It’s really a wonder that this recipe didn’t surface in the first few weeks that I was testing the waters of this whole food blogging thing. These black-bean quesadillas with goat cheese, spice, and the brightness of fresh cilantro have long been a staple, and they are one of my all-time favorite dinners.
It was one of the first recipes I ever cooked for my roommates in college and was such a hit that it converted several sworn goat-cheese haters who, to this day, still request that I make it.
The reason I’ve been so delinquent in writing about the recipe? I can’t ever seem to get the pictures to come out “right”. I’ve learned that there are a few things I just cannot get the hang of photographing. Curry is a big one. (Some of the best food I’ve had came on our recent trip to India, but when I went through the photos, I could barely distinguish them.)
Quesadillas? They don’t seem like they’d be so tricky to capture. But are they ever.
Maybe it’s just because the photos of the crisp tortilla do no justice to the amazing flavors contained inside.
But when my visiting sisters offered to cook dinner for Frank and I this week, and told me that these quesadillas would be on the menu, I grabbed my camera.
I figured that if I can’t capture a brightly-lit, carefully arranged, picture of these quesadillas, I can instead offer you some images of the process in action.
Not to mention that if a ringing endorsement from a 15-year-old (who doesn’t like cheese) and an 18-year-old (who keeps telling me that she needs more spicy chilis on her dishes – has she become Thai?) doesn’t sell you on making these this week, I’m not sure what could.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- ½ cup salsa
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 (19 oz) can black beans (about 2 cups)
- ⅓ cup minced fresh cilantro
- 1 (4 oz) packet goat cheese (cut into small pieces)
- 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
- ½ cup sour cream (for serving)
- ½ cup salsa (for serving)
- ½ cup guacamole (for serving - optional, but highly recommended!)
- Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saute for 3 minutes. Stir in ½ cup salsa, cumin, and beans, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until thick. Mash the bean mixture slightly with a potato masher. Remove from heat; stir in the cilantro and goat cheese.
- Spread the bean mixture evenly over 4 tortillas; top each with 1 tortilla, pressing gently.
- Heat ¼ teaspoon olive oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 quesadilla, and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Repeat the procedure with the remaining olive oil and quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 6 wedges. Serve with fat-free sour cream and ½ cup salsa.