Hot, sweet, tangy and satisfying. This dish will change your life!
Beautiful to look at and not that hard to make, this dish can be prepared with tofu, but you can use the marinade for chicken or pork very easily
This recipe will serve 4 people, with leftovers.
There are several different components that can be made simultaneously, but it all comes together in the end.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cooking time 35 minutes.
Step 1: Make the Marinade
6 scallion greens, thinly sliced
5 cloves of garlic crushed and minced
2 minced shallots
Tbs minced ginger
1 habañero pepper, minced
In a bowl, combine:
- 1 Tbs ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon (to taste--I sometimes use less)
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp dried
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 Tbs dark brown sugar, packed (I often substitutemaple syrup, and usually use significantly more than one tablespoon to get the taste that I want, like 1/4 c
1 tsp coarse salt
To the same bowl, whisk in:
- ½ c fresh orange juice (I have used apple cider when I was short on o.j.)
- ½ c rice wine vinegar
- 1.4 c red wine vinegar
Note on vinegars--experiment!!!I usually use ¾ c (or less) apple cider vinegar for lack of the other vinegars
definitely don’t overdo the vinegar.
- ¼ c soy sauce or tamari
Into this mixture, drizzle in (while whisking constantly):
¼ c olive oil
Add the scallion mixture and stir to combine. Let rest at least one hour. Makes » 2 ½ c
When done, it should be a rich, brown color as above (shown before and after scallion mixture is added).
Step 2: Marinate the Tofu
For the marinade, I thin the mixture sometimes by about 2 or 4x, sometimes even more depending on the volume of marinade I need. It depends—tofu needs a less concentrated marinade than meat does, but use your judgement.
For the sauce, you can thin it some if you need to increase the volume—it can take it, but don’t thin it too far beyond that rich brown color.
Step 3: Reduce and Thicken the Sauce
Preheat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium high heat for the tortillas and set the sauce on high heat in a small saucepan.
Bring the sauce to a boil, then simmer strongly to cook it down by about a quarter (this releases a lot of flavor). Finally, thicken with corn starch to desired consistency—not too gloppy, but enough that it doesn’t easily run through the tines of a fork.
When the sauce is cooked down to the flavor level that you like, make a mixture of corn starch and cold water (2 Tbsp starch to 1/4 c water and add until desired thickness. I recommend the one shown in the video above, where the bubbles reach the surface, but do not pop.
Step 4: Grill or Saute Vegetables
Saute or grill a mixture of aromatics like garlic and onions with vibrant summer vegetables like red and yellow peppers, summer squash, zucchini, corn and mushrooms. Anything Goes!
Splash in a few tablespoons of the marinade (if it hasn't had raw meat in it!) to give it some flavor and help the veggies to cook. Allow the mixture to char very slightly if desired.
Step 5: Cook the Tofu
Cook the tofu slices in a bit of oil on the griddle or in a cast iron skillet.
Don't overheat them or they will cook unevenly.
The sugars in the sauce will give the tofu a lovely brown color with dark, cinnamon-colored veins.
Step 6: Make the Quesadilla
Lightly oil a tortilla and put it on the griddle.
After it browns slightly on one side, flip it over. Place shredded cheddar cheese on one half of the tortilla along with 1/4 cup white rice if desired. Immediately place 3-4 slices of tofu on the rice/cheese mix, then a 1/3 -1/2 cup of the vegetable mixture.
Put a tablespoon or so of the sauce on top of this, then fold the tortilla over the top.
Brown the other side if necessary and remove to a plate.
Step 7: Garnish and Serve!
Top with a dollop of sour cream and drizzle a generous few tablespoons of the sauce on the top of the quesadilla, starting with the sour cream.