Black Bean and Roasted Corn Quesadilla
Black Bean & Roasted Corn Quesadillas
Tortillas are a Staple Food in Hispanic Cultures
A tortilla is like a blank canvas. It can be used in fajitas, quesadillas, tacos, burritos, taquitos, tostados, tortilla chips, enchiladas….
In fact, a tortilla literally can be used as a canvas in what’s known as “tortilla art.” Joe Bravo is an artist in California whose works include The Great Wall of Los Angeles mural, drawings and paintings. He uses the tortilla in some of his art as a way to pay homage to his Hispanic roots. Bravo bakes a tortilla to get the coloring he wants, then paints it and covers it with an acrylic varnish to preserve it.
If you don’t plan to paint on your tortilla, you can still make art with it. By adding different combinations of ingredients such as meat, cheese and vegetables, you’ll have a new creation every time.
Read on to find out how to make my creation of Black Bean & Roasted Corn Quesadillas. It’s easier than it sounds. First you’ll make a filling of canned black beans, roasted corn, onions and cheese and then you’ll toast it in a pan.
This is an easy recipe. In fact, the filling will take longer to put together than it will to assemble and cook the tortilla. You can make a couple batches of the filling and store it in the fridge for a few days for a very quick lunch or dinner when you’re in a rush.
Ingredients for Black Bean & Roasted Corn Quesadillas
- 1/3 cup frozen corn, (or use corn cut fresh from the cob)
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- dash chili powder
- juice from 1 lime
- 1/3 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- vegetable oil, divided
- pinch kosher salt
- guacamole (optional)
- sour cream (optional)
- cilantro (optional)
Making the Quesadillas
- Heat a non-stick skillet with about 1 tsp vegetable oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the corn (fresh or frozen). Roast the corn until it starts to blacken, get toasty and starts to pop. This takes a few minutes so be patient and don't over-stir.
- When the corn is roasted, remove it to a bowl and set it aside.
- In the same pan, add the onions and cook them until they're softened.
- Add garlic and a dash of chili powder. Stir.
- Add corn back in with a little bit of freshly squeezed lime juice and the black beans. Lightly mash the beans.
- When the ingredients are warmed and mixed, remove all to a bowl.
- Heat a clean non-stick pan over medium high heat about 1 minute. Put 1 tortilla in the pan and warm the tortilla until it's puffy and toasted on both sides, about 1 minute total. Remove the tortilla to a plate. Repeat with the second tortilla.
- Add half of the filling to one side of a tortilla, leaving about 1/2" border.
- Add half of the cheese. Add cilantro on top (optional).
- Fold the empty half of the tortilla over the filling and press slightly.
- Brush the top of the tortilla lightly with a little bit of the vegetable oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of the salt.
- Repeat with the second 8" tortilla.
- Reheat the non-stick pan over medium-high heat about 1 minute. Place both tortillas in the pan, oiled side down. Cook 1-2 minutes until they get a little bit crisp.
- Lightly oil and salt the other side of both tortillas. Flip them over in the pan and cook 1-2 minutes on the second side.
- Remove the tortillas to plates and let sit a minute until the cheese melts. When cool, cut into wedges. Serve with dips of sour cream and guacamole.
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Cutting Corn Off the Cob
If a recipe calls for fresh corn, set the ear in a deep bowl to catch the kernels. Using a sharp knife, cut down along the cob. Be careful you don't cut too deep, you don't want pieces of the cob on the kernel.
Making a Batch of Quesadillas?
This recipe can easily be multiplied to make more than two 8" Quesadillas. If you're making more than two, you can hold the quesadillas in a 200º oven up to 20 minutes.
Years ago, my mother bought and sent me a Quesadilla maker much like this one. If you want to get the perfect looking quesadilla with evenly sliced wedges, try a quesadilla maker. If you're looking for filling ideas, you'll find plenty in these books.
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