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Luxurious Rustic Griddle Quesadillas

March 17, 2011

I love the name of this recipe, because it sounds pretty exotic for something so humble with so few ingredients.  These

rustic griddle quesadillas

are very different from your traditional quesadilla, because they are made with masa harina, a cornmeal, so they have a much different texture.  The dough is much thicker too, and completely envelopes the insides, which is just simple cheese.  The recipe called for a filling of garlic and chiles, but I kept it simple and just used queso fresco, then topped it with guacamole.   I served them alongside some vegetarian chili and I was a great rich side.  The masa dough can be a little tricky, so don’t be afraid to really use some plastic wrap to help form the quesadillas and squish them together.  This recipe comes from Rick Bayless and makes 8 quesadillas.


2 garlic cloves, unpeeled (optional)

1 to 2 fresh serrano chiles, stemmed (optional)

6 ounces (about 1 packed cup) crumbled queso fresco

1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herb—epazote is traditional in Mexico, but you can use cilantro, thyme,marjoram, basil or parsley (optional)


1 3/4 c powdered masa harina mixed with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water.

About 1 cup guacamole or salsa (roasted tomatillo salsa is my favorite here)


Knead 1/2 teaspoon salt into the  masa harina dough.  If necessary knead a few drops of water into the masa to give it the consistency of soft cookie dough.  Divide into 8 pieces, roll into balls and cover with plastic wrap to keep from drying out.

One by one, make the quesadillas:  line a tortilla press with two pieces of plastic cut to fit the plates.  Gently press out a flattened ball of dough between the sheets of plastic into a 5-inch circle.  Peel off the top sheet of plastic, flip the tortilla—uncovered side down—onto the fingers of one hand and gently peel off the second piece of plastic.  In one flowing movement, roll the tortilla off your hand and onto the preheated griddle or skillet.

After about 30 or 45 seconds, when the tortilla has released itself from the cooking surface, flip it.  Immediately spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling into the center.  Fold the quesadilla in half over the filling after another 30 or 45 seconds.  Continue to cook, flipping the quesadilla ever 30 seconds or so, until it is richly browned in places and crispy-crunchy, 4 to 5 minutes—a little longer than you might expect.  As you fold each tortilla over the filling, move on to making the next quesadilla.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 17, 2011 6:40 pm

    From that picture, the homemade tortillas definitely look worth the time.

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