Happy Cinco de Mayo! I just love this holiday because it’s all about Mexican food and margaritas. I thought for a nice twist on classic Mexican fare, I’d mix cuisines a bit and add kimchi to my already cheesy quesadillas to give them another punch of flavor. Kimchi is a fermented Korean cabbage slaw, so to speak, and if you haven’t tried it, it’s a must. What makes kimchi so special is that it’s tangy, slightly spicy and still has incredible texture, even after fermentation. I have a quick kimchi recipe on my blog which is fabulous and even better over time, but if you’re in a pinch, you can buy store-bought; like I did for today. These quesadillas are loaded with outstanding taste and will definitely put you in the mood to celebrate. I appreciate how simple they are to put together in a moments notice, so if you want to throw an impromptu gathering, you’re all set or simply enjoy them after a long day of work.
I made these quesadillas with whole grain tortillas, that actually are lower in carbohydrates and have protein for an extra touch of goodness. They have been my staple at lunchtime during the pandemic and now they are just my favorite to make quesadillas or burritos of any kind. I chose pepper jack cheese because it has the right amount of heat without overpowering your mouth, and it compliments kimchi’s special spicy qualities. After a quick pan fry these quesadillas ooze with melty flavors that not only remind you it’s a Mexican holiday, but have a hint of Asian taste. I love combining the food of two countries and I think you will enjoy it too. They pair especially nice with a margarita, and if you’re looking for some recipes — they’re right here. Have a great Cinco de Mayo and Salud!
6 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated
4 ounces kimchi – homemade or store-bought
1 bunch fresh cilantro, washed
6 whole grain tortillas
2/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
juice of 1/2 lime
1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced
oil for cooking
- On a cutting board or work surface, lay one tortilla flat. Fill one side with 2 tablespoons cheese, 1 tablespoon kimchi and a few sprigs of cilantro, fold in half. Set aside and repeat to fill each tortilla.
- In a large non-stick skillet, add 1 tablespoon oil and place over medium-high heat. After 2 minutes, add first quesadilla. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate and put in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining quesadillas, adding more oil if necessary.
- Slice warm quesadillas in half and layer on serving board or platter. Mix together yogurt, lime juice and minced chipotle. Spoon around edges of board and top with remaining cilantro and kimchi. Serve warm and Enjoy!