Guillén is my friend from the yoga center… He lives in Mexico City, but tries as much as he can to come to Puerto Rico, Miami or New York to attend our yoga center activities and retreats. Last time we saw each other was during our Xmas retreat, which took place last in New York. We always have a great time together, talking about anything, but mostly about food.
Guillén loves to cook and to share his Mexican delicacies with all of us. And as soon as we were given the “green light” to eat anything and everything after our retreat, he said he would make some quesadillas for breakfast for all of us. Quesadillas for breakfast?!?!? Well, that’s how the Mexicans in the DF (capital city) roll, and I am getting on this wagon for sure.
Something Guillén taught me this time around is that what I have showed you so far as quesadillas – Caprese Quesadillas, French Quesadillas, Quesadillas Cordon Blue, etc. – are not really quesadillas according to true Mexican cuisiniers… these are really called “sincronizadas”. Guillén tells me that Quesadillas need to be FRIED, and made mainly with corn tortillas, while Sincronizadas are made with flour tortillas and are just heated on top of a skillet or on the oven to brown and melt the cheese, but are never fried. To be honest… this was super enlightening for me because I had seen sincronizadas in Mexican menus during my last trip to Guadalajara and when I asked what was the difference from quesadillas, nobody was super clear on what it was… and according to Guillén is the FRYING part.
So… here is Guillén’s recipe for truly awesome quesadillas. First, we start with organic sprouted corn tortillas. These are not too easy to find here in Puerto Rico, but I have seen them in most every health food I have gone to in the US. This is the brand Guillén prefers and they are truly delicious.
Then the cheese to use… Guillén prefers to use pepper jack cheese, but if you have a milder palate, try some Monterrey Jack cheese or even those cheddar/jack shredded cheese blends. However, what’s traditionally Mexican is to slice the cheese from a block, not use the shredded kind.
And what makes these quesadillas really special is the Fresh Tomato Salsa… it’s super easy to make and it tastes soooooo authentic, I felt I was back in Guadalajara. Guillén was nice enough to allow me to photograph him while making these quesadillas and salsa. I have since tried it on my own and the results were extremely reliable. Look for the freshest, ripest tomatoes you can find. It really makes a difference…
QUESADILLAS GUILLEN WITH FRESH TOMATO SALSA
8 organic sprouted corn tortillas 16 slices of pepper jack cheese – we’ll use 2 slices per tortilla Canola oil for shallow frying 2 medium tomatoes, cored ½ yellow onion, chopped finely The juice of 1 lime Salt and Pepper to taste 2 tbs olive oil
We’ll make the Fresh Tomato Salsa first…
- In a non-stick skillet, place the tomatoes and roast them on top of the stove at medium-high heat. Keep moving the tomatoes around to char the skin all over. This will cook slightly the tomato flesh and impart a great smoky taste to the salsa.
- After the tomatoes are charred all over, take them off the skillet to cool off a bit. I peel the tomatoes a bit and take off the very charred skin. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and place them in a food processor or blender. Blend or process well for about 1 minute.
- Take the tomato blend out of the processor and into a bowl. Add the choppped onion, lime juice, salt, pepper and olive oil.
- Set aside to allow the flavors to blend well together.
Now we make the quesadillas… which is really no science at all to it.
- In a large skillet, add about ¼” of oil at medium-high heat… when the oil is hot enough for frying, add a tortilla and fry slightly on both sides. Immediately, add two slices of cheese on one half of the tortilla and fold the other half over to create a half moon. Fry on both sides until the tortilla is slightly golden brown and the cheese has melted.
- Drain the quesadilla onto a plate covered with paper towel.
- When the quesadilla has cooled off slightly enough to handle, open it up a bit and drizzle about a tablespoon of salsa inside the quesadilla.
And that’s it… you could serve these with a nice salad on the side and some sour cream on top. But believe me, these are perfect just like this.