Ham and Cheese Quesadilla
Ham and Cheese Quesadilla
I’m really not sure where I’ve been for the last 20 years or how I happened to miss this easy and delicious “grilled cheese sandwich.” I have totally overlooked it and that is clearly very stupid on my part. After making a quesadilla, and totally enjoyed eating it, I decided to get on the “quesadilla express”and start on my own flavor adventure. Ham and Cheese Quesadilla is the first in many recipes to come.
I have recently decided to give Hello Fresh a try. I’ll admit the coupon I received in the mail for 16 free meals was a clear motivator. Everyone I know has tried Hello Fresh, with all giving rave reviews, so I thought I’d give it a try. (Read my post, Hello Fresh, What I Think? coming next week) What does this have to do with a recipe for ham and cheese quesadilla? Well, I’m a gonna tell ya! One of the meals I selected was for cheesy chicken quesadillas.
First off, I’ve never made a quesadilla before. Don’t ask me why, because I really don’t know. Secondly, I was amazed at how quickly quesadillas came together. The chicken strips provided had a delicious roasted flavor. Even the tortilla shell was fresh along with the cheese. Lastly, what I liked about Hello Fresh is there is absolutely no waste. Everything is proportioned out exactly, right down to the last lime wedge:) Here is a link to Hello Fresh.
The Quesadilla is a common dish that you can find in any Mexican restaurant. It is also an essential meal or snack cooked in Mexican family kitchens. While the Quesadilla is seen as an authentic dish with its origins in colonial Mexico. The recipe has actually been influenced by several other cultures and cuisines along the way.
What is a Quesadilla?
If you are unfamiliar with the Quesadilla, the dish is a modest corn or flour tortilla that is filled and grilled. A full quesadilla combines two whole tortillas with a filling in between. A half tortilla is a single tortilla folded over into a half moon shape. A quesadilla is a corn or flour tortillas folded in half and stuffed with various ingredients. The ingredients range from cheese, potatoes, mushrooms, picadillo, chicharrón (pork rinds), or flor de calabaza (squash blossom).
The quesadilla is grilled on a comal (flat griddle). It’s then served as a folded tortilla or it can be prepared with two whole tortillas. However, the version using two whole tortillas is called sincronizada. This translates as “synchronised” in Spanish. It’s a quesadilla filled with ham, cheese and sometimes chorizo or refried beans.
Cultures that have Influenced
A number of other cultures and cuisines have contributed to the dish that we know as the Quesadilla.
- North America – corn tortillas were first eaten by the native Americans during pre-Columbian times (before 1492). They were considered a staple food.
- Italy – the Oaxaca cheese often used to fill the Quesadilla is a semi hard cow cheese that is stringy like mozzarella. Its method of production was introduced to Mexico by Dominican monks.
- Spain – the addition of pork and beef to the Quesadilla is a Spanish influence. Before the Spanish arrived in Mexico in the early 1500’s, meat was rarely a part of the traditional indigenous diet.
When do you eat a Quesadilla?
You can eat a Quesadilla any time of the day!
- Breakfast – between two corn tortilla add a fried egg & avocado or fry some mushrooms with garlic and epazote (thyme will work), add cheese. Grill until the cheese melts and serve with your favourite Mexican hot sauce to get your metabolism moving.
- Lunch – try filling a single corn tortilla with fish or seafood and cheese, fold in half and grill, then serve with a fresh salsa on the side.
- Dinner – fill your corn tortillas with slow cooked meat like beef, pork or chicken and cheese, grill, then serve with a fresh salad. For a vegetarian version try spicy black beans instead
- Snack – there is a version of the Quesadilla known as ‘Sincronizada’, which translates as ‘synchronised’ in Spanish. It is a ‘Quesadilla Sandwich’ filled with ham and cheese and sometimes chorizo or refried beans. A winner with the little ones!
- Serve With- serve quesadillas with picante sauce, marinara sauce, mustard tipping sauce or blue cheese or ranch salad dressing.
Most Common and Original QUESADILLA?
The most common and original version of quesadilla is stuffed with Oaxaca cheese (queso Oaxaca). Which is a Mexican soft cheese similar to mozzarella. This simple version can include a few fresh leaves of epazote, a pungent Mexican herb and strips of peeled chile poblano. The quesadilla is cooked on both sides on a comal.
Until the cheese has completely melted and the tortilla is golden. Quesadillas are typically cooked without any oil or lard, which makes them crispier. They are traditionally served with a combination of green or red salsa, chopped onion, or guacamole.
The quesadilla is very popular, with the perfect combination of old and new world ingredients. They can be made with any combination of ingredients, are inexpensive to make and super delicious to eat! Looking for more Mexican inspired recipes! Check these out:
Ham and Cheese Quesadilla
- 2- 9 inch round tortillas
- 2 slices of deli style ham
- 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese or your favorite cheese
- Using a medium size pan, lay one tortilla in the pan.
- Place the slices of ham on top.
- Sprinkle with cheese.
- Add another tortilla on top.
- Allow to cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes or until the bottom starts to get golden brown.
- Flip and cook for another 2 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown and cheese is melted on the inside.
- Remove from pan, cut and ENJOY!