football and quesadillas



Last week’s Wild Card NFL weekend had neither of “our” teams playing (Niners & JETS), which meant that Mr. M could step away from the TV screen for a bit and take some time preparing a more intricate culinary treat for watching enjoyment instead. (aka. new recipe time!)

As is usual these days, he looked for some inspiration from Bobby Flay and picked out a doozy of a quesadilla recipe that was made with pretty much everything normally found in our kitchen (except for corn in winter).  And you know what? It knocked everyone’s socks off and filled us up for the rest of the day/evening.

I loved it because it had enough of a kick that my ancestrally-British tastebuds could pretend it was actually spicy, and everyone else could load up on spicy salsa and add to the flavor if needed!

Cotija-Crusted Quesadillas (with roasted corn relish)

[inspired by a recipe from Bobby Flay’s MESA GRILL Cookbook]


  • 12 (6 inch) tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh goat cheese crumbles
  • 1 large red jalapeno chili, finely diced  (you can freely substitute any jalapeno pepper if needed)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese or Parmesan
  • 2 tsp ancho chile powder
  • Roasted Corn Relish (see recipe)
  • Smoked Red Pepper Salsa (or your favorite salsa – but the smoky flavored ones suit this the best)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. Place 4 tortillas on a flat surface and divide, in order, half of the Monterey Jack, goat cheese, jalapenos and basil among the tortillas. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover each with another tortilla and repeat with the remaining ingredients. Top with one final tortilla and brush it with oil and then sprinkle with the cotija cheese and the chile powder.
  3. Transfer the tortillas to a baking sheet (you may need 2). Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. The tortillas should be lightly golden brown and the cheese should be melted.
  4. Cut into quarters and top each quarter with some of the corn relish.

Charred Corn Relish

  • 4 ears roasted corn*, kernels removed
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1salt and paper

Combine all. Let sit for at least 15 minutes (ideally an 1 hour).


*To roast the corn, open the husk, remove the silk, butter the corn cob and then put husk on again. (oh how Mr. M loathes this step!)
Preheat BBQ/Oven and roast for 30 minutes turning once.