Mild mannered, indulgently tender, Poblano peppers, snuggled up to creamy Havarti and sauteed sweet onions, tucked into flour tortillas, then pan grilled 'til toasty brown. Si, si, si!
So if something South of the Border-ish catches my eye on TV, or in a magazine, or online, you might say I'm very easily inspired to get playing in my kitchen. Mexi-Can!
These quesadillas are fun to make, and you get to have your way with Poblanos! I mean, after all, taking the essence of chile rellenos, fiddling a little, in all the right ways, piling your relleno-ness onto buttered tortillas, then softly frying until tortillas are golden, and the cheese is all oozy is way fun! See, I told you.
First you get to broil the heck out of the Poblanos. Then the silly things just want to hang out in a ziploc or paper bag, for 20 minutes or so, to get their skins all loosey goosey, and ready to peel, seed and slice.
From here on in the recipe easily comes together with a little sauteing, scattering of goodies, relaxed pan grilling, and then Ta Da!
We served our sea-salt sprinkled quesadillas with Avocado Crema, spoonfuls of salsa fresca, and fresh lime wedges. Perfectamundo. Well, if you like these kinds of things.
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Adapted from Fine Cooking, for The Last Wonton.
Thanks plenty, Fine Cooking.
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CHILE RELLENO QUESADILLAS ~ Makes 4 quesadillas
2 medium-sized fresh Poblano peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the tortillas
1/2 of a nice, plump, sweet onion, thinly sliced
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
4 - 8-inch flour tortillas
2 - 3 cups grated Havarti or Monterey Jack cheese
Garnish - salsa fresca, lime wedges *optional*
1 good-size, ripe avocado, peeled, seeded
3-4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup sour cream
10 drops Tabasco
AVOCADO CREMA: Mash avocado, in medium bowl, then whisk in remaining ingredients. Whisk, whisk, whisk, until smooth and completely combined. Cover and set in fridge.
Preheat broiler. Lay the peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet, so you can char the bedickens out of them, adding all kinds of flavour, flavour. Place pan up on top rack, close to the broiler, and let them bask about 5-10 minutes, until the skins are dark and bubbly. Keep an eye on these! Flip peppers over and repeat on the other side.
When they're finito most of the skins should be black(ened). You don't want to leave them under the broiler too long or they will overcook and become mushy.
Now, while they're still very hot, placed charred peppers into a large Ziploc, or paper bag, seal and leave them be for about 20 minutes. This will allow the peppers to steam, which will loosen the charred skin and make it easy to remove.
When they're ready, remove peppers from bag and with your fingers, or paring knife, pull off the charred skin. Pull out and discard the stem and seed clusters.
Slice the peppers into 1/4-inch wide strips and set them in a bowl.
Butter one side of each tortilla.
Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat the oven to 150F, or it's lowest setting.
Put 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Add the poblano strips, season with a generous pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are heated through, another 1-2 minutes. Transfer to plate, and wipe skillet clean.
Heat non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tortilla, buttered side down, and scatter over it 1/4 of the cheese and 1/4 of the onion-poblano mixture. Fold tortilla in half, over fillings, press down with spatula, and grill until toasty golden brown on both sides, and the cheese is all melty, 3-4 minutes, per side. Transfer to baking sheet, in oven, to keep warm. Repeat with remaining ingredients, to make 3 more quesadillas.
Sprinkle each quesadilla with sea salt, and cut each one into wedges. Serve with avocado crema. And of course salsa fresca and lime wedges, if it suits your fancy. Comamos!! (Let's eat!)