Mushroom, Avocado & Chipotle Caramelized Onion QuesadillaWednesday, May 07, 2014
It dawned on me as I was preparing this post that my last few recipes have all been vegetarian and featured avocados, so I hope you guys love them as much as I do! Don't worry, I'll be back to bacon soon. I could seriously eat an avocado every day with nothing but a pinch of salt and pepper. That's a meal in itself for me. I once heard somebody describe them as a vegetable disguised as butter...could not have put it better, notwithstanding the fact that avocados are technically a fruit! When it comes to quesadillas, I usually have some kind of guacamole or avocado crema on the side, but this time I thought, why not just put the avocado inside? The result is avocado in every bite and no awkward unnecessary dipping of the quesadilla. I also chilled my avocado before slicing it into the quesadilla which is a nice contrast with the other warm fillings. All win.
Quesadillas are all about "mouthfeel" as Chef Andrew Zimmern would say. A creamy, oozing filling sandwiched between a crispy pan fried tortilla? Heaven. Surprisingly though, the cheese is not really the star of this quesadilla. Avocados provide a cool creaminess, mushrooms add umami add a meaty bite, but the real show stopper is the onions. Chipotle caramelized onions. Let that sink in. I got the idea from my Chipotle Sweet Potato Tacos recipe, which also featured caramelized onions. This time I wanted to use a lot more onions and infuse them with the chipotle flavor. The result was deliciously tender, sweet, smoky and spicy onions with the characteristically sticky caramelization that makes them so irresistible.
Because of the onions, this isn't a 10 minute meal, but it's pretty easy to make a batch of caramelized onions ahead of time when you have an hour to spare. My suggestion? Do as many onions as you can stand to slice up at once, take the time to caramelize them, then portion out and freeze or refrigerate them for use in future recipes. That way when you have the brilliant idea to add some caramelized onions to your next quesadilla, burger, sandwich, or whatever your stomach dreams up, they are already done. With a new baby in our home, that's definitely the route I'll be going from here on out so that I have one less thing to worry about at dinner time!
3 sweet yellow onions