Recipe Swap 2005 - Appetizers
Mango-Peach Quesadillas
(Heather & Steve)
Best Hot Appetizer
Shove some tasty ingredients between a couple of tortillas and cook them up on the stove. As long as you follow that basic theme, you pretty much can't go wrong.
  1. Tortillas: The simplest approach is to just buy tortillas that have been pressed out by a machine on an assembly line somewhere in New Jersey and then conveniently packaged up and delivered to your local grocery store. To add more excitement and flavor to your life, however, you may wish to make your own. To do so, mix:
    • 6 cups all purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    • 2 Tbsp baking powder
    • 1 Tbsp salt
    • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
    Note: if you don't already happen to have whole wheat flour, don't go to the trouble of buying it just for this. 6 1/2 cups of regular flour will work just fine. But adding just a little bit of whole wheat flour gives a nice earthy speckled appearance, and I like to believe that it adds a bit of complexity to the flavor (but really I'm just making up that last part).

    Blend all the above ingredients together by hand until the mixture takes on a somewhat coarse texture. While continuing to mix by hand, slowly add:

    • 2 cups warm water
    Knead the whole mess until you get tired and/or bored with the process. Then split the dough into balls with about a 2" diameter (about 22 balls total). Grease your hands with the vegetable shortening, and rub your balls with greasy hands to prevent them from getting crusty.

    Heat a pan. Ideally a flat cast iron griddle, but if that's not an option, pretty much any hot surface will do. One at a time, roll the tortilla balls flat. A rolling pin is helpful, but if you don't have one, just finish your bottle of beer and lightly flour its outer surface. You may find that rolling the tortillas flat is difficult, because they immediately shrink back to their original shape. Like rubber bands. In fact, before rubber bands were invented, I think people tied back long hair and held newspapers together with uncooked tortilla dough. Don't let their shrinking properties stress you out.

    Place a flattened tortilla on the hot griddle. When the tortillas form light brown bubbles, flip and cook the other side. As the tortillas finish cooking, stack them on a plate under a paper towel.

    This makes about 22 tortillas which is way more than necessary, so refrigerate the extras and use them for soft tacos some other day.
  2. Caramelized onions:
    • 1 pound of onions (sliced). Large sweet onions would be ideal, but not strictly necessary.
    • 2 Tbsp butter
    • 2 tsp brown sugar
    Cook onions with butter covered on medium low heat for half an hour. Uncover, add the brown sugar. Turn heat to medium and cook uncovered until the show you're watching goes to commercials twice (~20 minutes).
  3. The other stuff:
    • couple ripe mangoes (sliced)
    • A block of fontina cheese (or other cheese that melts nicely)
    • Trader Joe's Peach Salsa
    Slice up the mangoes and cheese. Then add the peach salsa.
  4. Sandwich the non-tortilla ingredients between two tortillas, and cook 'em up on the stove in a frying pan, or on the same surface you used for making the tortillas. Slice pizza-style and eat immediately.