Butternut Squash Quesadillas with Smokey Crème Fraiche
Recipe courtesy of Tiffani Thiessen
- 1 pound peeled butternut squash cubes (about 2 inches each)
- 2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo puree
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup crème fraiche
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking quesadillas
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 8 (10-inch) flour tortillas
- 12 ounces shredded Mexican cheese blend
- Sliced Pickled jalapeno, to taste
- 1 avocado, chopped
- Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small bowl mix together the chipotle puree, coriander, paprika, salt and cumin. Remove half of the mixture to another small bowl and stir in the crème fraiche. Refrigerate the smoky crème fraiche until ready to serve.
To the remaining chipotle mixture stir in the olive oil. Toss the chipotle and oil mixture with the butternut squash. Place on a sheet tray and bake in the oven for about 30-35 minutes or until the squash is deeply caramelized in places and fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before pureeing into a smooth paste in a food processor.
While the squash cooks, mix the red onion and lime juice together in a small bowl along with salt to taste. Let sit for 20 minutes or until the onions soften.
When ready to make quesadillas, lay out four flour tortillas. Divide 6 ounces of the cheese blend between the four tortillas, top each tortilla with about ¼ cup of the butternut squash puree, spreading the mixture evenly across the tortilla, then top with the remaining cheese. Add sliced pickled jalapeno to taste and then top with the remaining four tortillas.
Preheat a 12-inch cast iron skillet, saute pan or griddle pan over medium heat. Lightly grease the pan with olive oil. When hot add the quesadillas, in batches, to the hot pan. Cook 2-3 minutes or until the bottom tortilla is golden brown and the cheese is beginning to melt. Flip and cook 2-3 minutes more or until the second side is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Remove and let cool slightly. Repeat cooking the quesadillas, adding oil as needed.
Serve quesadillas with the smoky crème fraiche, pickled red onions, chopped avocado and cilantro.
Photography by Rebecca Sanabria