Food in Mexico is said to be some of the best in the world. Items you are likely to find in a Mexican kitchen -which may differ from yours- are: tortillas (a must), beans (red, black, brown, etc.), chilli peppers (serrano, de árbol, guajillo, jalapeño, etc.), tomato and tomatillo (Mexican husk tomato), cactus, chorizo, mole sauce, avocados, among other meats and vegetables.
Mexico is so amazingly rich in gastronomy that you can find many different dishes in each region. And when a dish is shared among regions, it is probably prepared differently, and of course, tastes different. You might have heard about many traditional dishes such as tacos, quesadillas, burritos, mole, caldo tlalpeño, ceviche, pescado zarandeado, tinga, pozole, menudo, birria, cochinita, tamales, enchiladas, chilaquiles and so on. Most of them require a considerable amount of time and preparation to cook, but perhaps one of the easiest and quickest is the quesadilla and mixta (from mix). A quesadilla is one of the simplest and most versatile foods in Mexico. It is, practically, a variation of taco.
Ingredients: Fluor tortilla and cheese (cheddar or any other suitable for melting).
1. Cut the cheese in thin slices or grate it.
2. Put a tortilla in a pan at the lowest heat and turn it as soon as it gets hot.
3. Once turned, put the cheese in one half of the tortilla and fold it.
4. Wait just until the cheese begins to melt (~30 secs) and turn it for almost the same time. Turn it as many times: the key is to melt the cheese and not burning the tortilla too much. Remove.
You now have a quesadilla, pretty simple. You can eat it as is, or upgrade like a Quesadilla with salad…
5a. Unfold it just after removal and add any salad you want (chopped tomato, lettuce, onion, mushrooms, etc.), fresh or fried. Fold again and eat.
Or like a Mixta (Quesadilla with meat)…
5b. Unfold and add finely chopped meat of any type. The most common is beef, but it could be chicken, pork or other. Fold again and eat.
Or like an “advanced” quesadilla…
5c. Mix 5a and 5b and add it to the quesadilla. In other words, you can make or fry your favorite stew, pour it in the quesadilla and fold it. If you reach this stage, now you will be one step ahead to the burrito.
-Alternatively, use corn-based tortillas, most Mexicans prefer them.
-Learn how to make “pico de gallo” (a type of spicy salad) and add it directly to the quesadilla.
-Feeling defiant? Chop a chilli-pepper (like the bird eye) as fine as possible and add it to the quesadilla or jointly with your salad or favorite stew. Some people say the more you can handle, the more Mexican you are.
And don’t forget to use your hands, the art of eating tacos and quesadillas without spilling the inside is a skill you get with experience.
Enjoy your meal. ¡Provecho!