December 07, 2017

Quesadilla & Coffee?

Quesadilla & Coffee?

Coffee with your quesadilla!? Many of you would think that is a strange combination. But in Guatemala, they are the perfect pair to ease those afternoon hunger pangs. Because.....a quesadilla in Guatemala is not the same as a quesadilla in Mexico or the Tex Mex staple in the USA. 

Whether you are familiar with either form of quesadilla or not, and even if your Spanish vocabulary is limited, you may have already figured out that QUESAdilla has something to do with cheese, or "queso". In Mexico, a quesadilla is a tortilla (corn tortillas are used in central and southern Mexico while flour tortillas are popular in the north) filled with stringy Oaxacan cheese, folded in half and grilled or deep fried. Sometimes other fillings are used along with the cheese like mushrooms, chicken, spinach or potatoes and sausage. It's something that can be eaten at any time of day as a snack or a meal. 

In Guatemala, a quesadilla is a type of coffeecake that has cheese in it. Not too sweet, quesadilla is often served around 5pm with a cup of coffee.  In Guatemala, it is even more confusing because a quesadilla can mean two fairly different things depending on your ethnic background. For the mestizos of Guatemala, a quesadilla is a sweet dense bread, almost a cake. For the Maya people, a quesadilla is a bread that is made with elote, or fresh corn on the cob. 


The recipe we are sharing with you today is from the capital, Guatemala City. It is somewhat sweet. It is made on occasions that call for a treat - a friend visiting, celebrating a good report card with your child, not necessarily a treat for the holidays. If you find yourself being hosted by a Guatemalan and they offer you quesadilla - always accept it! Not only will you enjoy tasting it, but it is very thoughtless in this culture to refuse. 


Let's make quesadilla!  To begin, get your ingredients ready. You will need rice flour, Queo Fresco, sugar, baking soda, eggs and heavy cream. Queso Fresco is found in many grocery stores across the U.S. but if you are having trouble finding it, you can also use Cotija  or Parmesan cheese. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease an 8" x 8" dish. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and the heavy cream.
Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix just until moistened.  Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  


 Allow time to cool, then slice, serve and enjoy!

Quesadilla Recipe - click to print