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Feed a family quickly and affordably with delicious black bean quesadillas, with caramelized onions and cheddar cheese. This week’s Frugal Family Feast recipe will feed four or more for less than $15.
You won’t miss the meat in this dish, thanks to the perfectly spiced black beans and the golden, caramelized onions. Beans and tortillas are budget-friendly staples to keep in the house. Chef Jorge buys blocks of cheese and shreds what he needs himself, to save money and avoid preservatives.
Preparing the beans
Chef Jorge started by cooking the onions in a little bit of butter and extra virgin olive oil. Stir them periodically as they cook. After they become translucent, that beautiful caramel color will develop. It takes about five to seven minutes.
Add garlic and cumin to the onions and cook a minute more before adding the beans. Chef Jorge used one can of drained black beans. Or you can cook dry black beans and then use 2 cups in this dish.
Toss in fresh lime juice, water, hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste and cook the beans for about a minute. Mash them up a little with a fork to make a thick, chunky mixture and set aside to cool.
Assembling the quesadillas
This is the fun part and one that kids can help with too. You spoon a quarter of the bean mixture onto half of the tortilla, then add a quarter of the cilantro and cheese. Fold over, press down, set aside and repeat.
Toasting the quesadillas
To get that gooey, melted cheese and crispy outside, you need to toast the quesadillas. Melt butter in a nonstick pan and cook for a couple of minutes on each side. Cut and serve.
Black bean quesadillas – courtesy of Chef Jorge Montes
- 2 cups of cooked and drained black beans
- 1 white onion, sliced thin
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- fresh juice of half a lime
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons water
- dash of hot sauce
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 soft flour tortillas
- salt and pepper to taste
To prepare the bean mixture:
- Heat a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the oil, 1 tablespoon butter and onion.
- Cook for five to seven minutes until onion is caramelized.
- Add the garlic and cumin, and cook for another minute.
- Add the beans, water, salt, pepper, lime juice and hot sauce, and cook for one minute.
- Gently mash up the beans with a fork to create a chunky and thick mixture.
- Allow the bean mixture to cool.
To assemble the quesadillas:
- Spoon a quarter of the bean mixture on half of a tortilla and spread evenly to cover the half.
- Sprinkle a quarter of the cheddar cheese over the bean mixture and top with cilantro.
- Fold the tortilla over and gently press down on it. Set aside.
- Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas.
- Melt the remaining butter on medium-low heat in a large nonstick pan.
- Place two quesadillas at a time in the pan and cook for about two minutes on each side until crispy and golden.
- Drain on a paper towel, cut and serve warm.
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