Quesadillas Tradicionales

huitlacoche photo by greg rannells

Huitlacoche, also known as corn smut, is a fungus that grows on sweet corn. Its grubby appearance – a swollen glob of soft, dirty, black flesh covered in silvery gray skin – belies the sweet, woodsy mushroom flavor that has earned this delicacy the nickname Mexican truffle.

Use it: Huitlacoche is a traditional filling for Mexican eats like tamales, tacos and quesadillas. Try it on crepes and in egg dishes, including as a heavenly filling for deviled eggs. Use it as a sneaky sub for morels in pasta dishes, stuffed chicken breasts and sauteed vegetables.

Find it: El Torito Supermarket, 2753 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.771.8648


1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. chipotle pepper, puréed
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. freshly ground cumin
4 oz. corn masa mix*
½ cup water
1 cup shredded Chihuahua cheese
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 oz. huitlacoche, chopped
Vegetable oil for frying


• First, make the chipotle-lime aioli: Place the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

• In a bowl, combine the corn masa mix and the water. Using your fingers, mix well into a dough. The dough should hold together but not be sticky. If the dough feels dry, add 1 teaspoon of water. Divide into 6 balls of equal size.

• Using a tortilla press, smash the masa dough balls into discs slightly thicker than a corn tortilla.

• Mix the cheeses and huitlacoche in a mixing bowl and divide into 6 portions.

• Sprinkle equal portions of the cheese mixture on half of each tortilla, leaving a thin rim around the edges.

• Fold the other half of each tortilla over the cheese mixture and crimp the edges with your finger or a fork, ensuring the edges are completely sealed.

• In a deep-fryer, heat the oil to 325 degrees. Working in batches, deep-fry the quesadillas until golden brown and crispy, about 4 minutes.

• Remove and place on a paper towel to extract excess grease. Serve with chipotle-lime aioli and/or your favorite hot sauce.

* Available at El Torito Supermarket

Tags : Mexican