Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo and Banana Quesadillas!

Today is Cinco de Mayo!  Here's a little background on the significance of the day, from "Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. For the most part, the holiday of Cinco de Mayo is more of a regional holiday in Mexico, celebrated most vigorously in the state of Puebla. There is some limited recognition of the holiday throughout the country with different levels of enthusiasm, but it's nothing like that found in Puebla.Celebrating Cinco de Mayo has become increasingly popular along the U.S.-Mexico border and in parts of the U.S. that have a high population of people with a Mexican heritage. In these areas the holiday is a celebration of Mexican culture, of food, music, beverage and customs unique to Mexico...Commercial interests in the United States and Mexico have also had a hand in promoting the holiday, with products and services focused on Mexican food, beverages and festivities, with music playing a more visible role as well. Several cities throughout the U.S. hold parades and concerts during the week following up to May 5th, so that Cinco de Mayo has become a bigger holiday north of the border than it is to the south, and being adopted into the holiday calendar of more and more people every year."

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, here's a recipe for banana quesadillas.  It comes from the Food Network and Emeril Lagasse, and is a sweet dessert quesadilla with bananas and caramel sauce.


  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 ripe medium bananas, peeled
  • 10 flour tortillas (7 inches in diameter)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 cups caramel sauce, warm, recipe follows
  • 4 medium bananas
  • Whipped cream
  • Fresh mint sprigs


In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and bananas, continue to beat until smooth. Spread 1/4 cup of the filling over half of each tortilla. Fold the other half over the filling and press slightly. Place on a large plate and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until the filling sets, about 30 minutes. In a large saute pan, over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Pan-fry the tortillas in batches, 3 at a time, until golden on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat the above process with the remaining butter and filled tortillas. To serve, slice each filled tortilla into thirds. Arrange the slices in the center of each serving plate. Spoon a 1/4 cup of the warm caramel sauce over each plate. Peel the bananas and slice 1/4-inch thick. Garnish each plate with the sliced bananas, a dollop of whipped cream and a sprig of fresh mint.

(Recipe from Everyday Is A Party Cookbook, by Emeril Lagasse, with Marcelle Bienvenu and Felicia Willett, published by William Morrow, 1999)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring often. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is a deep caramel color and has the consistency of a thick syrup, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cream, return the saucepan to high heat, and boil the sauce until it regains the consistency of a thick syrup, about 2 minutes. Yield: about 3/4 cup

Recipe and photo at Food Network Website:,1946,FOOD_9936_10310_RECIPE-PRINT-FULL-PAGE-FORMATTER,00.html
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