20-Dollar, 20-Minute Meals

Sweet Potato and Cilantro Quesadilla with Fried Egg + Cumin Oil

by • March 19, 2013 10 Comments

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Every Tuesday, Caroline Wright will be creating simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four -- for under $20, in under 20 minutes.

Today: A smoky quesadilla that's hearty, without being heavy.

I am living in Dallas these days, where Tex-Mex is lauded as practically its own tier on the food pyramid. With this regional food culture comes easy access to delicious ingredients at the supermarket like soft hand-formed corn tortillas and, too, a taste for smoky, hearty, skillet-cooked fare.

These quesadillas are only so named out of habit, as they are cheese-free (gluten- free, as it happens, as well); though with the warm potato filling and a sopping of runny egg yolk, I hardly noticed. The quesadillas are cooked in a dry, heavy skillet, which toasts and chars the corn tortillas rather than frying them. My husband, a tall man with an even taller appetite, admitted he liked this quesadilla as well as the kind he orders at our corner restaurant.

Sweet Potato and Cilantro Quesadilla with Fried Egg + Cumin Oil

Serves 4

2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Lime wedges, for serving
8 small (about 6-inch) corn tortillas

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

As a freelance food writer and cook, I first wrote this style of recipe as a column on my blog, The Wright Recipes, as an excuse to cook good food for my friends in a quick and simple way. 

Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute ™ Meals grew into a cookbook that’s being published by Workman in May 2013. The recipes found here are original, made especially for Food52 to once again celebrate simple food with friends.


Photos by Caroline Wright

Topics: What to Cook, On the Cheap, Dinner, Faster, Weeknight Cooking

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Comments (10)


over 2 years ago Dianecpa



over 2 years ago J Jones

This is great, but sweet potatoes are not in season yet. It's March here in Illinois. I LOVE it when there's recipes for things that are currently in season :)


over 2 years ago Chanteclar

Yummy. This will be my dinner tonight. I will bake my sweet potato, to concentrate the flavor. I know, it will take longer than 30 minutes. Chanteclar


over 2 years ago Marshall Gentry

Uhhh.... where's the Queso?


over 2 years ago food-alovestory.com

What an original recipe! With lime, cumin, sweet potato, and cilantro, it could almost be south Indian. GF and dairy free to boot ~ what's not to love? Can't wait to try this. Thanks!


over 2 years ago Africancook

Those look awesome. What I like best is your tip for how to char grill the tortillas as we live in a condo with no barbecuing facilities. Wow, the possibilities.


over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

If you have a ridged grill pan, go ahead and prepare them on your stovetop. If not, use a cast iron skillet and some good heat.


over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I would hope this could be made for less than $20!


over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

YUM!!! So many of my favorite things in one place (as was the fennel with burrata)! This is another one I'm simply going to have to try right away tonight.