Deep-Fried Masa Turnovers With Cheese

Course : Cheeses
Serves: 1
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Ingredients:

1 1/4 Cups water -- hot
1 3/4 Cups masa harina
2 Cups vegetable shortening
1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt -- to taste
1 teaspoon baking powder
10 ounces Monterey Jack cheese -- grated
12 medium epazote -- leaves, optional
1 cup vegetable oil -- as needed, for frying
 

Preparation / Directions:

1) The dough: If you are using masa harina, mix it with the hot water, cover and let stand 20 to 30 minutes. Mix the fresh or reconstituted masa with the lard or shortening, flour, salt and baking powder. If necessary, correct the consistency of the dough. Divide into 12 balls and cover with plastic wrap. 2) Forming the quesadillas: Divide the filling into 12 portions **; if you are using cheese, press each portion into a flat oval about 2 x 2 inches (5 x 6-cm). Using a tortilla press, flatten a ball of the dough between sheets of plastic to make a medium-large (5-inch/12.5-cm), thickish tortilla. Remove the top piece of plastic. 3) Lay one portion of filling across half the uncovered tortilla, leaving a 1-inch (1-cm) border around the edge; if the filling is cheese, top with a leaf of the optional epazote. Slip a hand under the plastic beneath the uncovered side of the tortilla, then carefully fold the tortilla over the filling. Press the edges together to seal. 4) Next, peel the plastic off the top of the turnover onto one hand, uncovered-side down, and peel the plastic off the bottom. Lay on a tray covered with plastic wrap. Continue making the remaining masa balls into turnovers and lay each one several inches (or centimeters) from the next to ensure easy retrieval. Cover with plastic. 5) Frying: Heat the oil to 375§F (190°C), then fry the turnovers 2 or 3 at a time, until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in a low oven until all are ready. Serve right away. The quesadilla: crisp-fried so the crunchy exterior gives way to soft, corny masa and melted or spicy insides. They're one of Central Mexico's favorite and most common edibles, made everywhere from the capital's finest restaurants to the makeshift snack parlors. Some of the best ones come from the snack market in Coyoacan, a wealthy sector of Mexico City, where the turnovers are stuffed with everything from tripe to the musty, gray-black corn mushrooms (huitlacoche) and back home to the simple queso ("cheese") that gives the quesadilla its

 

Nutritional Information:

5593 Calories (kcal); 504g Total Fat; (80% calories from fat); 91g Protein; 179g Carbohydrate; 252mg Cholesterol; 2967mg Sodium


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