I love cheese quesadillas. They are one of my all-time favorite comfort foods (just after nachos). Growing up in San Antonio and Dallas, we ate them frequently. Now you know why I have such a love of Mexican food — I was raised on it!
Come to think of it, do you know any kids who don't like cheese quesadillas? It's the grilled cheese of Mexican food.
This recipe for cheese quesadillas is slightly more sophisticated, using goat cheese and black beans — but it's so easy to make. I serve quesadillas for lunch or dinner when I have leftover tortillas. (Either that or I fry the tortillas in coconut oil or lard and make nachos.) It literally takes five minutes to throw this meal together.
I make my own corn tortillas from homemade masa. The flavor is so much better. Besides that, it's economical — and fun to do with kids.
It's not hard at all to make homemade corn tortillas. It does take planning. I like to soak the corn for at least a few days — and usually a week. But doing the soaking just takes about 15 minutes. Then grinding the corn in the food processor only takes another 15 minutes or so. And then you pat the dough, press it and fry it. So easy!
We've been making masa once a week. That night we'll have fresh tortillas and then we'll have leftover tortillas for other meals throughout the week. Breakfast burritos, nachos, enchiladas, tacos, tortilla chips with fresh guacamole — the possibilities are endless! You can also freeze your masa for later use — just like pie or cookie dough.
I'm going to buy some corn husks so I can start making tamales. I am completely in love with tamales! (Expect recipes soon.)
Here is my 3-step process for making homemade corn tortillas:
You can also buy sprouted corn tortillas at the health food store. Although, of course, the flavor of the storebought tortillas is nowhere near as good — they always taste stale to me. If you do go with storebought, I recommend always buying organic corn tortillas because otherwise the corn is most likely genetically modified (GMO).
If you wanted to, you could also add a little leftover ground beef, chorizo, chicken, or shrimp to these quesadillas.
Black Bean and Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Homemade Corn Tortillas
Black beans (1 can)
Homemade chicken stock (4 ounces)
Organic corn tortillas, homemade or storebought (2)
Goat cheese, homemade cream cheese would also work great (2-3 TBS) — where to buy goat cheese
Red onion (1 TBS)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste , where to buy black pepper
Avocado, fresh guacamole, sour cream, fresh cilantro, tomato or pico de gallo, and/or salsa for garnish
Pinch of cumin (optional)
Pinch of chile powder (optional)
Cast iron skillet
1. Drain the can of beans and add to a saucepan. Add the chicken stock (I keep mine frozen in ice cube trays so it's easy to pop out a few ounces' worth).
2. Bring to a boil and then let simmer until the chicken stock is incorporated into the beans.
3. Add cumin, chile powder, sea salt and pepper to taste.
4. Put one tortilla in a dry (no oil) cast iron skillet on high heat. Add a couple tablespoons of black beans and top with goat cheese and chopped red onion.
5. Put another tortilla on top, press down slightly, and carefully flip over, using a large spatula.
6. Transfer to a plate and slice with a sharp knife. Serve with fresh avocado or guacamole, sour cream, fresh cilantro, tomato or pico de gallo, and/or salsa.
PS: A friend told me she tried making these homemade corn tortillas and was disappointed at how thick they are — especially for tortilla chips. She said she wanted them to be thinner like the corn tortilla chips you find in the store. I asked a Peruvian friend about this and she said, “If you go to Mexico, all the handmade corn tortillas are thick like that. They have special machines in the factories to make them thin. It is not possible at home.”
I personally like the tortillas thick. And my Peruvian friend tasted my tortilla chips fried in coconut oil and gave them a thumbs up!