Quesadillas play a big part in my life. I’ve been making them for years and have put just about everything and anything inside of them. From asparagus to broccoli to olives and cheddar – I’ve done it all. The best part is, it seems that whatever you use as ingredients, the outcome is always good. The quesadilla is part of a versatile and friendly meal.
Today’s recipe takes the regular quesadilla up a notch. I found this one in The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook, written by Ellen Brown. If you remember back, I posted another one of Ellen’s recipes on this site. Those German Apple Pancakes – they came out spectacularly. Ellen has some really tremendous recipes in her book, so if you’re into well thought out and unique dishes, I encourage you to take a look at it.
I would have to say the stars of today’s show are the mushrooms and goat cheese. Those are what I tasted the most and what I remember. The mushrooms are browned for flavor and enhanced by three herbs. The goat cheese is – well, goat cheese. If you’ve tasted it before, you probably love it. I sure do. Also, the swiss cheese doesn’t hurt. It only makes things better. Once the ingredients are together inside of the tortilla, they melt into one another, creating a wondrous plethora of delight (you know, I have to think of these words).
Makes: 3 Quesadillas
Regular Olive Oil
1 Large Shallot, Minced
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Pound of White Button Mushrooms, Sliced
Regular Table Salt
Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Chopped
1 Tablespoon Dried Tarragon
2 Teaspoons Dried Thyme
3 9-Inch Tortillas
1/3 Pound Swiss Cheese, Grated
2 Ounces Goat Cheese, Crumbled
If you’d like to mix things up, go ahead and use your favorite herbs. If the season is right, use what’s fresh. I only included the dried versions because they are much more widely available and are less expensive than the alternative. In a few month’s time when our garden starts producing, I’ll revisit this recipe and it’ll look very different.
Place your 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons of regular olive oil in the skillet. While everything is warming to temperature, go ahead (if you haven’t yet) and prep the garlic, shallots and mushroom.
When the pan is to temperature, go ahead and add in the minced shallots and garlic. Cook for only about 30 seconds. This step is to slightly soften both ingredients. When finished, add in the sliced mushrooms.
After the mushrooms have been added, increase the heat to medium-high and cook for about 10 minutes. You’ll need to stir constantly. When you see that the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are beginning to brown, you’ll know you’re ready for the next step.
Add the 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, the 1 tablespoon of dried tarragon and the 2 teaspoons of dried thyme to the mushrooms in the skillet.
Stir the herbs into the mushrooms well and cook for another minute. Then, salt and pepper to taste. When done, scrape the ingredients from the skillet into a bowl. Be sure to get the skillet as clean as possible.
This will be the process for each of the 3 tortillas. Add 1 tablespoon of regular olive oil to the skillet over medium heat. Place 1 tortilla in the skillet. Divide the mushroom mixture into thirds – 1/3 for each tortilla. Add the mushroom mixture to half of the tortilla. Then, add 1/3 the shredded swiss cheese and 1/3 of the goat cheese to the tortilla as well.
After the ingredients have been added, fold the tortilla over so it’s in half. Then, press down with a spatula and cook for a minute or so on each side. The goal is to brown the tortilla so it’s semi-crunchy.
Follow this process for each one and stack on a plate when they’re finished.
After all three quesadillas are finished cooking, go ahead and cut them in half, plate and serve. I think you’ll find something delightful for dinner.
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