Wednesday, September 9, 2009

La Otra Quesadilla

Not what you were expecting was it? I know what you’re asking yourself already. Why does that quesadilla look like a cake? Isn’t a quesadilla a tortilla filled with warm, melty cheese? Well, yes, that too is a quesadilla, but it’s a Mexican one. This quesadilla is Salvadorean, and there’s a big, big difference. About the only similarity is that both contain cheese, otherwise this dish is a world apart from what you’re used to calling a quesadilla. But, that’s not to say it isn’t just as delicious; it has its own unique flavor and texture, and I can almost guarantee you’ll not stop eating at just one piece.

It’s easy to get confused if you don’t understand the differences between Latin American cultures. Many folks believe that just because we share the same language, that everything else is the same. Want to test my knowledge? In Mexico, “pastel” means “cake.” Now, walk into a Puerto Rican establishment and ask for a pastel and what they’ll hand you is something that looks more like a tamale. Now, this would be just as welcome at a birthday party (if not more!), but it’s not what you asked for.

Differences being settled, now I can talk about the absolutely wonderful quesadilla Salvadorena. This dessert, made of humble ingredients, but packing incredible flavor, takes me back to the time I started dating my husband. My husband, Erik, is of Salvdorean descent and before I met him I had no idea about Salvadorean food or culture was like. Our first couple months dating were filled with excursions to the local pupuseria and then to the park to devour our meals. I absolutely loved pupusas and was open to whatever he recommended. One day we were feeling extra hungry and decided to get dessert along with our lunch of chicken, cheese and pork pupusas. I ignorantly questioned why he called it a quesadilla, it was the first time I’d ever seen anything called a quesadilla that a) wasn’t sold by a Mexican and b) didn’t have a tortilla. “Just try it,” he said. Everything else I had eaten was delicious, so I wasn’t worried. Then I took a bite. Lo and behold I was hooked. I begged my mother-in-law for the recipe, and when she came back to me with only a handful of ingredients and directions, I knew I’d be in trouble. It’s simply, too easy to make! As if you needed another reason to bake it!

Sonia’s Quesadilla Salvadorena Recipe

2 cups of Bisquick baking mix
2 cups of sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
1 stick of butter (4 ounces)
16 oz of crema Mexicana (can be found at most Latino food markets in the refrigerated section)
1/3 cup of sesame seeds

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In one bowl mix the dry ingredients and in another mix the wet. For the dry ingredients first mix the Bisquick and sugar, then mix in the parmesan cheese. For the wet ingredients first mix the cream and butter, then add the eggs. When both wet and dry ingredients are ready, mix both together and beat until smooth. Pour the mixture into a greased 13x9 inch pan and sprinkle the top with the sesame seeds, adding more or less as desired. Bake for about 30 minutes and check every five minutes or so until a knife or toothpick comes out clean.

See, I told you it was easy!


  1. Hey, I LOVE pupusas!!! In the area where I currently live, there is a large Salvadorean community. We walked into on of the local bodegas about a year ago and the guy behind the counter told us we should try pupusas. We did and were hooked! about a recipe for those too?


  2. ahh..sooooo good but oh soo bad for you =P. hey why isn't buddy in the pic?!