17 May 2011

Asparagus Hash Quesadillas

I have another recipe waiting in the wings to be published but this one was too exciting and spring-like to wait. Inspired by SmittenKitchen's asparagus pancetta hash, these quesadillas are bright and filling and surprisingly un-messy to eat. The bacon could easily be omitted for a vegetarian take, and the amount of grated cheese you add is totally up to you - I used about a quarter-cup per storey, which worked perfectly for me but was not quite enough for Tom.

They could technically be oven-free if you fried the quesadillas rather than baking them - this recipe on Pioneer Woman shows you how to do it, with pictures. Also, the amount specified below was enough for dinner for us (one double-decker quesadilla each), but I hasten to add that I knew we each had a quarter of a reduced-price about-to-go-off cheesecake to eat afterwards, so dinner was a little on the small side.

Asparagus Hash Quesadillas
Makes two double-decker quesadillas

2 tablespoons oil
3 large potatoes
1/2 onion
2 garlic cloves
130g asparagus
6 rashers bacon
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
1 tablespoon cream cheese
6 tortilla wraps
Grated cheese

Peel the potatoes and chop into very, very small chunks. Heat the oil in a large pan and tip the potatoes in. Allow them to cook for a few minutes (during which time they will, unfortunately, stick to the bottom) before stirring. Fry over a medium heat, moving things around occasionally, for about fifteen minutes.

In the meantime, dice the onion and garlic. Chop the asparagus into chunks and discard the woody stems. Slice bacon into lardons. Add all of these to the potato pan and keep stirring, adding a little more oil if things begin to look too dry. Once the bacon begins to look nearly there, throw in the herbs and cream cheese to gel things together a bit. Season.

When you're happy with how crispy (or otherwise) the bacon looks, spoon a quarter of the mixture on to a tortilla.

Sprinkle with as much grated cheese as you'd like, then cover with another tortilla. Spoon another quarter of the asparagus hash on top, cover with more cheese, and a third tortilla.

Carefully slide the quesadilla into the oven and bake at 200 degrees (390 Fahrenheit) for about eight minutes, until the top is crispy.

Repeat these steps with the second quesadilla. I did these one by one because my oven didn't have enough room to make them simultaneously, which is probably a problem you'll run into if you make these for many people.

Cut each quesadilla into quarters and serve, with lots of tissue on hand to wipe greasy fingers.