Growing up, I always loved Mexican food. This is probably a result of my unexplainable love for cheese. As a kid, friends celebrated birthdays at the local burger joint and I asked to go to our town’s Mexican dive. My order of plain cheese quesadillas with globs of sour cream never wavered. I loved Mexican restaurants before I knew how fun it was to be twenty-one and love Mexican restaurants; the introduction of margaritas has only fed my habit.
You can imagine excitement this week when I received corn tortillas in my Quinciple box. I knew this meant an accompanying recipe, and sure enough, I fished out an “oyster mushroom quesadilla” card and committed to a homemade dinner, right then and there.
The oyster mushroom came on the root, which was totally new to me. It looked a giant mold creature and Paul and I both examined it for a few good minutes before Googling how to clean/prep oyster mushrooms. It ended up being worlds easier than cleaning a Portabella since there are no gills, which sold me immediately. Sauteed in a little olive oil, these browned nicely and had awesome flavor. I’ll never be intimated by oyster mushrooms at the farmer’s market again!
Thanks to the cheese obsession I mentioned, I had quite a few options already in my fridge. I stop at Bedford Cheese Shop on Irving once a week to get special cheese for eggs, and sampling different varieties has become a favorite part of my morning. I even pretend to be a little picky so I can try more, despite my love for almost every kind. I happened to have a hunk of delicious Cheddar in the fridge which worked perfectly for this recipe.
The corn tortillas provided in the box were from a special place in Harlem called Hot Bread Kitchen, which I was already familiar with thanks to my superstar friend who worked there for a few years post college. I agree with her testament that “corn makes all the difference,” as these were really special.
Would you believe that it only took four ingredients? After trying this dish, I wouldn’t either. It was too easy for the complex flavor. Being the fatties that Paul and I are, we snacked on these quesadillas as an appetizer while we were waiting for the main event, but this can totally be a main course.
I served these with a homemade salsa verde. This isn’t something I’d normally whip up, but it happened to also be thoughtfully included in my Quinciple box so why not? I combined a generous amount of cilantro, a charred poblano pepper, scallions, and a few tomatillos to create this incredible salsa, which will now continue to be a staple in my house. It was the perfect amount of nose-running spice without taking away from the flavor of the meal, and I thought this made the quesadilla really shine.
It’s not always easy to serve vegetarian in my house, but this finished dish made the infamous “list” of favorites, and it will make yours too.
Ingredients for Tacos
- 4 Tortillas
- 1/2 bunch Scallions
- 1/3 lb Oyster Mushrooms
- 1 cup grated Cheddar, such as Prairie Breeze
- 4-6 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
- Salt & Pepper
Instructions for Tacos
- Put the skillet over medium high heat and add a tablespoon or two of oil.
- Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook until all their liquid has evaporated and they are beginning to brown.
- Turn off the heat and remove the mushrooms to a cutting board.
- Assemble the quesadillas by topping two tortillas with the cheese, mushrooms, and scallions.
- Top each filled tortillas with a second tortilla.
- Heat the skillet over medium-low heat with a bit of vegetable oil. (Note, a BIT. If you put too much on, it will be greasy and gross)
- Add the quesadillas to the pan.
- Cook on each side until nicely browned, adding more oil as necessary.
- Cut into wedges and serve with salsa verde.
Ingredients for Salsa Verde
- 3-4 medium tomatillos
- 1 poblano pepper
- 4-5 scallions
- Bunch of cilantro
- Avocado (optional)
Instructions for Salsa Verde
- Peel 3-4 medium tomatillos and discard the husks and wash them.
- Trim the roots off 4-5 scallions.
- Wash a poblano pepper.
- Drizzle with a little oil and grill over charcoal or roast in a 400 degree oven until nicely browned on all sides.
- Once cool enough to handle use a pairing knife to core the poblano pepper, discarding the seeds and stem.
- Use an immersion blender or a food processor (I used my Vitamix, of course) to puree everything until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper. Add cilantro, or avocado if you want a more creamy consistency.