Ham and Cheese Sincronizadas
So you have made tacos, fajitas and salsa, and you are now wondering what else you can make from south of the border. If you want something easy, then what about sincronizadas? These are sandwiches made with flour tortillas and they are similar to quesadillas, although quesadillas are stuffed with cheese and cooked in a skillet while sincronizadas are baked in the oven or cooked on the grill. Although quesadillas are usually stuffed and folded over while sincronizadas are made using one tortilla which is topped with ham and then topped with another tortilla.
A sincronizada always contains ham and usually contains cheese too. Although traditionally they are eaten just as they are, some Mexicans like to add salsa, guacamole or pico de gallo on top, or even sour cream. Tex-Mex sincronizadas often contain beef fajita meat, avocado or beans.
For the cheese, you could use Oaxacan cheese if you want the most authentic result, or Asadero, Manchego, Monterey or Pepper Jack if you prefer. Just because ham and Oaxacan cheese are the traditional ingredients to use, that does not mean you cannot adapt the recipe if you wish. We also like to serve this with homemade pico de gallo to add not only color and charm, but to add nutritional value and make it more filling. If you do not wish to make pico de gallo you could serve some salsa on top or just serve these as they are, Mexican-style.
A lot of people have never heard of sincronizadas, despite the fact they are almost the same as quesadillas (which we all know and love) apart from the cooking method being different. If you are a fan of quesadillas, then perhaps you would like to make ham and cheese sincronizadas, just to compare how grilling or baking these delicious Mexican sandwiches gives them a different flavor and texture from the better-known skillet-fried quesadillas.
- 5 small flour tortillas, cut in half
- 5 pieces Mexican cheese
- 5 cooked ham slices
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mist a foil-lined cookie sheet with cooking spray.
- Add the ham to 5 tortilla halves, then arrange on the cookie sheet and top with the other 5 halves.
- Mist the tops with cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes.
- Lift the tops and insert some cheese into each one.
- Bake for another 8 minutes or until the cheese has melted and both sides of the sincronizada are crispy.
- Serve hot with pico de gallo on top.
You can see how much color the pico de gallo adds to the sincronizadas, although it is an optional topping. The sincronizadas themselves can be compared to quesadillas although they are not made with folded tortillas but stacked ones, and they are baked in the oven rather than being cooked in a skillet. These make a lovely lunch and you can serve them hot from the oven if you wish. Use Monterey or Pepper Jack cheese if you like stringy cheese or one of the Mexican kinds if you want to keep it more authentic. If you do not mind a Tex-Mex accent this is also good with some refried beans or avocado slices inside or on top.
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