Monday, August 30, 2010
Manchego cheese, from the Manchego sheep who graze the plains of La Mancha, is arguably Spain's most famous cheese. This cheese is very mellow and blends well with the light flavor of the edible flowers. Zucchini flowers or squash blossoms can be found from late Spring through early Fall. They are extremely delicate, in structure and flavor, and are very perishable. I don't recommend having them for more than 24 hours without using them. You can find them in specialty shops or Italian markets.
2 Flour Tortillas
2 C. Manchego Cheese, shredded
1 Large Red Onion, grilled, julienned
1 C. Zucchini Flowers, sauteed
2 Ears Corn, roasted or grilled
2 Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped
Salt & Pepper
2 Tbsp. Butter
Roast the corn, in its husks, for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Allow the corn to cool, shuck the ears, and cut the kernels out using a knife. Grill the onion until the outside begins to wither, then julienne. If you don't have a grill, simply julienne the onion and then saute. Heat a skillet over medium heat, chop the zucchini flowers, and quickly flash cook the flowers.
Melt 1 Tbsp. of butter per quesadilla over medium high heat. Build your quesadilla by placing a flour tortilla down, sprinkle a little cheese, onion, corn, zucchini flowers, and seasonings. Finish the quesadilla with more cheese and the final tortilla. When the cheese begins to melt, it will spread out and help to seal the quesadilla. Using a spatula, sneak a peek at the underside of the quesadilla. When it is lightly browned, flip the quesadilla over and cook all the way through. This method will yield 8 triangles.
Some people prefer to use only one tortilla for a quesadilla because it doesn't involve the dangerous business of flipping. To construct this kind of quesadilla, lay down one tortilla and build the ingredients on only one side of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half and turn it over. This method will yield 4 triangles.
I like to garnish my quesadillas with cilantro and sour cream. Combine sour cream and heavy cream until the mixture is "set" like sour cream, but thin enough to come out of a squirt bottle. Using a squirt bottle allows you to garnish with clean solid lines of the sour cream mixture.