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Cooking with David

Mushroom Quesadilla

Copyright © 2010 by David E. Ross

I adapted this recipe from the Los Angeles Times (3 June 2010). My wife is not fond of cheese and often does not eat mushrooms. She enjoyed this very much and said I should make it again.

10 small corn meal tortillas
1/2 lbb sliced or chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup minced green onion
1 TBS minced fresh mint
1/4 cup fresh goat cheese
1-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 TBS butter
olive oil

Prepare all ingredients for cooking before starting to cook any of them.

Put the butter and a splash of olive oil into a large frying pan over a medium-high flame. When the butter foams and then subsides, add the mushrooms. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes, until most of the moisture in the mushrooms has evaporated. Add the green onions to the mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, still stirring frequently.

Turn off the fire. Sprinkle the mint over the mushroom-onion mixture. Thoroughly blend the goat cheese into the mixture. Then blend the mozzarella into the mixture.

(If you are using the same frying pan as for the mushroom mixture, clean it.) Put a medium fire under a large frying pan. Pour some olive oil into the pan. Fry each tortilla on one side only until lightly browned (less than 2 minutes). Remove the half-fried tortillas to a plate.

When all tortillas are half-fried, put one back into the frying pan, fried side up. While its bottom cooks, spread the top with the mushroom and cheese mixture. Place another half-fried tortilla on top of that, fried side down and making a sandwich. Press down with a pancake turner. When the bottom tortilla has fried for about 2 minutes, use the pancake turner to turn the sandwich over and fry the top. Repeat until all the tortillas and mixture are used. Cut the quesadillas in half.

This should serve 3-4 as a main entrée. Cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve as an appetizer for 8-10.

While I like Gouda cheese made from goat milk, this recipe requires fresh goat cheese, which is sometimes called Chèvre and is similar to a cream cheese. You may find working the cheese into the fried mushrooms easiest if the cheese is first allowed to reach room temperature. I cut the lump of cheese into 4-5 pieces before adding it to the mushrooms.

I used blue corn tortillas. By "small", I mean the size appropriate for tacos. Instead, five large tortillas may be used. In that case:

Fry one side of one tortilla. Turn it over and place the mushroom and cheese mixture on one half, immediately folding the other half over it. After the bottom has fried, turn the entire quesadilla over to fry the top side.

I used fresh peppermint from my garden, stripping the leaves and discarding the stems. Between the mint and the green onions, the kitchen was quite fragrant.

Instead of green onions, the version in the Times used shallots. I find that peeling shallots is a bother and that it is far easier to handle green onions.

Although I have not tried it, this recipe should be good with a small amount of cooked chopped spinach blended into the mushroom and cheese mixture.

It's okay if the cheeses melt and run out while the sandwiches are cooking. Using the pancake turner, just scoop up the melted cheese and place it on top of the sandwich.

Updated 29 August 2010