Quesadilla Marina


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • serves


    as a first course or can be cut in wedges for hors d’oeuvres

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

I encountered this “open face” quesadilla many years ago at a stand in Mexico, where a guy with a little kerosene stove and a small sauté pan was turning out a quesadilla a minute for an approving line of sun worshippers on a beach near Manzanillo. If you have homemade tortillas, so much the better. Ideally, pan and tortilla should be pretty much the same diameter to facilitate turning it out cleanly. A nonstick pan makes life easier too. Finally, you can also make this in the more traditional way by sandwiching the filling between two tortillas, which is easier to handle, if less exciting to look at.


  • 1 regular or whole wheat 6-inch flour tortilla
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup sliced red or yellow onions
  • 1 teaspoon thinly slivered garlic
  • Drops of your favorite hot pepper sauce to taste
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped Perfectly Cooked Shrimp, or any cooked shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • cup diced and seeded ripe Roma-type tomato
  • Salt and Freshly ground pepper
  • Fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup coarsely grated melting cheese such as Sonoma Jack, queso fresco, or mozzarella


Briefly toast the tortilla in a dry, 6-inch nonstick skillet for a minute or two on each side, and set aside. Add the olive oil, onions, and garlic to the pan and sauté over medium heat until crisp-tender. Add the hot sauce and shrimp, and sauté for 1 minute more. Stir in the cilantro and tomato and season to taste with salt, pepper, and drops of lime juice. Immediately sprinkle the cheese over the shrimp mixture and lay the tortilla on top, gently pressing down to form an even layer. Sauté for 1 minute more to melt the cheese, and then turn over onto a warm plate. Cut into wedges and serve immediately, topped with a little guacamole and salsa, if using.


Fresh guacamole and Basic Salsa Fresca or Cruda