Looking at the menu of a local restaurant I saw this item ...
a big flour tortilla, deep fried and stuffed with cheese, ranchera sauce & refried beans
Anyone had a quesdilla that was deep-fried rather than grilled?
Would these be called by another name? No mention of the deep-fried version in this wiki article.
The foodtime does mention deep-frying ...
"A quesadilla is a 'turnover' made by folding a fresh tortilla in half around a simple filling such as cheese, epazote (a pungent herb), and pepper, or potatoes and chorizo, and deep frying it..."
Here's an old thread about quesadillas that has a few brief mentions.
I have to think the restaurant is pretty authentic as they have things like goat birria and eggs with nopales on the menu. They make their own corn and flour tortillas. I'm guessing the streap chili on the menu is some sort of spelling error. They have regular grilled quesdillas on the menu as well.
A chimichanga is a deep-fried burrito, rolled and folded on the ends, with a good-sized amount of filling, made with a flour tortilla only. Cheese is optional.
Quesadillas are made with a flour or corn tortilla folded over into a half moon shape, always have cheese and sometimes other ingredients in more moderate quantities, and can be grilled or fried.
There are two distinct styles of Quesadillas in Mexico & surrounding environs... both made with fresh masa, both stuffed while the "inside" of the tortilla is stuffed. Some are fried others are griddled. Technically, I believe the fried version originates in Queretaro, and the griddled in the Mexico City / State area... but the fillings there (Huitlacoche, Squash Blossoms, Chapulines, Quelites etc.) are very different than mentioned by the OP.
I ate that fried style in Mexico City as a child 30 years ago. As my uncle would drive us all over that region, we'd find stands set up at roadside rest stops. The ladies would flatten out some raw corn masa between a tortilla press, fill it with cheese and some grilled meat, fold over one side into half round packet, and fry them in a shallow pan until golden brown. I remember them using a wok shaped pan, but it might have been a steel hubcap for all I know.
There are similar things called gorditas here in So Cal. They're not quite the half moon shape, but similar idea.
As a child growing up in a Mexican-American household in the 70s and 80s, I never saw the grilled flour tortilla filled with cheese and meats, etc. We had quesadillas all right but the term always designated a smallish corn tortilla stuffed with cheese (and only cheese) and shallow-fried in about an inch of oil. Drained on a paper towel and eaten with spicy salsa (and occasionally sour cream), this was my favorite after-school snack. I didn't see a grilled flour quesadilla until the early 90s and then only in chain-style restaurants like Chili's or TGI Friday's. I'd give the authenticity nod to the fried version. To complicate things even more, an authentic Mexican quesadilla (as opposed to the Mexican-American one I grew up eating) usually consists of raw corn masa rolled out as for a corn tortilla, but then filled with cheese and either dry-baked like a tortilla, or fried in oil.
My mother would fry them in just a bit of oil or margarine (the method I use) and usually just cheese. And always corn tortillas..... yum...... We are not Mexican American, we are Dominican American (and my mother never had a taco til she came to this country.) , but we had MANY Mexican American friends.....
Actually, today we ate a local mexican joint called Salsitas and Kane had the quesedilla. It came stuffed with steak and a spicy cheese, deep fried and a dollop of guac and sour cream on the side. A flour tortilla fried bowl of pico was on the plate as well. He hate every freakin bite!
One option given in the Kennedy's Tortilla Book is to fry the quesadilla in 1/2" of melted lard, the other is on the griddle. Her recipe starts with uncooked masa. In effect she makes a corn dough turnover. This version doesn't rule out using the same name for a folded, grilled flour tortilla with a cheese filling.