It’s Friday. A day of abstinence. It’s also Hatch festival season. Hatch peppers are all over the stores right now, and very cheap. So Hatch Quesadillas were an obvious addition to our meal of tortilla soup.
I had no idea how ridiculously delicious and easy they would be. I have never had a last-minute impulse dinner experiment turn out this well before. It may never happen again.
The only thing wrong with these quesadillas is that they’re maybe too delicious to eat on a Friday.
- 4 Hatch peppers* (mild or hot, your choice)
- 1 sweet yellow onion (Texas 1015!)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 10 fresh flour tortillas**
- 1/2 lb. Monterrey Jack cheese
Seed and dice the peppers, cut the onion in a large dice. Saute them together in the olive oil, and when the onion and pepper mix are soft and getting brown bits on them, remove them from the heat.
Grill quesadillas adding a couple tablespoons of the onion/pepper mix to each one before the cheese has melted.
* The Hatch festival is going on right now, so I used Hatch in these. But you don’t need to use Hatch, it’s just a bit of seasonal fun. Hatch peppers are just a variety of Anaheim pepper grown around Hatch, New Mexico. You can substitute Anaheims, jalapeños, poblanos, even green bell peppers if you don’t like the heat.
** Fresh flour tortillas are very important here. The tortilla is a crucial component to the resultant quesadilla. Don’t buy those branded ones in the bread aisle that taste like plastic, check the fresh bakery in your grocery store. HEB and Krogers make very passable flour tortillas in store. If you can’t find any, Joe Pastry has an excellent and easy recipe for homemade flour tortillas. If you’re making your own, don’t cook them too hard the first time, they need to bend in the recipe.
Okay. Now that you’ve procured proper flour tortillas (I’ll wait) we can begin.
Dice up your onion. If you hate dicing onions (and I do), rejoice. You don’t have to have a very fine or even dice. Large chunks are even preferable.
Put the onion aside. Seed and dice your Hatch peppers. Again, large chunks are fine. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, and throw in your diced Hatch and onion.
Sauté them until the onion is translucent and everything is getting a nice brown. Until they look like this:
When they’re done, pull them out of the pan and put them aside to cool. Now we’re ready to assemble the quesadillas.
Heat up your comál. It should be hot, but not so hot it burns your tortilla before melting your cheese. Medium is fine. Drop on a tortilla. If your tortillas are like mine, they’ve been in the fridge and are very stiff. The heat will loosen them up so they can be folded. Cover one half heavily with cheese. A quarter to a third of a cup, if you want a measurement, but this is the sort of thing I do to taste.
Add some sautéed Hatch and onion.
A little more cheese, for adhesive purposes.
By this point the tortilla should be warm and soft, not crispy and breakable. (If it’s crispy, your heat is too high.) Fold the other half up and over the top. My mother in law would just use her fingers, but I’m a wimp and use a spatula.
Now, let it get brown and crispy. Flip it over to toast the other side.
Be careful not to burn yourself eating them straight off the comál!
I served these as a side to a (meatless) tortillas soup, but I bet they’d also make great snacks or light lunches.