Smoky Linzen Quesadilla op de BBQ
If there’s one thing the Mexican kitchen needs credits for, it’s the numerous tasty snacks and street food dishes that are conquering the world. With a number of exceptional products such as cumin, coriander, various chillies, … simple dishes can be transformed into a delicious bite that goes great with a fresh pint on a summer evening. Quesadillas, literally translated “Cheese Things” exist in different varieties and can be compared to the “Croque” or “Tosti” we know over here in Belgium (made with bread). The common ingredient can already be deduced from the name: “Cheese”. Tasty Cheddar, for example, is typical for the Tex-Mex variant, which for these “Lentil Quesadillas” is supplemented with a delicious sauce based on tomato and lentils.
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Although Quesadillas have become a piece of world heritage and are inextricably linked to “Tex-Mex” cuisine, its Mexican origin is undeniable. Especially the central and southern parts of Mexico form the basis for this snack where Mais tortillas are filled with the local “Oaxaca cheese” and served with red or green salsa, onion and guacamole. In addition to these basic conditions, it is mainly the own creativity that forms the boundary for the different variants that have emerged from this base. Ranging from chorizo, pulled chicken to even flowers of the pumpkin.
For the lentil quesadilla we make a combination of lentils with a red salsa like sauce, based on peppers and tomato. If you want a meatier variant, you can certainly consider making a Tinga in Adobo Quesadilla. In contrast to the traditional Quesadilla, we use wheat tortillas for the lentil quesadilla made on the BBQ, which are currently easier to obtain in Belgium. Personally I also like these very much although the taste can’t be compared to a real corn tortilla (which by the way is not everyone’s favorite). The wheat quesadillas are no less traditional by the way. Mainly in the northern regions of Mexico they are used more often.
To make the lentil quesadilla you start with the salsa roja style sauce based on peppers and tomato. The New Mex red and Pasilla are peppers that add little heat but mainly create a bomb of flavor. If you can’t find them, the suggestions below in the recipe might help you with a variety that are more easy to buy, but it can be worth the effort to go out and search for them (online there are some shops who sell them). The other flavors such as espresso, onion, cumin, … provide extra depth that can bump up against the delicious full flavor of the cheddar. In addition, the fresh sour cream with avocado, coriander and lime provides balance.
Serve this delicious snack from the BBQ as lunch or with a nice fresh beer as an aperitif. If you’re wondering where the meat has gone, I would recommend tasting it first. With this lentil quesadilla I don’t miss the meat. I am sure that the seasoned meat lover will not notice that this snack is vegetarian. Take the test and let me know for sure how many of your meat loving friends knew they ate a vegetarian dish! Have fun!
- 2 tbsp oil.
- 2 red onions
- 1 tbsp ketchup (2 if you'd like it somewhat sweeter)
- 300 gr. cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 New Mex red pepper to be replaced by regular chili if necessary
- 1/2 Pasilla pepper to be replaced by paprika if necessary
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 cup espresso
- salt to taste
- 250 gr. lentils
- Tortilla sheets
- grated Cheddar cheese to taste
- 1 avocado
- 150 grams sour cream
- 1 small avocado
- 1 handful of coriander
- lime juice to taste
- pepper and salt to taste
Soak the peppers in lukewarm water for ten minutes so that they can rehydrate.
Meanwhile, place a cast iron pan on the fire and add the oil together with the finely chopped onion. Fry the onion together with the dry herbs until it is glassy.
Finely chop the pepper and add to the onion together with the tomato and other ingredients except for the lentils. Leave to simmer on low heat for half an hour. Taste and season with pepper, salt and lime juice.
Add the lentils and cook for another five minutes in the sauce.
Add all the ingredients to a blending cup and mix to a fresh smooth mass. Season to taste with pepper, salt and lime. Aim for a fresh tasting sour cream.
Prepare the BBQ for an indirect session at medium temperature (+-200°C).
Take a tortilla sheet and place a bottom of the lentil sauce on top. Place a couple cubes of avocado between the sauce and grate a generous amount of cheddar cheese over the sauce. Cover with an extra tortilla sheet.
Place the whole on the BBQ until the cheese has melted and the Lentil Quesadilla turns a nice golden brown.