Though most people don't associate mushrooms with Mexican food, funghi are an integral part of several regional cuisines
2 dried chipotle chilies
2 strips bacon
2 tablespoons minced shallots
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 pound fresh wild mushrooms, chopped coarsely (See Note)
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup half-and-half
4 to 6 soft 10-inch flour tortillas
1/2 cup grated Mexican hard cheese or pecorino Romano
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1. Toast the chipotles in a large skillet over moderately high heat, turning, for 2 to 3 minutes. Take out the chilies, remove and discard the seeds and stems, and soak in hot water for 10 minutes.
2. While chilies are soaking, cook the bacon until medium crisp in the skillet. Remove the bacon, leaving the rendered fat in the pan, and chop it into rough 1/4-inch squares.
3. Sauté the shallots in the bacon fat over moderately high heat for 2 minutes. While the shallots are cooking, remove the chipotles from the water and chop them to a rough paste. Add the chipotle paste and the pinch of cloves to the shallots. Fry, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the stock, bacon, and coriander and stir up the bottom. When the stock comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the half-and-half and stir it in well. Cook for another 10 minutes.
4. Place a medium skillet over moderate heat. When the skillet is hot, place a tortilla in it. Shake the pan to prevent sticking. After 1 minute, turn the tortilla over. Place 1 heaping serving spoon of the mushroom mixture on the left half of the tortilla. Top with a quarter of the cheese, spreading it out to the edge, and a quarter of the parsley. With a spatula, lift the empty side of the tortilla and turn it over onto the mushrooms, making a half-moon shape. After 2 minutes, lifting from the open end with the spatula, turn the quesadilla over. The side that is now on top should be somewhat browned. Cook for 2 more minutes, or until the second side is slightly browned. Repeat for the remaining quesadillas, keeping the cooked ones warm on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven.Note:
If wild mushrooms are unavailable, substitute regular fresh mushrooms and add an ounce of dried wild mushrooms. Soak the dried wild mushrooms for 20 minutes in hot water before you start preparing the recipe. Combine the strained soaking liquid with chicken stock to make one cup, and proceed with the recipe.
Though most people don't associate mushrooms with Mexican food, funghi are an integral part of several regional cuisines. We find the smoky, woodsy flavor of the chipotle (a smoked jalapeño) to be a natural match for wild mushrooms. This recipe, by the way, demonstrates another type of quesadilla: one made with a single tortilla, folded in the pan to create a half-moon. Makes 4 half-moon quesadillas