These nouvelle versions of the Southwestern equivalent to the grilled cheese sandwich are filled with a mixture reminiscent of deviled crab. They are a wonderful party food, since they can be cooked in small batches in minutes. The quesadillas can be filled up to a day in advance and kept refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before cooking.
- Unsalted Butter - 1/3 cup
- Vegetable Oil - 1/4 cup
- Garlic Clove - 1, minced
- Onion - 1/2 medium, finely chopped
- Poblano Chili - 1, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
- Fresh cooked lump crab meat - 1 pound, picked over to remove shell
- Mayonnaise - 1/4 cup (alt. cream cheese)
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Fresh Cilantro - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Flour tortillas - twelve, 10-inch
- Jalapeno jack cheese - 1-1/2 cups, grated
- Three-Tomato Salsa (recipe follows)
- Three-Tomato Salsa (Serves 12 to 16)
- Olive Oil - 6 tablespoons
- Red Onion - 1 small, peeled and diced
- Dry white wine - 2/3 cup
- Tomatillos - 16, husked, cored, and diced (3 unripe, green tomatoes, seeded and diced, may be substituted)
- Ripe Tomatoes - 8 ripe, seeded and diced
- Yellow Cherry Tomatoes - 2 pints, seeded and diced
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- Fresh Basil Sprigs - 12, minced
Place the butter and oil in a medium saucepan and heat over low heat until the butter is melted. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a small cup and add the garlic and onion to the pan. Saute over medium-high heat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chili, crab, mayonnaise or cream cheese, salt, and cilantro. Mix well.
To soften the tortillas, place them on a heated grill or skillet for about 15 seconds on one side, then turn. Brush one side with the butter-oil mixture, turn the tortilla over, and spread the crab mixture on one half of the tortilla and top with a tablespoon of grated cheese. Repeat until all the tortillas are filled.
At this point, the quesadillas can either be sauteed or finished in the oven. If sauteing, heat a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for about 2 minutes on a side, or until golden. Or preheat the oven to 375 F and bake on a cookie sheet until the tops are golden, about 5 minutes.
To serve: Cut into quarters. Pass on platters, with small bowls of salsa.
Heat the oil in a saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute 2 minutes. Add the wine and tomatillos, stir to combine, and remove from heat.
Add the red and yellow tomatoes to the pan while the mixture is still warm. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add the basil, and allow to stand for at least 20 minutes before serving for the flavors to blend.
Drain the juice from the relish before serving. The relish may be prepared up to a day in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving to achieve the best flavor.