The end of April in near, which means three things:
- It’s almost Cinco de Mayo
- It’s time to put *NSYNC on repeat and burst into laughter whenever Justin Timberlake says “It’s gonna be me” in that nasally way that makes “me” sound like “May”. Oh, you don’t do that? Uhh… me neither.
- It’s my birthday
All of those things sound like the perfect reasons to throw a party, don’t you think? Okay, well at least 1 and 3. And hey, you can put some JT on your playlist while you’re at it and cover all of the bases.
I turned 27 today, which is scary because I feel like I should have this whole adulting thing figured out by now but I don’t. I don’t! I’m still a clueless teenager at heart, but with way less endearing enthusiasm and spontaneity. Way less of that, but more bills and aches. (Seriously, I have aches. At 27. This can’t be right!)
At least I’ve got that whole complaining old lady thing down pat, right? Please don’t tell my grandmas that I said that.
Truthfully, I’m excited for this upcoming year. There are a ton of great things about getting older! Take, for example, the fact that you can throw a gigantic party, invite everyone you know, and not have to worry about your parents grounding you for the next century. We would have killed for that 10 years ago!
So that’s exactly what I’m doing.
It’s a little late, but lately I’ve been holding off on celebrating my birthday until Cinco de Mayo, since that gives me the perfect excuse to drink a million margaritas (and by a million, I mean 3 throughout the course of the day– I’m a lightweight you guys), and make a ton of downright drool-worthy food for me and all of my friends. And these Mini Party Poblano Quesadillas are perhaps the drooliest of them all.
Wait, that sounds kind of gross. What I mean is that they’re good. Really good. Oops-I-ate-half-a-tray’s-worth-before-I-had-a-chance to-freeze-them-and-now-I-have-to-make-a-whole-‘nother-batch good. Hypothetically, of course.
These Mini Party Poblano Quesadillas were inspired by Mexican rajas, which are roasted poblano pepper strips that are often tossed in a creamy sauce– almost always with onion, sometimes with corn, and occasionally with cheese.
The roasted pepper dish is incredibly popular in the central and southern parts of Mexico, where it can unfailingly be found at every taquiza (AKA taco party). The smoky roasted peppers, with their slight kick and flavorful sauce, are often tucked into tacos or slathered on top of steaks. I, however, like to up the cheese factor by 10-fold and shove my rajas in between mini flour tortilla rounds (which I make using a cookie cutter on jumbo tortillas).
Suddenly, they become the perfect freezable finger food.
And if you’re planning on throwing a party any time soon, I can’t recommend these enough. They’re so easy to make ahead of time, they reheat wonderfully, and they’re going to be a hit with all of your friends.
I’ve currently got a big plastic bagful of these Mini Party Poblano Quesadillas, begging me to snatch them out of the freezer and heat ’em up. However, I’m just going to have to be patient and wait the two weeks– willpower, don’t fail me now!
Okay, well maybe I’ll just take out one and reheat it. It is my birthday, after all.
- 6 fresh poblano chiles
- ¼ cup vegetable oil, divided
- 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
- 2 ears corn, kernels removed
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 6 to 7 jumbo flour tortillas, cut into ~50 rounds using a circular biscuit or cookie cutter
- Place the poblanos, two at a time, directly over the gas flame on the stove or under the broiler, turning occasionally, until blackened all over. Transfer the charred poblanos to a plastic bag. Seal and let steam for about 10 minutes.
- Once the peppers have steamed and begun to cool, peel the black skins off of the chiles. Remove the stem and seeds, and then cut the chiles into thin strips. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Once hot, add in the onions and saute until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the corn and cook for 5 minutes. Add the poblano strips to the onion mixture and saute for 5 more minutes.
- Stir in the sour cream and cream cheese cook until melted and well-combined. Mix in the Monterrey jack cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Heat another tablespoon of oil in a separate large skillet over medium heat. Spoon about a tablespoon's worth of filling in the center of each tortilla round and fold the tortilla over to form a half circle. Once the oil is hot place the quesadillas, in batches, into the skillet. Brown on one side, flip, and brown on the other. Remove the quesadillas from the skillet and set aside to cool on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Continue until all of the quesadillas are golden.
- Serve immediately or allow to cool to room temperature, then place the quesadillas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flash freeze them for 1-2 hours, until frozen. Transfer the quesadillas to a freezer safe bag. To reheat, bake the frozen mini quesadillas in a 350°F oven until warmed through, about 20 minutes.
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