Squash Blossom and Huitlacoche Quesadillas

In spite of its startling appearance, huitlacoche is prized by Mexican cooks for its unique flavor, which combines the delicate earthiness of mushrooms and the sweetness of corn. Photo by 123RF.com

In spite of its startling appearance, huitlacoche is prized by Mexican cooks for its unique flavor, which combines the delicate earthiness of mushrooms and the sweetness of corn. Photo by 123RF.com

Yield: 4 servings

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup finely chopped white or yellow onion

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 pound fresh or frozen huitlacoche, roughly chopped (a 7-ounce can of prepared huitlacoche may also be substituted)

2 fresh green chiles, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

4 to 6 corn tortillas, preferably blue corn

6 ounces Queso Oaxaca, sliced (available at Mexican grocery stores, but any good, white melting cheese may be substituted)

4 to 6 large squash blossoms

In a large sauté pan on medium-high heat, sweat the onions and garlic in olive oil until slightly softened but not brown.

Add the chopped huitlacoche and fresh chiles, season with salt and pepper and cook 5 to 6 minutes, adding a splash of water if the pan seems dry. If using fresh huitlacoche, the color will change from gray-blue to black as it cooks and becomes soft and collapsed. If using canned, it is black and will start out quite wet and then bubble and thicken as it heats.

After huitlacoche is cooked, set it aside.

To assemble the quesadillas, heat a corn tortilla in a heavy skillet or griddle. Spread a couple of slices of cheese on one half of the tortilla, add a spoonful of the huitlacoche mixture over the top and one squash blossom, torn in large pieces. When the cheese is melted, fold the tortilla in half, flip it over to lightly brown the other side and then set aside on a covered plate while the remaining quesadillas are assembled.

Serve immediately with your favorite salsa.

—Recipe by Abigael Birrell

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