20 June 2014

Sweet Potato and Kimchi Quesadillas

This recipe is inspired both by Roy Choi's idea to insert kimchi into, well, everything, and an old sweet potato quesadilla recipe from the original Moosewood Cookbook I used to enjoy in my crunchy undergraduate days back in the early 90s.  You can vary this as much as you want--I'm ambivalent about the need for cheese when kimchi is involved, but it does help hold the thing together, for instance. Use a different grated root vegetable, different herbs or beans, etc.  Whatever your creation becomes, it's a great hand-held for the patio with a crisp glass of beer.

Sweet Potato and Kimchi Quesadillas

Serves 4

Teaspoon olive oil
1 small sweet potato, peeled and grated
½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cooked black beans
Handful chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
½ cup kimchi
1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 giant flour tortillas

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  When it shimmers, add the onion and cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to get soft.  Add the sweet potato, cumin, and salt and pepper, and continue to cook in the same fashion until the sweet potato is tender, about 8 minutes.  Stir in the black beans, cilantro, and kimchi and heat through.  Remove from heat.

Fill the three tortillas equally with the sweet potato filling, sprinkle equal amounts of cheese in each, and fold over in half.  At this point, you can either wipe out the skillet and fry each quesadilla in a little oil until brown and crisp on both sides, or you can pop them in a 425°F oven on a lined baking sheet and cook until golden (about 5 minutes on each side).  I prefer the oven because I’m not adding more oil to the dish.