Quesadilla, is a type of Mexican food comprising a tortilla filled with cheese. Other ingredients are often used in the filling for enhanced flavoring. The word Quesada in Spanish, literally translates to “cheese inside tortilla”. The dish is typically prepared by frying the tortilla with the filling and is a popular snack not only in Mexico, but in southeastern regions of America. This is one of the favorite Super Bowl dishes held every year in America. It is prepared with a number of vegetarian and non vegetarian fillings. Buffalo Chicken Quesadilla is a popular Super Bowl snack.
The Quesadilla is different from the Quesada a similar sounding dish which is a Spanish pie – a type of a cheesecake, which is essentially different from the American cheesecake. Though basically a Spanish dish, the Americans have adopted it and are now making popular variations of the dish in their own way. Quesadillas make a filling snack and are made with a variety of stuffing, though the traditional filling is always cheese. Popular quesadilla recipes include those from the native Spanish kitchen and also from other parts of the world which have created multiple versions of the dish. These are made with a number of vegetables or meat fillings some of which replace the cheese in the filling entirely.
The Quesadilla is believed to be of Meso-American origin, though the exact date of its invention is not known. Tortillas were invented by the Spanish in the 15 century and they were improvised very much by the Meso-Americans a couple of centuries down the line.
Commonly Used Ingredients
Quesadillas are made with tortillas made of different types of flour, fillings and toppings.
Tortilla - A quesadilla recipe includes tortillas made of corn or wheat.
Filling - Quesadillas are traditionally prepared with cheese fillings, but others like potato and chorizo, pumpkin flowers, hutilacoche (corn smut), and mushrooms and other vegetables. A variety of meat preparations made with chicken, beef or pork are also popularly used as fillings for the quesadillas. Gourmet versions of the quesadilla are made with turkey and flor de calbaza (made by sautéing squash blossoms). Seafood, like crab or shrimp is also a favorite item for filling a quesadilla.
Topping - The quesadilla recipes popularly recommend usage of sour cream, guacamole, or a salsa as a topping.
Quesadilla can be prepared in a couple of ways. The first is the traditional method of cooking the dish in a cookware called a comal (a type of a griddle) which is basically used for cooking tortillas. The tortillas that are partly cooked are stuffed with the filling and cooked further till the cheese is melted. In the second method the dish is prepared by frying the tortilla in the “quesadillas fritas”. A kind of pasty is made with the tortilla with its filling and deep fried in boiling oil till it attains a crisp and golden brown exterior.
Quesadillas are popularly eaten as snacks and is a popular snack, especially during Super Bowl season. The quesadilla is cut into conveniently sized wedges with a knife for eating and served with toppings and dips. Quesadillas are eaten the same way a sandwich or a pizza is eaten. It is best enjoyed with the hand. It may be difficult to handle pieces of quesadillas with forks.
Key to the best Super Bowl Quesadilla is not to over stuff the tortilla.