Kid-friendly Texan Campfire Quesadillas Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Texan Campfire Quesadillas

Recipe: Texan Campfire Quesadillas

Texan Campfire Quesadillas

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by (zefirchik06/shutterstock)
prep time
2 minutes
cook time
20 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Texan Campfire Quesadillas

Did you know that in Spanish, a quesadilla is literally a "cheesy little thing?" Making quesadillas over an open fire is one of recipe author Chef Dylan's favorite camping treats. The resulting quesadilla is a smoky, toasty, and melty pocket of Yum!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • toast :

    to brown and crisp food in a heated skillet or oven, or in a toaster.

Equipment Checklist

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Ingredients

Texan Campfire Quesadillas

  • 1 to 1 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese, or a blend of your choice **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free shredded cheddar cheese, like Daiya)**
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 12 corn or flour tortillas **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use corn tortillas)**

Food Allergen Substitutions

Texan Campfire Quesadillas

  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free shredded cheddar cheese, like Daiya brand, for cheddar cheese in Quesadillas.
  • Gluten/Wheat: Use corn tortillas (not flour tortillas) for Quesadillas.

Instructions

Texan Campfire Quesadillas

1.
measure + mix

Measure and combine 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 pinch of black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in a medium bowl. Set this bowl aside while you heat up a large skillet and gather the tortillas.

2.
toasting tips

Make sure your skillet is dry; oil and water in the skillet will lead to a less than golden brown result. It is important for these quesadillas to be toasty and brown (almost like you made them on a campfire).

3.
layer + toast

Build the quesadilla in the skillet on medium low heat. Lay down as many tortillas in the skillet as will fit, making sure not to overlap. Then, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the cheese and spice mixture to each tortilla. You can fold these tortillas in half to shape the quesadillas like a half moon, or lay another tortilla over the top of each one and press down with a spatula. After you have assembled as many quesadillas that will fit in the skillet, cook them for 4 to 5 minutes before flipping the quesadillas over and cooking for 2 more minutes on the other side.

4.
melt + serve

Make sure each quesadilla is golden brown and toasty on both sides before serving with a scoop of Classic Cowboy Craveable Caviar (see recipe)! Enjoy y’all!

Surprise Ingredient: Tortilla!

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Photo by Light and Vision/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I’m Tortilla!

"Hola! I'm a corn tortilla and a staple of Latin American cuisine, going back thousands of years. Mexicans and Central and South Americans use me like people in other countries might use other types of bread. They sop up sauce and soup with tortillas, put meat, eggs, veggies, and fruit on me and in me, and I'm an essential part of many dishes." 

History & Etymology

  • A tortilla is a flat, round, unleavened bread made from corn or wheat flour. It is one of the oldest foods of Central and South America. 
  • Mesoamericans began domesticating corn and other crops around 7,000 BCE. As a result, corn became a staple, and the people from Oaxaca in Mexico may have started making corn tortillas sometime from 1500 to 500 BCE. There is evidence of corn tortillas in Mesoamerica from 500 BCE. The starch in corn supplied the necessary energy for the people; corn of that day also contained protein and a little fat. Though corn was sometimes eaten raw on the cob, it was primarily stored dry and ground into cornmeal to make masa or corn dough.
  • The invention of masa, or corn dough, happened when the native people of Mexico discovered that soaking corn kernels in lime solution would loosen the kernel skins, which made masa possible. This process, called nixtamalization, also makes the corn easier to grind and stick together and improves the nutritional value and taste of the corn. In addition, it changes the structure of the proteins and carbohydrates of the corn and makes the ground grains stick together to form masa. 
  • The original name of tortillas, "tlaxcalli," came from the Aztecs. Tortilla means "little cake" and comes from the Spanish word "torta," which means "round cake." Spanish conquerors in Mexico named tortillas. 

Traditional Method of Making & Cooking

  • The traditional way of making tortillas is to grind the soaked kernels into masa on a stone slab. The masa can be white, yellow, or any color the raw corn is, but more importantly, consistency is key. The ingredients are simple, but the tortillas will not be perfect if the water temperature is not just right or not the correct quantity. Once the masa consistency is ideal, place a golf-ball-size amount between wet hands and pat it into a flat thin pancake. This way of making tortillas is still followed by some people today.
  • After pressing the masa into thin pancakes, quickly fry them on a "comal" or griddle, typically without oil. As they cook, the tortillas will puff up in spots (these spots deflate once you remove the tortilla from the heat). 
  • There are three colors of maize dough in Guatemala and Mexico for making tortillas: white, yellow, and blue (also called black) maize.

How to Eat

  • Tortillas are best eaten warm and straight off the comal (griddle). If you don't have access to fresh tortillas, warm them before eating, either in the microwave, oven, or stovetop. Besides quesadillas, tortillas are used for making tacos, enchiladas, chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, sopapillas, and chips, of course!

Nutrition

  • Corn tortillas contain an impressive amount of fiber, which is necessary to keep our digestive tracts in good shape.
  • Corn tortillas also have phosphorus. Our bones require phosphorus to regenerate, and so do our red blood cells. Phosphorus helps to keep our blood at just the right pH level. 
  • Corn tortillas are also a good source of magnesium, which supports muscle and nerve function. It also contributes to bone and heart health.

 

History of Quesadillas!

Photo by Valente Romero/Shutterstock.com
  • Quesadillas are a blend of Old and New World food. They were developed when Spanish settlers arrived in Mexico in the 1500s. 
  • The Spanish word for "cheese" is "queso," and quesadillas consist of tortillas filled with cheese and other ingredients, like salsa, guacamole, and cooked veggies and meats. You can make a quesadilla with one tortilla covered with cheese and then folded over. Or you can use two tortillas and put the cheese and other fillings between them. Then you cook it until the tortilla browns, and the cheese fully melts. 
  • Quesadillas were originally made with corn tortillas, but you can also make them with flour tortillas. Traditionally, they are cooked on a flat, smooth griddle called a "comal." However, if you don't have a griddle, you can also heat them in a frying pan on your stove or in the oven, air fryer, or even a microwave!

Let's Learn About Texas!

Photo by Joe Belanger/Shutterstock.com
  • Texas is in the south-central part of the United States. Its size is 268,596 square miles, the second-largest state in area after Alaska, and it is the second most populated state after California, with over 29 million people. 
  • Austin is the capital city of Texas and is known for its music scene. However, Houston has the most people. The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area is the largest in the state and the fourth largest in the country.
  • Texas' nickname is "The Lone Star State," and "The Lone Star" is on its state flag and seal. Once belonging to Mexico, it became an independent republic in 1836. It joined the union in 1845 as the 28th state.
  • The top industries in Texas are oil and petroleum, agriculture (including cattle and cotton), aeronautics, defense, technology, and tourism. Texas has more than 16 million heads of cattle, the most in the US.
  • The Rio Grande River is the largest in Texas. It is 1,896 miles long, starting in south-central Colorado, then through New Mexico, running along the Texas and Mexico border, and then into Texas, where it eventually flows to the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The phrase "Everything is bigger in Texas" was first used in 1913. Texas had been the biggest state until Alaska became part of the United States in 1959.
  • Several dishes got their start in Texas, some with influences from Mexico, immigrants from other countries, or neighboring states. These include Tex-Mex cuisine, chili con carne, chicken fried steak, corn dogs, and Texas-style barbecued beef brisket.
  • Pecan pie is the Texas state pie. Although historians are unsure whether pecan pie got its start in Texas or another southern state, we do know that archaeologists found evidence in Texas of indigenous people using pecans more than 8,000 years ago.

THYME for a Laugh

What did the tortilla say to the avocado when the dip bowl was empty? 

“We’ve hit guac bottom!”

Lettuce Joke Around

Have you heard the joke about the tortilla? 

It was corny.

THYME for a Laugh

What does a sad tortilla say? 

"I don’t want to taco bout it."

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