Burritos and tacos might get all the love, but there's more to tortillas than that. Quesadillas are the dark horse of the Mexican food roster – cheesy like nachos, stuffed like enchiladas, and sizzled like fajitas. We've got loads of places showing the quesadilla a bit of love here in the UAE. Taqado Mexican Kitchen cover theirs in Monterey Jack cheese, Chalco's Mexican Grill fill your meal with everything from chilli con carne to fish, and Chili's dish quesadillas up with a side of American flair.
Get your cheesy fix
At their heart, quesadillas are simple. Like many Mexican dishes, they stem from the simple tortilla – made of corn in Mexico, but often subbed out for wheat in other countries. A proper quesadilla is made of two tortillas, like a sandwich. The filling is spread onto one, then the other's stacked on top and it's all cooked till soft, hot and slightly crisp.
The key to the quesadilla though is the cheese. Its name literally comes from queso – the Mexican word for cheese. Not only does it act as an adhesive to stop all your fillings from spilling out, but it's also the core flavour. Go for something sharp like an extra-mature cheddar to add bite, or stick with tradition and use stringy Oaxaca cheese – just make sure you've got plenty of guacamole, sour cream and salsa on the side for dipping.
Stick with tradition, or try something new?
The new 'Santa Fe Quesadillas' - tortillas stuffed with sliced marinated chicken with house made corn and black bean salsa. Monterey jack and spicy (not really) santa fe sauce. Served with house-made pico de gallo and sour cream. Also served with NEW citrus Chile rice and black beans. @chilisuae @chilis Try it out for a balanced mexican meal 😄 #chilis chilisdubai #chilisuae #chilismexicano #mexicancuisine #mexican #yuminmytum #balanced #quesadilla #loveforcheese #foodies #foodislove #foodgram #foodphotography #foodporn #dubaifoodie #dubai #deiracitycentre #thehungryarchitects
While nobody's exactly sure how old quesadillas are, you can trace the history back to colonial times, with the Spanish first recording the use of two tortillas enclosing cheese. Proper Mexican quesadillas were originally filled with cheese and nothing else, much like a thin grilled cheese sandwich. At Chalco's, you can still order a plain cheese quesadilla for a starter if you want to try out the classic version.
As Mexican cuisine spread into the USA, people added different things into the mix. Meat, refried beans, onions and guacamole are all commonly included – then topped with melted cheese, giving everything a coating of gorgeous gooey-ness. You can also make smaller quesadillas by just using one tortilla and folding it into a half-moon.
Stuffed to perfection
Chili's like to play with how they present their quesadillas. There's the traditional chicken type, but their Santa Fe Quesadilla is where it's at – the tortillas are filled with chicken, cheese, homemade corn and black bean salsa, and finished up with plenty of fiery Santa Fe sauce. Dip in pico de gallo for extra tingle, or stick to sour cream for something less spicy.
Meanwhile, over at Chalco and Taqado, you can fill your tortillas with whatever you fancy. Taqado give you the choice of chicken two ways, steak, barbacoa, portobella mushroom or guacamole. But Chalco's go an extra step, letting you also pick toppings and extra add-ons to really make your quesadillas personal.
Mexican meals are here to stay. Order quesadillas straight to your door thanks to Deliveroo.