48 quesadilla pieces


          You might think of this as a Southwestem crabcake. It makes a great appetizer to pass on trays as well as an attractive individual portion garnished with tomato and green chili relish or avocado relish.


1/3 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup safflower oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 poblano chili, roasted, peeled and

diced (page 20), or 2 jalapeño chilies,

stemmed, seeded and finely diced

1 pound lump crabmeat, cartilage removed

3 ounces fresh cream cheese and 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

16 flour tortillas

4 ounces Monterey Jack or Pepper-Jack cheese


          Heat the butter and oil in a medium saucepan to melt and combine. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons into a small cup and set aside. Add the garlic and onion to the remaining butter and oil and sauté over medium-high heat until translucent, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chilies, crab, mayonnaise, salt and cilantro. Mix well.

          To soften the tortillas heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Put tortillas in the skillet one by one, turning each once, until soft. Spread some crab mixture over half of each tortilla, top with cheese, then fold over. Brush liberally with melted butter and oil and repeat with the remaining tortillas. This may be done early in the day. Cover the tortillas and refrigerate until ready to sauté. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the quesadillas 2 or 3 at a time until golden brown on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Cut each into 3 triangles. Pass on trays or arrange on appetizer plates and garnish with relish.