Growing up in an Italian family, I had very little exposure to Spanish or Mexican food. In fact, I didn’t eat a taco until high school and I only just discovered quesadillas about five years ago. To this day, menus in Mexican restaurants confuse me and I always have to ask my friends the difference between a burrito, a chalupa and a flauta. I still don’t know for sure. So, when I came across this recipe, I thought it would be a great way to not only use one of the six cans of tuna I bought on sale, but it would also be a great intro to the quesadilla.
A quesadilla, as defined by dictionary.com is “a flour tortilla folded in half around a savory filling, as of cheese or beans, then fried or toasted.” Originating in colonial Mexico, the quesadilla is quite popular in the United States, especially throughout the Southwest. Variations abound, including the addition of guacamole, dipping sauce or salsa, ham, vegetables, potatoes, beef, chicken, etc. This is one of those dishes that is great for using up leftovers from earlier in the week.
6 oz. canned tuna, drained and flaked
1/2 cup salsa, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh scallions
1 cup shredded Cheddar
3 (12-inch) flour tortillas
- Mix tuna with salsa and scallions. Fold in Cheddar.
- Divide mixture into thirds and spread each portion over 1/2 of a tortilla and fold into a half circle.
- Brown each of the 3 quesadillas on both sides in a hot pan to melt cheese.
- Cool a bit, cut into wedges and serve.
Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:
- I could not find 12″ tortillas, so I used the 10″ variety – it worked out ok, but they were almost overfilled!
- I used freshly diced tomatoes instead of the salsa because I had them on hand and they add a fresh taste. Use one small tomato per tortilla.
- It is important to drain the tuna very well, or else the tortillas will be drippy. Next time, I will drain mine even better.
- I thought it would be interesting to bake these instead of frying them. I don’t know why, but I just did. I baked the tortillas flat on a cookie sheet, with the topping spread evenly on them, for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Admittedly, they needed a few more minutes, but I was hungry and didn’t feel like waiting! The cheese melted nicely, but the tortillas didn’t have any color to them, after I folded them over into a half circle. If you decide to back them (which I don’t recommend) then consider baking them after folding them into the half circle, and flipping them half way through. This will get color on the tortilla. Otherwise, they still tasted great, but just looked a little pale! My anemic-looking quesadillas turned out like this:
Yield: 12 wedges