RECIPE: Quesadillas with Oaxaca Cheese

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Quesadillas with Oaxaca Cheese


  • 1 each poblano pepper
  • 2 tablespoons, olive oil
  • ½ cup, chopped onion
  • 3 cups, chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 16 ounces, Oaxaca cheese
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • Kosher salt
  • Cilantro, lime, and salsa as garnish


Set a burner on your gas stove to medium. Using tongs, very carefully place the poblano directly over the flame. Allow the pepper to remain over the flame until it turns black and begins to blister. Move the pepper around until the entire surface of the pepper is blackened. This takes 8 to 10 minutes. When the pepper is blackened, move it to a plastic resealable bag and seal the bag. Allow the pepper to steam in the bag for about 5 minutes. Remove the pepper and scrape off the skin with the dull side of a knife. Remove the seeds and stems from the pepper and chop it into small pieces.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté them until they are translucent and softened. Move them to a plate. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and sauté the mushrooms quickly, over medium-high heat. Stir them often until they are nicely browned and softened, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and peppers to the mushrooms and continue to cook them together until they are all reheated. Remove the vegetables back the plate.

Cut the cheese into slices and divide it into 6 portions. Divide the vegetables into six portions. Wipe out the skillet and heat it again over medium heat. For each quesadilla, warm a tortilla briefly in the pan (to soften it) and then lay it on the counter. Place a portion of cheese and a portion of vegetables on the tortilla. Sprinkle with salt. Roll the sides to the middle and then roll up the tortilla. This provides closed edges so the cheese will not melt out.

Place the rolled tortilla back into the pan and repeat the process. Turn the rolls carefully with tongs, making sure that they do not unroll and spill. Cook the rolls until they are browned and crisp on all sides and the cheese has been given time to melt, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the rolls from the pan and serve them immediately with queso fresco and salsa.

Recipe adapted by Chef Rob Koeller, owner of Culinary Concepts & Hospitality Consultants

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