Roasted Corn and Caramelized onion quesadillas

As with guacamole variations, I have just as many recipes for quesadillas. They really are limitless in regards to creativity, cravings and content. My biggest challenge is to not over stuff, as my eyes frequently tend to bully my restraint.  Taking the time to caramelize the onions are well worth the effort here, as it makes for a sweet, savory, salty, and deeply satisfying situation.

Ingredients:

3 Vidalia sweet onions, cored and cut into slices

3 tablespoons Grapeseed oil

 1 pat of Earth Balance (or similar)

3 fresh corn cobs

1 packet Chao Cheese slices

1 packet of flour tortillas (plain, spinach, or red pepper will do)

1 cup, or so, of prepared vegetable stock

Agave (optional)

Cilantro (optional)

Tajin (optional)

Prepare the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly brush the corn cobs witha mix of  grapeseed oil and agave,  then lay on a lined baking pan. Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until heated through and slightly browned. Conversely, you may roast your cobs on the barbecue, as well. Set aside to cool, prior to separating the kernels with a serrated knife. Keep the oven on at the same temperature for baking the quesadillas later.

 

In the meantime, heat the oil, spread (or both, whatever combination you prefer) over medium-low heat in a large bottom pan. Add the onions in a uniform layer and initiate the first stir to gently coat. I am already seasoning here with Himalayan salt, in order to draw out the moisture and flavors.  This is going to take a while, so patience is key. Turning the heat down a notch might also be necessary, should you find the onions browning too quickly. During this stage, I like to prepare my baking sheet, lay out my quesadilla assembly line, clean up a dish or two, you get the idea. You don't need to be doting over the pan for the entire process, but you mustn't ignore it either. An occasional stir to encourage even browning and discourage scorching is ideal. Should the onions dry out, pour in a dash of vegetable stock here and there to restore a bit of moisture and fluidity. After about 40-45 minutes, you will notice the onions have become beautifully brown; keep stirring occasionally until you reach a light to medium level of caramelization. Remove from the heat a bit earlier than your eyes would like, as it will continue to brown in the pan as it rests and cools. 

Once your corn cobs have cooled enough to handle, cut the kernels off into a shallow bowl or dish with a serrated knife. This bowl will join the assembly line of quesadilla construction, along with your tortillas, some grapeseed oil to brush the tortillas with, the caramelized onions, Chao cheese, cilantro, salt and pepper. 

 

Line two baking sheets with parchment, foil, or Silpats. For medium sized tortillas (and my preferred size for folding into quesadilla moons), I typically fit three to a sheet, or six full quesadillas, total. Place one Chao cheese slice down on one side of the tortilla. Top with caramelized onions, corn, cilantro, a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Top with one another Chao cheese slice. By the way, you are free to use your own non-dairy cheese of choice, but I prefer Chao for its flavor and melting abilities. Fold over the clean half of the tortilla and press down lightly. Do not overfill, as it will only become a mess later (I have this argument with myself every time). Brush top with a light glaze of oil and a dusting of Tajin. Why Tajin? Because it's magical.

Repeat the assembly until you have filled your baking sheets or run out of ingredients. This batch should satisfy about six medium sized quesadillas. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, until the tortillas are gently browned and cheese has melted. Remove from oven to cool and then slice into wedges.

 

PS-Not a fan of cilantro? Try these quesadillas with thyme and a light layer of herbed cashew cheese spread instead. Also amazing.

These quesadillas pair beautifully with the mango habanero guacamole. Bring both to the party and prepare to be named the Belle of the Ball. 

Enjoy!