Friday, October 23, 2009
Acorn Squash Quesadillas
The Boy: What’s for dinner tonight?
Erin: I’m not telling.
The Boy: Will I like it?
Erin: Ummm… I know you like the seperate components. Now we’ll see if you like them combined!
You see, The Boy likes quesadillas. And I make a pretty darn good one. (right Kalena?) And, I know from experience, The Boy liked acorn squash when I sliced and roasted it sprinkled with chili powder, (thanks Martha!). I just wasn’t sure how much he’d be into Acorn Squash Quesadillas. But I just could NOT resist this dish when I discovered it while browsing for acorn squash ideas.
This meal was really special. I love finding new ways to eat vegetarian, and this was a great discovery. If you’re tired of doing the same expected flavors and presentations with your acorn squash, you should really try this. It was warm, spicy, and different. Deb of Smitten Kitchen adapted this recipe from a demonstration she saw at Dos Caminos. I was lucky enough to eat at a Dos Caminos on my trip to New York two years ago. We happened to be there in early November, and I remember being impressed and surprised with the way they prepared Mexican style dishes using seasonal ingredients in a very fresh way.
We enjoyed this as dinner, served up with black beans. Alternatively, served in smaller portions, it could also be a great appetizer to begin a seasonal mexican meal. I didn’t go to the trouble of making the tomatillo salsa, because we had some on hand already. But I definitely recommend the specific fresh and light flavor of it as the perfect condiment with the quesadillas. So whether you make it or buy it, don’t skip it!
Now, you probably want to know what The Boy thought of it. I don’t think it’s going to be in the Top 10 list of his favorite meals of mine, but he did eat it, and he doesn’t ALWAYS eat everything I make. He liked it, but of course, asked where the meat was.
Acorn Squash Quesadilla
The secret to getting your quesadillas crisp, Lindquist insisted, is to cook them in either butter or lard, and no skimping. A griddle is best if you have one, but a regular old frying pan will do in a pinch.
1 small/medium acorn squash
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons diced white onion
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
1 clove garlic, minced
2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled and cut into strips
Salt and pepper to taste
10-inch flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend of your choice
Butter for frying quesadillas
Garnishes: sour cream and/or salsa verde cruda
First, roast the acorn squash. Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly oil a baking sheet. Halve the squash, scoop out the seeds (you can save them to toast later, if you wish) and cut each half into half-inch slices. Lay them on the baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, until soft but not cooked to mush. (You’ll finish it in the pan.)
When cool enough to work with, use a paring knife or your hands to peel the skin off each slice. Lightly chop the squash and put it in a bowl.
Saute the onions, garlic and jalapeno in the oil until translucent. Add the poblano strips and cook for a couple minutes more. Add the squash and cook for another 5 or 10 minutes, until the squash is tender and the flavors have melded. Season with salt and pepper and take off heat.
Spread a few tablespoons of the cooked squash mixture onto one half of a 10-inch flour tortilla. Sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of the cheese. Fold over and place in a hot pan with melted butter, and fry until crispy. Cut the finished quesadilla into triangles and top with your choice of garnishes. Eat while warm.