When I was a student at Middlebury College, I worked for Dolci, a student-run restaurant in the basement of a French-style chateau on campus. The head chefs (a weekly rotating job) and all of the other student cooks had the run of a restaurant-scale kitchen and dining room. We would build the menu, prepare a shopping list, come to prep on Wednesday, and on Fridays serve a beautiful multi-course meal to a group of 90 lucky people, typically comprised of students, faculty and guests.
This quesadilla recipe was—and still is—one of my favorites from the Dolci repertoire. I rediscovered it this week when I was trying to find a way to use up some sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes and the cumin are a flavorful combo. Cut into triangles, they make a great appetizer. Or serve a bigger portion with side salad for brunch or dinner. Bonus: They're quick, nutritious and low in fat (if you use reduced-fat dairy) and they keep and reheat well for lunch the next day!
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups grated sweet potato (approximately 3 potatoes, I like to leave the peel on)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 generous pinch of cayenne powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
8 (8-10) tortillas
Mexican-style tomato salsa
Saute onions and garlic in the oil until the onions become translucent. Add grated sweet potatoes, oregano, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. When sweet potato is tender, add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.
Fill each tortilla with 1/8 of the mixture and 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Roll or fold tortillas closed. Over moderately high heat, toast the filled tortillas on a slightly oiled or non-stick skillet, seam side down, until golden brown. Then flip and brown the other side.
Serve while hot. Top with salsa and sour cream.