Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Mushroom Quesadillas -- #recipe

LESLIE: Mr. Right loves Mexican food, and so do I. (If you are among the 15% of the population who are cilantro-averse, my apologies. Parsley can sometimes be substituted, but probably not here.) We’ve discovered that frying the tortillas briefly in oil before filling improves the taste tremendously, though the difference is more obvious with flour than corn tortillas. We played with this recipe, based on one by Martha Rose Shulman published in the New York Times until it worked for us. You have our permission to play with it to make it work for you!

A word about oil: We used two different oils because olive oil gives the mushroom filling a great flavor. But it’s got a relatively low smoke point, meaning frying tortillas could set off your smoke detectors. Use canola or another vegetable oil because it has a higher smoke point, or cooking temperature.

Mushroom Quesadillas

1 tablespoon EVOO*
1 shallot, minced
6 ounces mushrooms (wild or commercial; a mix is great), washed, trimmed, and sliced 1/4" thick
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno or serrano chile pepper, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
canola oil
4-6" corn tortillas
2 ounces (½ cup) grated Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or mixed cheeses
salsa and sour cream for serving (optional)

*what all the groovy chefs call extra-virgin olive oil

Mushroom filling: In a large, heavy frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook about 2 minutes, until tender and starting to change color. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender and juicy, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chile, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, one minute. Add the cilantro and stir; taste, adjusting the seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a bowl or plate and cover.

The filling can be made up to 2-3 days in advance and reheated before use.

Cook the tortillas: Return the pan to the medium heat and add canola oil. Place two corn tortillas in the pan and cook until they start to brown and bubble, 3-5 minutes. Flip and cook another minute or two. Top one with half the mushrooms, spreading it evenly, and half the cheese. Cook until the cheese begins to melt, another minute or two, then top the filled tortilla with the other, press down, and cook another 30 seconds or so. Transfer to plate and cut in quarters. Repeat with the remaining two tortillas and filling. Top and serve.

"Budewitz's finely drawn characters, sharp ear for dialogue, and well-paced puzzle make Jewel Bay a destination for every cozy fan." --- Kirkus Reviews

From the cover of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #5 (Midnight Ink, June 2018, available in trade paper, e-book, and audio):  

In Jewel Bay---Montana's Christmas Village---all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. A past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. Yum!
    I'll skip the cilantro and add a shake of cumin, I think.

  2. My comment flew away. I'm another cilantro skipper. Bleah. It looks delicious. Aren't those flour tortillas? Here (in Houston) flour is used for burritos and quesadillas, corn for almost everything else in Tex-Mex. Whichever it is, it looks yummy.

    1. These are 6" corn tortillas, though the photos do make them look a little like flour.

  3. Can you use flour tortillas instead? That's what I have on hand and I'm thinking of making these tonight!

  4. I've done quesadillas but never like this. Looks really good.

    1. For mushroom and cilantro lovers, they're great!

  5. Thanks! I love quesadillas & am always on the lookout for different versions.