Is there one food or dish you can't live without? For me, it would be steak and potatoes. Ask my husband and he will start naming off a handful of Spanish dishes his mom makes for him and that he grew up enjoying in El Salvador. While I love to cook and bake, trying to recreate some of these Latin dishes can be a challenge. Either I don't add enough salt or other seasonings, or it simply isn't "like my mom makes." My husband will say, though, that I can make a perfect quesadilla -- one of the first things I mastered back in college, and used to win over my husband. :-)
It wasn't until we got married and I started trying to perfect some of my husband's favorite Latin dishes, that I learned how to truly make a perfect quesadilla, beginning with homemade flour tortillas. If you have ever tried to make homemade tortillas, then you know how time consuming it can be. And, you really need to have fast hands to flap the dough back and forth and flatten, before you fry them up. Here is a recipe that I found online that I use whenever my husband is craving quesadillas, and I find myself with extra time in the kitchen.
Homemade Flour Tortillas
*Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2010
9 ounces all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup for kneading and rolling
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup lard
1/2 cup cool water
- Combine 9 ounces flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 2 to 3 times.
- Add the lard to the flour mixture in 4 to 5 chunks and pulse 10 to 15 times until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the processor running, add the water in a steady stream just until a ball of dough begins to form, approximately 30 seconds.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of flour on a clean surface. Remove the dough from the bowl of the processor and knead until well incorporated and less sticky. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Evenly divide the dough into 8 pieces and form them into round balls. Roll each ball into 7-inch rounds with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Keep all of the dough balls covered with a tea towel.
- Heat an electric nonstick griddle to 375 degrees F.
- Put the tortillas, 2 to 3 at a time, onto the griddle and cook until light golden, about 4 minutes per side. Can be held for up to 2 hours, at room temperature, wrapped in a barely damp tea towel. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Microwave for 1 minute in the damp tea towel to reheat.
On those days when I am in rush, I will not hesitate to reach for a package of flour tortillas from the store, as I know the real flavor comes from what you add to the center of the quesadilla.
And, thanks to the quesadilla maker from IMUSA, I can whip up quesadillas in about 4-7 minutes (depending on how much I stuff them). Now, how is that for convenience?
My husband, who doesn't like to be in kitchen, has found himself loving this quesadilla maker, as it is so easy to use. You simply have to plug it in, let it heat up, and the light will turn on to let you know you can add your flour tortilla, filling and then 2nd tortilla, before closing the lid and letting cook for 4-7 minutes.
It is that easy! The best part of using this quesadilla maker is getting creative with your fillings.
While my husband is from El Salvador, I am from Italian roots and love all things pasta, cured meats and sauces. So, when it comes to making quesadillas for the family, I try to incorporate flavors from both of our roots to make tasty quesadillas. Do you have a favorite quesadilla filling? Or, are you like my girls and just like an assortment of cheeses? I, myself, love to add prosciutto and capicola, basil, mozzarella or ricotta and diced tomatoes to my quesadillas. My husband is always asking for seafood, avocado and onions for his. Yes, you can add seafood like shrimp to a quesadilla -- it actually takes amazing!. The possibilities are endless when it comes to making your own quesadillas at home. All you need is flour tortillas, shredded cheese and whatever other ingredients you love.
Place your quesadilla in the IMUSA Quesadilla Maker and in a matter of minutes you will be enjoy a delicious finger food. Since receiving this quesadilla maker, we have added weekly quesadilla nights to our dinner menu. The girls have a blast helping to make their own cheese quesadillas, while my husband loves to experiment with new combinations to make a new "perfect quesadilla."
If you love quesadillas just as much as my family does, or know someone who does, why not pick up the IMUSA Quesadilla maker this holiday season? You can find this other great kitchen appliances, gadgets and more to help create amazing dishes for your family at www.imusausa.com. Or, head to your local Target and pick up this electric quesadilla maker right now for only $19.99, or order it online here.
More about IMUSA:
IMUSA is a leading Hispanic houseware brand with deep roots in Latin America and the United States that offers hundreds of affordable cookware and kitchen tools for varying cuisines including Asian, Latin, Mexican, Caribbean and Anglo Gourmet. From paella pans to espresso makers, IMUSA is committed to providing the best and most complete assortment of quality Hispanic and International cookware and accessories to consumers. IMUSA, just got even more exciting as they gear up to launch their NEW GlobalKitchen line – a product line inspired by Celebrity Chef Ambassadors Aaron Sanchez, Michelle Bernstein and George Duran’s own roots and culinary inspirations. Visit www.imusausa.com for more information.
Disclosure: I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.