Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn

Lo's Weeknight Dinner: Smothered Quesadillas

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My weeks are never thoughtfully planned out, so I tend to eat by the seat of my plans; things come up unexpectedly, invites are extended for spontaneous eats, and I really never know when I’m going to be home for dinner. The freezer is my BFF, and the market on the way home covers my last-minute fresh food needs during the week if I’m in a crunch. My fridge may be pretty empty during a busy week, but there is one thing that is ALWAYS in my apartment: small flour tortillas. They are, in my book, the most versatile food vehicle I can have. Breakfast burritos? No problem. Sandwich wrap? Done. Tacos? Homemade tortilla chips? Quesadillas? Pizza? Some simple bread and butter?, you get the picture.

My quick dinner fix that has veggies and serious flavor is smothered quesadillas. A quick chop and sauté of mushrooms and most of my work’s done. With a brown, fill, flip, brown, and broil of the quesadilla with the addition of microwaving some frozen homemade tomato sauce (a must-have for time-crunching meals), I’ve got myself dinner that doesn’t take all night. It's perfect for when I’m caught at work late or the dreaded "laundry night Mondays."

See below for the recipe and send in YOUR best weeknight meal for a chance for it to be on MAD Hungry TV at madhungrylsq@gmail.com:

Smothered Quesadillas

1      cup assorted mushrooms, roughly cut
2      teaspoons EVOO
2      teaspoons epazote (Mexican oregano)
2      6-inch flour tortillas
3      oz fresh mozz, sliced or shredded (can sub queso fresco, Chihuahua or another cheese of your choosing)
½    cup tomato sauce
1       heaping tablespoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to Broil.

In a small sauté pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Sauté mushrooms with salt, pepper and epazote. Cook until soft.

Place cooked mushrooms on plate and roughly wipe pan with paper towel (leaving some oil on bottom). Heat pan until medium-high heat and place tortilla on bottom. Sprinkle cheese on tortilla, top with cooked mushrooms and place second tortilla on top.

When the bottom tortilla starts to pull away and becomes a golden brown, gently flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Meanwhile, heat tomato sauce in either the microwave or a small saucepan until hot. Add chili powder and stir until combined.

Place pan in oven and cook for another few minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.

To serve: top with tomato sauce or serve on the side for dipping (either way, it tastes awesome).

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