with a sixth of the cheese, mushrooms and roasted chili. Fold over and dry fry for 2-4 minutes a side until cooked. By using a small frying pan with the quesadilla pushed against one side you can create the nice rounded edge.
Serve with the salsa and other other condiments you like - I'm thinking the usual sour cream, chili sauce or guacamole.