A few weeks ago, we went over to my friend Meli’s new house for a tour and some quality time by the pool with our puppies. Her husband Augi is my co-worker, an awesome photographer and the chef of the household. He’s been promising to make me Nicaraguan food for years. I never thought the day would actually come, but it did and it was well worth the wait.
Augi introduced me to Repochetas. Before we ate, he described them as grilled quesadillas topped with cabbage slaw and Mexican-style crema that you eat it like a taco. A quesadilla-taco hybrid? With slaw and crema? That you eat with your hands? Yes please! It was just as good as you’d imagine. The tortillas were warm and slightly charred, the cheese was salty and melty and the cabbage slaw was crunchy and pickled and delicious. I knew I would have to make these for the blog, and soon!
So here they are in all their glory. We ate one each as a side dish, but a couple of these are hearty enough for dinner. I think the next time I make repochetas I’ll pair them with a spicy tortilla soup. That would be just about perfect. Many thanks to the Sanchez family for an awesome day and an awesome recipe!
4 cups chopped cabbage (or coleslaw mix)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
8 corn tortillas
12 oz. oaxaca cheese (shredded mozzarella, jack or pepper jack work well too)
1/2 cup Mexican Crema (or creme fraiche or sour cream)
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
In a big bowl, whisk the vinegar and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Add the cabbage and toss until well-combined. Set aside.
Preheat your grill, grill pan or skillet to medium heat. While it preheats, assemble the tortillas. Place 4 tortillas on a work surface, then top with equal amounts of cheese. Place another tortilla on top of the cheese and transfer to your grill, grill pan or skillet.
Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until the cheese is melted and the tortillas develop dark grill lines or begin to brown.
Serve with a heap of cabbage slaw, a drizzle of crema and a sprinkling of cilantro leaves. Fold in half and eat like a taco.
Makes 4 repochetas – 2 main servings, 4 side servings.