Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Veggie Quesadilla and Avocado Salsa

I really, really didn't feel up to doing anything tonight. Not even cooking! So, I was thinking of something easy to make and then I had a flash of genius. Why not make quesadillas? They're basically Mexican grilled cheese "sandwiches" made with tortillas and various ingredients.

This is a very easy one that you can make with whatever vegetables you have on hand (onions, capsicum, eggplants, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, etc.) I used bell peppers and onions because that's what I had on hand. The whole thing can literally be thrown together in a matter of 15-20 minutes.

I have used chipotle chiles for spice in this dish. If you haven't heard of chipotle peppers, they are smoked jalapenos. I usually keep the canned ones on hand, which are in this wonderfully tangy adobo sauce. If you can't get these (or don't like the smoked flavor), just use regular jalapenos or even green chillies will work well. :)

Makes for great party food, too. Hope Mansi is happy to receive this one for her game night event!

Veggie Quesadillas:


Tortillas (flour or corn, soft taco size) - 6
Onions - 2 medium, sliced
Bell peppers (capsicum) - 1 medium, sliced
Chipotle in adobo sauce - 2 peppers, chopped (can use jalapeno, if desired)
Garlic - 2 cloves, crushed
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Dried oregano - 1/4 tsp
Cheese (cheddar or pepper jack recommended) - 1 cup, grated
Salt to taste
Olive oil


1. Heat pan with olive oil until the pan is really, really hot. I mean smoking hot!

2. Now, add the bell peppers and onion and saute until browned, but still slightly crisp.

3. At this stage, lower the heat and add cumin, oregano, chipotle, garlic, and salt to taste.

4. Let it heat through, turn off the heat and cool slightly.

5. It's time to assemble! Get the tortillas, cheese, and the vegetable mixture (that we just made) ready.

6. Heat a tava/griddle/skillet to medium heat and put a few drops of oil on it.

7. Now, take 1 tortilla and top with cheese, then filling on top of that. Now, more cheese on top and cover with another tortilla.

8. Place on heated tava and heat until crispy and cheese is melted and goooey! Cut into large pieces for main course or smaller triangles for appetizer. This is best served warm (can keep warm in a 200 degrees F oven for a 15-20 minutes until ready to serve).

Note: I made this quesadilla "fajita style", meaning I pan sauteed everything on high heat like the fajita fillings you get in Mexican restaurants. In the summer, I'd grill the vegetables on the outside grill. You could also roast the vegetables in the oven, if desired.

Avocado Salsa:


Avocado - 1 medium, chopped
Red onion - 1 small, chopped
Jalapeno - 2, or to taste, chopped
Garlic - 1 clove, crushed
Coriander leaves - 2 tablespoons, chopped
Lime juice - juice of half a medium lime
Salt to taste


Mix all ingredients together and allow to soak for 10-15 minutes before serving. Keep covered until serving to reduce the chance of the avocado changing color!

This would go really well with mango milkshakes or mango margaritas! :)


Lavanya Raj said...

onnum purilla..aana etho kalakittu irukkeenga nnu mattum puriyuthu.

pakkavae eduthu sappidanum nnu thonuthu.

Sagari said...

love that creamy avacado salsa

Kalai said...

Lavanya, sorry pa! Idho western style item. US-la irindhu kettu poyiten! :) Vaazhthukkal-kku mikka nanri, ammadi.

Mansi Desai said...

I'll accept that with tonnes of gratitude girl, with a pitcher of mango margarita:)


Cynthia said...

Okay, add me too to Mansi's request :)

Kalai said...

Sagari: Thanks! Yeah, the salsa's really awesome. :)

Mansi: My pleasure, dear. Am glad I was able to participate. :)

Cynthia: You get the tequila, I've got the food and we'll get the margaritas on, girl! :)

Pooja said...

Wow ! thats really a lovely dish Kalai.
never tried salsa with avocado . seeing benefits of avocado i must try it now .
thanks for sharing dear.

Maheswari said...

I haven't tried avacado salsa before..just stuck with guacamole and avacado roti.Will give this delicious looking salsa a try.An absolute perfect entry for game night.Last year i made mango salsa for the game night.BTW, unga peru romba pidichirukku...

Kalai said...

Pooja, dear, definitely try it out! One bite and you'll forget that it's good for you. Tastes too yummy! :)

Maheshwari, welcome! Definitely try it. I love mango salsa as well. Compliment-ku nanri. It's great to see you back. Kuzhanthai eppidi irukku? :)

Sia said...

there r many ocassion i dont feel like cooking and order some take away. but u still managed to cook so much:) guess not everyone is as lazy as me:)

Kalai said...

Hahaha, Sia! Can you tell that to my mother?? That's pretty funny. Honestly, girl, there are days when I don't feel like bothering either. I like to go out, too, but nothing beats home cooking! :)

Lisa said...

Emailing this to myself and will try soon. I've enjoyed Quesadillas plenty of times while dining out (sometimes one of the few vegetarian options on the menu), but I've yet to make my own. What's up with that? The avocado salsa is a must. Thanks for this idea.

Kalai said...

Lisa, totally try these out! So easy and it tastes soooooo great. Absolutely agree with that avocado salsa assessment. Too yummy! Let me know how it comes out. :)

Mythreyee said...

Vanakkam kalai. Ore kalakkal recipes in your blog. This quesadilla looks awesome.

Kalai said...

Vanakkam, Mythreyee! Mikka nanri. Believe me, it was awesome all right! :)