I love Mexican food more than any other type of food, but foods traditionally made with flour tortillas have been a problem. Luckily, I recently discovered brown rice tortillas at Earth Fare, so the problem has been solved. I have loved being able to eat quesadillas and burritos at home so easily. I got the Pastry Queen Christmas cookbook for Christmas, and I almost immediately wanted to make these quesadillas. The good thing about this cookbook is that, even though its name implies Christmas, many of the recipes are appropriate all year. Even though I’m a little late on the cranberries, I had a bag in the freezer from all my Christmas baking, so even though it’s February, I’m making them anyway 🙂 This was one of my favorite quesadillas ever. The mushroom mixture has so much flavor, and the goat cheese is a strong cheese that really stands out. The cranberry salsa was more of a relish than a salsa, but complemented the meal really well, and I know I’ll find other uses for it as well.
Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Cranberry-Pecan Salsa
Source: The Pastry-Queen Christmas by Rebecca Rather
½ cup whole pecans
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1 shallot, sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and toast them in the oven for 7 to 9 minutes, until deeper brown and aromatic. Transfer to a bowl, let cool, and coarsely chop the pecans.
In a food processor, combine the vinegar, olive oil, sugar, mustard, orange zest, orange juice, salt, and pepper. Process until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Make sure you combine the vinaigrette before adding the fruit. The mixture becomes cloudy and less attractive if you process all ingredients at once. Then again, if you don’t, it will still taste as good.
Add the cranberries, shallot, and jalapeno and pulse until the cranberries are coarsely chopped. Pour the salsa into a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir in the pecans just prior to serving.
For the quesadillas:
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (I used a few teaspoons of olive oil instead)
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 ½ pounds mixed wild mushrooms (I used baby bellas for the whole recipe)
1 pound button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup dry white wine
½ teaspoon ground white pepper (I used regular black pepper)
Eight 8-inch flour tortillas
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey jack cheese
3 cups (15 ounces) crumbled fresh goat cheese
In a large sauté pan, melt the butter (or olive oil) over medium-high heat, add the onion and sauté for about 4 minutes, until translucent. Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt, and Worcestershire sauce and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the while wine and pepper and cook the mushrooms until the liquid is absorbed, at least 5 minutes.
While the mushrooms cook, coat a griddle or large skillet with cooking spray and heat over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium. Lay each tortilla on the griddle or in the skillet and cover with ¼ cup of the Monterey jack. Evenly spread about 1/3 cup of the mushroom mixture on half of the tortilla and cover the mushroom mixture evenly with a thin layer of crumbled goat cheese. Use a metal spatula to fold the tortilla in half and cook until lightly brown and crisp on the bottom. Flip and cook until brown on the other side. Transfer to a plate in a warm oven. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Cut each tortilla into wedges.