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Mar 24, 2009 04:42 PM

Honduran Quesadilla Recipe

I'm looking for a recipe for Honduran Quesadilla. It isn't torilla and cheese like the mexican variety, but instead a sweet and savory cake. I've looked for recipes, but the ones I found call for parmesan, which I'm pretty sure isn't authentic. I suspect a Guatamalan or El Salvadorean recipe would be the same or very similiar. Had this on vacation in Honduras a few months ago, and haven't been able to shake the craving recently!

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  1. There's a recipe for a Salvadoran Quesadilia that reads very much as you describe it in "False Tongues and Sunday Bread: A Guatemalan and Mayan Cookbook." The introduction to the recipe reads as follows:

    "This cheese-flavored, rather solid mixture is known a Sunday Bread since it is served as a national ritual on Sundays in Salvadoran homes.

    A special-size metal baking pan is used for this bread. It is 1-inch deep and 7 X 10 Inches in size. The bread mixture is poured to fill half the depth of the pan and the baked bread is, therefor, only about 1 inch high."

    If this sounds like what you have in mind, I'd be happy to paraphrase the recipe for you.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      Joan, that sounds like it!
      If you could paraphrase I'd really appreciate it.

      1. re: aimeekm

        Here it is:

        9 eggs, separated
        1 cup sugar
        1 cup rice flour
        1¼ cups AP flour
        1½ teaspoons baking powder
        1 pound margarine, melted and cooled
        ¾ cup grated mild cheese
        2 cups sour cream
        1 teaspoon sesame seeds

        Beat egg white until stiff. Add yolks one by one beating continuously. Add sugar and beat. Mix flours with baking powder and fold into egg mixture. Stir in melted margarine. Add cheese and sour cream and fold in. Line 7 X 10-inch greased pan with waxed paper and pour batter into the pan. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in preheated 350F oven for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned.

        Somewhat similar to the one Caitlin posted below. It would be really interesting to know just how they differ one from the other. If you try either, please come back and let us know whether or not it was similar to what you had while on vacation.

    2. Here is another recipe for Salvadoran quesadilla. You may or may not like the recipe itself, as it calls for Bisquick. It also calls for grana padano. Note, it is from a chef from El Salvador, so the Parmesan may be authentic, or as close as you can get in the US (as for the Bisquick, he says it was the way his mother made it when he was growing up).

      1. I thought you wanted to taste the AUTHENTIC HONDURAN QUESADILLA? WELL here it is:
        You will need white cornmeal (to resemble, taste like the masa made from ground cooked corn kernels as done in Honduras), quesillo, which is a stringy cheese, with an almost mozzarrella (?) flavor. I wouldn't put any salt because the cheese is salty, but you can add salt to the moistened corn meal to taste. Then with your bare hand, you mix it all up and add a bit of the quesillo in the center of the quesadilla cake. Then you flatten with the palm of your bare hands to resemble a pancake and place it upon a greased flat griddle and cook on both sides turning once. AND THEN, ENJOY and get fat!! I live in Honduras and that's how we make them.

        1 Reply
        1. re: francisco1984

          >>>>AND THEN, ENJOY and get fat!!<<<<

          .... and die happy!

        2. Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply.

          The description of the cake in the SFGate recipe is exactly what I remember, springy and sprinkled w sesame seeds.
          Funny thing all the recipes call for Parmesan, which isn't the flavor I recall in the cake...but I will certainly try it out. I ate quite a bit of cheese in Honduras and it was all very similar to Mexican Queso Fresco or Panela, so that is what I was imagining to be in there.
          Francisco, that recipe seems to be more similar to Pupusas? I'm actually looking for cake that seemed to be mostly eaten for breakfast. It was in coffee shops, bakeries and even the Hedman Alas cafeteria in SPS. I only saw it inland and not on the coast or Roatan (could have been there, just didn't see it).

          I'll be baking this weekend and will report back!

          5 Replies
          1. re: aimeekm

            Reporting back...
            I made the SF Gate recipe. It is a tasty cake, but didn't taste like the Quesadilla in Honduras. It was sweeter and not as cheesy (though I almost doubled the 1/2 cup called for) and had a distinctive parmesan taste.

            My mexican market had some grated aged cotija, so I might try making the recipe with that and reducing the sugar a bit.

            1. re: aimeekm

              Even though I put this in another thread, to keep this in the correct place here's the Guatemalan quesadilla recipe link (scroll down to comments).

              As I said elswhere, if you can't get the Zacapa cheese, the sharper the dry aged cheese the better. I also think rice flour is necessary to recreate the right taste and texture. Even so, the butter used here is different and denser. Finding the correct butter may be key.

              1. re: rworange

                what an intriguing recipe -- rich, too. good for gluten-free folks, i see.

                1. re: alkapal

                  It is tasty too. For the longest time I thought it was corn bread because of the color and texture. The quesadillas I tried in the SF Bay Area were more like a sweet corn bread .. think Marie Calander in taste, though not nexture.

                  I was lucky enough to try what has the be the perfect quesadilla in Guatemala from a vendor who only sold big wheels of that zacapa cheese, one other similar dry cheese, a rich dense butter that is drained like a strained yogurt and the quesadillas made from the cheese and butter. It was a whole other thing with the zacapa cheese taste dominating and background sweetness from the sugar.

                  I'm hoping to try the quesadilla in the photo when I'm up that way. It is an excellent bakery that bakes in wood-fired coal ovens.

                  1. re: rworange

                    it would be like a dense cornmeal, because of the cream and butter? cheese and butter -- two of my favorite food groups! ;-)).

                    it is interesting in using rice flour. that seems so unusual.

          2. How goes it? Did you replicate that recipe yet?

            While it might not solve your problem, I found a Guatemalan cookbook that had four recipes for quesadillas from the two cheese-making regions of Guatemala. More on the book here

            - Jalapa: quezadilla de invierno (winter)
            - Jalapa: quezadilla de verano (summer)
            - Zacapa: quezadillas de Zacapa No 1
            - Zacapa: quezadillas de arroz Zacapaneca No 2

            Jalapa: quezadilla de invierno (winter)
            1/2 lb of queso fresco
            1 cup of crema
            1/2 lb of requeson cheese
            1 egg
            1 pound of rice flour
            12 oz of sugar (or to taste)

            Jalapa: quezadilla de verano (summer)

            4 oz of queso duro (I assume the variety made in Jalapa)
            1 pound of mantequilla lavada (washed butter, a local variety)
            3 eggs
            1 pound of rice flour
            12 ounces of sugar
            1/2 cup of milk

            Zacapa: quezadillas de Zacapa No 1

            3 pounds of ground rice or rice flour
            1 pound of butter
            12 ounces of cheese (they don't say, but I assume zacapa dry cheese)
            12 eggs
            1/2 pound of sugar
            6 teaspoons baking powder ( assume that is what polvo de hornear or 'dust of baking' is)

            - Zacapa: quezadillas de arroz Zacapaneca No 2
            1 1/2 pounds of rice flour
            1/2 pound of queso fresco
            1 pound of 'pure' (pura) butter
            14 eggs
            1 pound of sugar

            Interesting about those versions with queso fresco. I imagine that gets translated as sour cream. So whatever recipe is closest to the taste you remember, you might use queso fresco instead of sour cream.

            I can send you the instructions in Spanish, but keep in mind this is real regional ... so stoves can be outside and heated by coals. At most there are instructions to bake at an medium heat for a certain amount of time. One just says put it in a moderate oven for the necessary time. But I thought this would give you some additional ideas for experimenting at home.

            I do believe the cookbook has a recipe for requeson cheese, but I'm exhausted reading all this Spanish and translating.