Quesadillas De Flor De Calabaza (Squash-Blossoms)

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This recipe is originally from El Bodegon de Guillermo in Tijuana. Before the restaurant burned in 1978, it was THE place to go. These quesadillas were reportedly loved by Sammy Davis, Jr.. If sqash blossoms are out of season, use canned squash blossoms?which is what La Fonda Robertos in Tijuana does. VARIATIONS: For Quesadillas de Chiles (Chile Quesadillas): Make a filling by mixing together 3 chopped, seeded, peeled poblano chiles (see step 1), 1 lb. grated monterey jack cheese, and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste in a bowl, then proceed with steps 3-5. For Quesadillas de Papas y Chiles (Potato and Chile Quesadillas), follow method for chile quesadillas above, adding 1 large diced, peeled, boiled russet potato to filling before proceeding to steps 3-5. Prep time does not include the time to make fresh tortillas, if you choose this option.

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  • add   2 lbs fresh masa harina flour or 20 small flour tortillas
  • add   3/4 lb monterey jack cheese
  • add   2 garlic cloves
  • add   1 medium tomato
  • add   salt
  • add   1 tablespoon fresh epazote (optional) or 1 teaspoon dried epazote (optional)
  • add   fresh ground black pepper
  • add   20 squash blossoms, cleaned (remove pistils)
  • add   3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • add   1 small white onion
  • add   lard or vegetable shortening
  • add   2 poblano chiles


  1. Set rack in top third of oven, then preheat broiler. Put chiles on a cookie sheet and broil until skin is blistered and charred, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chiles to a deep bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside until cool. Peel, stem, seed, and chop chiles, then set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes, then add tomatoes and cook until liquid evaporates, about 4 minutes. Add squash blossoms, epazote (if using), and reserved chiles, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until blossoms soften and wilt, 1 1/2-2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside until cool. Add monterey jack and toss until just mixed. Set filling aside.
  3. If using masa. Form masa into 20 1 1/2'' balls, then loosely cover with plastic wrap. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over base of a tortilla press, draping it over the sides. Place 1 ball of masa on plastic, slightly off-center of the press, towards the hinge. Lay another sheet of plastic wrap over masa, draping it over sides, then close press to flatten masa into a tortilla. Set plastic-covered tortilla aside. Repeat process, draping press with plastic and pressing out tortillas with remaining balls.
  4. 4. Place 1 tortilla at a time on a flat surface and peel off 1 of the sheets of plastic. Put 2 tablespoons of the filling on half of tortilla; then, holding plastic with one hand, fold other half of tortilla over filling to form a half circle. Press edges together to seal, then set quesadillas aside.
  5. 5. Lightly grease surface of a large cast-iron skillet with a little lard, then heat over medium heat until hot. Working in batches, remove plastic from quesadillas, then fry quesadillas until crusty and dark brown in patches, about 4 minutes per side. Serve hot.

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