Farmers’ Market Quesadillas

September 21, 2011 | By andrea | Filed in: Main Dish, Mexican, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Snack, Southwestern, Summer, Vegetable, Vegetarian.

One of the things I love about September is the potpourri of ripe veggies available at farm stands and farmers’ markets. Last week, I visited my local farm stand and purchased all the makings for these tasty quesadillas that are stuffed and garnished with a medly of fresh corn, chile peppers, summer squash and tomatoes. The quesadillas make a great lunch or light dinner…Yum!

For the chiles, I used a combo of four different peppers I got at the farm stand that ranged from mild to spicy. I chopped enough of them to equal 1 cup. I also sauteed some Walla Walla onions along with the veggies for added flavor. Since I didn’t have chipotle chile powder, I substituted a little chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce…it added a nice smokiness to the vegetable mixture. Enjoy!

Farmers’ Market Quesadillas
-recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine
These quick quesadillas are loaded with the best of the season: summer squash, fresh corn, and diced tomatoes. Fresh chiles and chipotle powder add depth and give the dish some smoky heat. Yields 4 quesadillas.

5 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 cup small-diced fresh, mild chiles, such as Anaheim or poblano (from about 2 large chiles)
1-1/2 cups small-diced summer squash (from about 2 small zucchini, yellow squash, or yellow crookneck)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 medium ears)
1/8 tsp. chipotle chile powder
1 cup diced tomato (from 2 small tomatoes)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
Four 9-inch flour tortillas
2 cups grated sharp cheddar (8 oz.)
Sour cream for serving (optional)

Heat the oven to 200°F. Fit a cooling rack over a baking sheet and put in the oven.

Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the chiles and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the squash, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until the squash softens and starts to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the corn and chipotle powder and cook 2 minutes more. Spoon into a bowl, let cool for a few minutes, and then fold in the tomato, cilantro, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside 3/4 cup of the mixture.

Lay several layers of paper towel on a work surface. Wipe out the skillet, put it over medium-high heat, and add 1 Tbs. of the oil. When it’s hot, put one tortilla in the pan. Quickly distribute 1/2 cup of the cheese evenly over the tortilla and about a quarter of the remaining vegetable mixture over half the tortilla. When the underside of the tortilla is browned, use tongs to fold the cheese-only side over the vegetable side. Lay the quesadilla on the paper towels, blot for a few seconds, and then move it to the rack in the oven to keep warm while you repeat with the remaining oil and tortillas. Cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve immediately with the reserved vegetable mixture and sour cream.

Tip: Chipotles are dried smoked jalapeños, and in any form they add an intriguing depth to dishes like these quesadillas. McCormick makes ground chipotle, and The Spice Hunter sells a crushed chipotle, which would be a fine substitute in this recipe; just add a bit more than you would of the ground.

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