By Todd Barron @ FoodieCuisine.com
It was a good friend of my wife and I’s birthday the other day and we had her over for some crab quesadillas. I had not planned on making them but she mentioned how she ordered some at a restaurant in town and received fake crab sticks (made from fish) and was quite disappointed.
I happened to have a can of jumbo lump crabmeat in the refrigerator that I had planned on using for dinner over the weekend and decided to break it open for the occassion. I ended up making crab quesadillas using the jumbo crab meat with melted queso fresco and spanish Machego cheese. I sided the quesadillas with black beans and spanish style rice. The quesadillas were topped with a fresh slaw, chipolte sour cream, ranchero salsa, fresh avacado, and diced fresno and serrano peppers. I placed a side of carmalized onions next to the food on the plate along with a slice of lime.
Serves 4 Total (extra Slaw and Toppings)
- 1/2 Head Small Red Cabbage
- 1/2 White Onion
- 1 Bunch Fresh Cilantro
- 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 Limes
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
You should make the slaw first since it does better with sitting in the lime juice and vinegar for a while. You should go ahead and remove the can of crab meat at this point from the refrigerator to give it some time to warm up.
Take the core out of the cabbage and then slice it in half. Thinly slice the cabbage and put the slices in a bowl. Dice the onion next and place it in the bowl with the cabbage. Remove the stems from the Cilantro and roughly dice the leaves. Put half of the Cilanto into the bowl with the other items.
Pour the vinegar over the vegetables and zest one of the limes over the mixture. Once you have zested a lime, squeeze the juice from both limes in the mixture. Next add in the oil and spices and toss to coat. Cover the mixture and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
- 8 ounces Light Sour Cream
- 2 ounces Chipolte Sauce (or chopped Chipoltes in Adobo sauce)
- 2 Finely Diced Fresno Peppers (seeds removed)
- 1 Finely Diced Serrano Pepper (seeds removed)
- 2 Tablespoons Salsa
- 1 Fresh Avacado
Mix the sour cream together with the chipolte sauce in a bowl. If you cannot find chipolte sauce, use the same amount of chipolte peppers in adobo sauce and finely dice it. Set the bowl to the side or put the sauce contained into a dispenser for later.
Cut the avacado in two, remove the pit, and slice it into thin slices.
- 16 ounce Can Jumbo Lump Crabmeat
- 8 Soft-Taco size Flour Tortillas
- 2 Cups Shredded Queso Fresco
- 1 Cup Shredded Spanish Machego Cheese
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 Bunch Fresh Green Onions
- 4 Slices Proscuitto (optional)
Open and drain the crab meat if you have not done this so far. Also be sure to shred the queso fresco and the Machego cheese. Chop the green onion into small cubes and set aside in a bowl.
Heat a large griddle to 400 degrees to cook two quesadillas at a time on. If you do not have a griddle, get one! Just kidding, if you do not have one you can cook one quesadilla at a time in a large non-stick skillet.
Chop the proscuitto and put it on the griddle. Cook it for about 4 minutes or until it is crispy. Remove it from the heat and set aside.
Put half of the butter on the cooking surface and let it melt. Once melted, add two tortillas to the griddle. Top each tortilla with 1/4 cup queso fresco. Then top the cheese with 4 ounces of crab meat. Top the crab meat with 1/2 cup machego cheese and sprinkle the cheese with 1 Teaspoon of the cubed green onions. Sprinkle a slice worth of diced proscuitto over each quesadilla. Finally, top each tortilla mound with another flour tortilla and let the quesadillas cook.
The amount of time the quesadillas cook varies on the temperature of your griddle or skillet. Barely raise the edges with a spatula and turn them over once they are golden brown. On my griddle this took about 5-8 minutes. Once they are flipped, cook for another 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Once they are golden brown on both sides, remove from the heat.
Putting it all Together
To assemble, put one quesadilla on each plate. Top each quesadilla with 3 Tablespoons of slaw. Drizzle one Tablespoon of sauce over each. Then sprinkle 1/4 Serrano pieces and 1/2 Fresno pepper pieces over each quesadilla. Finally, top each with 2 slices of avacado and serve.
- The Cheese will hold the crab meat in place when you flip the quesadillas. This is why I put the cheese on in two layers with the crab in between.
- The proscuitto has low fat content but is high in flavor and adds a good kick of saltiness to the flavor of the dish.
- The slaw is “oniony” but the vinegar and lime juice helps to cook the vegetables. The juice and vinegar will also soften the cabbage.
- The chipolte sauce tastes great but is low in calories due to using light sour cream.
- The peppers add great flavor but no calories.
- Queso fresco is mild. This is why I add the Machego cheese to the mix as it is more tart and has a good amount of flavor to add.
- Crab meat is low in calories and is a great item to make quesadillas out of.
- I may have left something out of this recipe as it was made up with about 10 minutes of forethought.