Griddle Baked Squash Blossom Quesadillas

Griddle Baked Squash Blossom Quesadillas
Ingredients

Preparation

  1. The filling ingredients:  Clean the squash blossoms by breaking off the stems and the little thin green sepals at the base of each blossom. Pinch out or break off the long pistils in the center of each flower. Tear or cut the blossoms, including the bulbous base, into 1/2 inch wide strips. If you’re using spinach and arugula instead of the squash  blossoms, set them at the ready, along with the epazote or cilantro leaves and the shredded cheese.
  2. Forming and griddle baking the quesadillas: heat a well seasoned or nonstick griddle or heavy skillet over medium. Turn the oven on to its lowest setting. Knead 1/2 teaspoon salt into the fresh or reconstituted masa. If necessary knead a few drops of water into the masa to give it the consistency of soft cookie dough. Divide into 8 pieces, roll into balls and cover with plastic wrap to keep from drying out. One by one,make the quesadillas: Line a tortilla press with two pieces of plastic cut to fit the plates (to be on the safe side, cut them from a food storage bag; the thicker plastic usually works better for beginners). Gently press out a flattened ball of dough between the sheets of plastic into a 7-inch circle. Peel off the top sheet of plastic, flip the tortilla-uncovered side down-onto the fingers of one hand and gently peel off the second piece of plastic. In one flowing movement, roll the tortilla off your hand and onto the preheated griddle or skillet. Immediately spread on about 1/4 cup cheese ( leaving a 1/2 inch border all around), two leaves of epazote (or several of cilantro) and about 2 tablespoons of the sliced squash blossoms or their substitutes. After 30 to 45 seconds, when the tortilla has released itself from the cooking surface, fold it in half to enclose the filling. Press the edges together with your fingers (or back of a spoon if you find the procedure a little too hot). Continue to cook, flipping the quesadilla every  30 seconds or so, until it is richly browned in places and crispy crunchy, this takes 6 to 7 minutes. As you fold each quesadilla over, move on to the next. As they’re done, keep them warm on a baking sheet in the oven.
  3. When they are all done, set them out in a cozy clothlined basket. Pass the salsa separately for each guest to drizzle on al gusto.

This recipe is from Chef Rick Bayless who wrote a great cookbook full of Mexican food. Check out his website here!  


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