Ham Hock and Carmody Quesadillas with Roasted Pumpkin

Hartford Family Winery Healdsburg Tasting Room

331 Healdsburg Avenue
Healdsburg, CA 95448

These quesadillas combine just a handful of ingredients - ham hock meat, Carmody cheese and roasted pumpkin - but the results are sublime.

  • 1 ham hock
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 2 cups diced pumpkin (1/4-inch dice)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 1 pound Carmody cheese, grated
Put the ham hock in a 2-quart saucepan and cover with the cold water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the ham hock is tender, about 3 hours. Transfer the ham hock to a cutting board. Strain the broth into a container, cover and refrigerate for another use. When the ham hock is cool enough to handle, pick off the meat, discarding the bone, skin and cartilage. Refrigerate the meat until ready to use.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place a baking dish in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Place the butter, thyme, pumpkin and the 1 tablespoon salt in the dish and toss to combine. Roast until the pumpkin is golden brown and tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool and adjust the seasoning with salt.

To assemble the quesadillas, cover half of each tortilla with 2 ounces grated cheese, 1 ounce ham hock meat and 3 tablespoons roasted pumpkin. Fold each tortilla in half and press firmly. 

Heat a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, toast the quesadillas on both sides until golden brown. Serve hot.