I love Mexican Food. It has to be on my list of favorite cuisines! I could live on guacamole and chips. The food is half the reason I wanted to go to Mexico for my honeymoon. If it wasn’t for my hypochondriac fear of the flu, I would go there on my next vacation. Hehe…Lame I know. My husband and I had such great food experiences in Mexico. We lucked out! We weren’t fed touristy refried beans and burritos but fresh and authentic versions of local cuisine. (Probably due to my psychotic research on restaurants). 🙂
Where I live now, we don’t have the same Latin population, thus a severe lack of Latin produce and products. This fact is a major disappointment to me. I love fresh salsas, avocados, moles, chiles rellenos (anyone who has ever spoken to me knows about my love for this dish), fresh corn tortillas and so on.
These quesadillas are an easy weeknight dinner option for me. Quick and yum! I always have staples on hand for these. They aren’t the same as they would be if I had a good Latin ingredients close by.
Chicken and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas
2 chicken breasts, in chunks
4 large tortillas
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper or serrano pepper, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
juice of 1 lime
2 onions, sliced
grated cheese, amount to your liking (approx. 1/4 cup per quesadilla) I used Monterey jack but if you can get a hold of Chihuahua or Cojita, they would be authentic. Actually, even goat cheese would work quite well!
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
scallions for garnish
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream, whisked or crema
limes sliced for garnish
salsa fresca, for garnish
Marinate chicken with cumin, lime, salt, black pepper, chilies, and garlic for about an hour. Meanwhile caramelize onions in oil on low heat. You can add salt to them so they caramelize quicker due to water extraction. The caramelization process should take 15-20 minutes. Next, chop cilantro, scallions, limes, and avocado. Grill the chicken until done, about 15 minutes. Assemble the quesadillas by putting the chicken, caramelized onions, and cheese in between in tortillas. I use a grill pan with a little oil on it (a regular pan works well too) and toast both sides on medium heat. When the cheese is melted remove from heat and cut into wedges. Garnish with cilantro, scallions, avocados, sour cream, and salsa. Serve.
To make the salsa is very simple. I use my mini food processor and put in 1 tomato, 1/2 a red onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 jalapeno pepper, handful of cilantro, the juice of 1/2 a lime, and salt to taste. Pulse until desired consistency. I like mine smooth. You can make the same salsa by chopping everything, but I take the easy way out! 😀
Some food photographs from my honeymoon:
These were the best fish tacos I have ever eaten!!!!
A gracious server making a queso dip for us:
“Real” Salsa in Mexico: