Monday, November 27, 2006

Cheesy Mushroom & Onion Quesadillas

Cheesy Mushroom Quesadillas
Every meal could have a different flavor, depending on which mustard, cheese or dried herb you add. Here’s my favorite combo. This is perfect as a Tapas dish, appetizer, or light meal

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes for oven baked; 6-8 minutes for grill pan; 3-5 minutes for panini makers

Serves 4

8 large flour tortillas (I like to use whole wheat, sundried tomato or spinach ones)

4 cups mushrooms, sliced (I like cremini - brown mushrooms - best and for added earthiness - is that a word? - I add 1/2 cup reconstituted Porcini mushrooms - let the dried mushrooms sit in enough boiling water to cover them for 5-10 minutes. Discard the liquid or save for soup and chop the mushrooms)
1 large onion, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme or oregano
1-1 ½ cups grated cheese (Mozarella, cheddar, goat, Brie…. For South Beach Diet fans, use low fat cheese)
Your favorite spicy mustard to "butter" the tortilla

There are a few ways to actually make the quesadillas – baking at high heat in the oven; using a non-stick skillet or grill pan on top of the stove; and a panini maker.

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C

2. In a large skillet/fry pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté the mushrooms and onions until the onions are limp and golden (about 5 minutes or so). Remove from heat and add the dried herbs and toss.
Oven baked:
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil wrap (for easy cleanups).

4. Spoon the filling on 2 tortillas, "butter" each with mustard, add half the mushroom onion mixture, sprinkle with ½ of the cheese. Top with the other tortilla and lightly press down. Repeat for the rest of the quesadillas. ( or put filling on half and fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling, creating a half circle)

5. Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes or so (it will be golden and start to crisp) and flip. Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut into wedges to serve.

Grill pan or skillet on top of the stove: Fill the same way but for 3 minutes or so per side over medium high heat.

Panini maker: same as grill pan, but no flipping necessary.

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