Squash Blossom Quesadilla Recipe
While on my recent trip to Mexico I spent a pretty good bit of time in my Mother in law's kitchen. I tried lots of new dishes, but one was so new, different, and delicious to me that I decided to take photos and write this recipe for it. Quesadillas de flor de calabaze, or squash flower/blossom quesadillas, are a tasty authentic dish using a main ingredient you may not even have known was food.
Masa, or tortillas
Queso Oaxaca, or Mozzarella cheese
Optional: chili pepper, garlic, onion
Step 1. Boil the flowers
First, you need to find squash blooms. In Mexico they are sold at the market, as they are a common food. In the US they are only available in the summer, and you will need to know someone who is growing squash. Take all of the male blossoms you want, but be careful not to kill the squash by taking the female blossoms. I will not propose to be an expert on blossom harvesting, maybe Google can help with this. Be sure to cook them soon after harvesting as the flowers have a very short shelf life.
Wash the blossoms, chop them into 1/2 inch pieces, then put them in a pot of boiling water with salt to taste. If you like, you can add onions, peppers, and/or garlic at this point. They only need to boil for a couple of minutes, until the blossoms are soft and wilted. Next, strain the water off. Sorry I don't have photos of this part of the recipe, I didn't whip out the camera until I ate one of the first ones off the stove and decided this was worth documenting.
Step 2. Make the quesadillas
Earlier that morning me and my father in law had across town and bought the masa, I guess you would call it corn tortilla dough in English. It can be bought dry in the supermarket here under the name brand Maseca. If you don't want to hand make tortillas you can just by them pre-made, corn or flour, if you'd like, but Im trying to keep this recipe as authentic as possible.
If you are going the hard route mix the masa by the instructions and roll it into1 1/2 to 2 inch balls then flatten it out into tortillas by patting it or using a press, as shown in the photos below.
Next add the boiled blooms to the middle of the quesadilla along with the cheese. I don't have exact measurements as they didn't use them there. I suggest that you make one and cook it, then use the outcome to decide how to make the others. In the photos you see a leaf on top of the squash, that's epazote, an herb used in some Mexican dishes. I didn't like it, neither did some other members of the family, so it was only used in a few of the quesadillas. I just failed to take a photo of one without it. Sorry. I don't think it's available in the US anyway.
With the blooms and cheese inside, fold the tortilla over and, if you are using masa, press the edges together. If you are using store bought tortillas you can brush the outer inside edges of the tortilla with raw egg and it will bond together in the skillet, or you can just cook it and the cheese will do a pretty good job of holding it together.
Step 3. Cook
In a large skillet heat a few tablespoons of oil and add the quesadilla. Cook over medium heat until the tortilla is browned, by this point the cheese inside should be melted. If it's still cold in the middle lower the heat and increase the cook time.
Give the finished quesadilla a few moments to cool and enjoy. ¡Buen provecho!
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