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Quesadilla

image

I grew up making quesadillas, the benefit of having a Hispanic mother who is a great cook. "Queso" is cheese in Spanish. And a quesadilla is a toasted tortilla with melted cheese inside. But in addition to cheese, you can put practically anything in a quesadilla . My favorites are mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, and onions. I don't cook these ingredients first, but it really is a matter of taste. You could if you wanted to.

INGREDIENTS

Large flour tortillas
Grated cheese - either mild or sharp cheddar, or Monterey Jack
Olive oil or grapeseed oil

Optional:
Sliced mushrooms
Green onions
Black olives, sliced
Fresh tomatoes, diced
Chicken pieces
Avocado

Lettuce
Apple cider vinegar
Salt

METHOD

1 Heat a large cast iron frying pan to medium high heat. Add a small amount of oil (about 1/2 teaspoon) and spread it around the bottom of the pan with a spatula (you could use butter as well). Take one large flour tortilla and place it in the pan. Flip the tortilla over a few times, 10 seconds between flips. Air pockets should begin to form within the tortilla.

2 When pockets of air begin to form, take a handful of grated cheese, sprinkle over the top of the tortilla, making sure that the cheese does not land on the pan itself. Add whatever additional ingredients you choose - green onion, sliced mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, etc. If you would like your quesadilla to be a chicken quesadilla, add some diced cooked chicken. Take care not to layer on the ingredients to thickly - this is a quesadilla, not a quiche.

3 Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. The cast iron pan should be hot enough by now to have plenty of residual heat to melt the cheese and brown the tortilla. If the quesadilla begins to smoke too much, remove from the heat. After a minute, check to see if the cheese is melted. If not, return the cover and keep checking every minute until the cheese is melted. When the cheese is sufficiently melted, use a spatula to lift up one side of the quesadilla and flip over the other side, as if you were making an omelette. The tortilla should by now be browned slightly. If it is not browned, turn the heat up to high and flip the quesadilla over every 10 seconds or so until it gets browned. Remove from pan and cut into wedges.

To make the lettuce to accompany the quesadilla, thinly slice some iceberg lettuce. Sprinkle some cider vinegar on it and some salt.

Ultra-Thin-Crust Pizza with Onions, Mushrooms, and Ricotta

When I first encountered a recipe for a thin-crust pizza using a flour tortilla as a base I was indignant. "That's not a pizza! That's aquesadilla!" But I so...

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Whether served as an elegant appetizer, a palate cleansing course between courses, an impressive tray at a holiday party, or as a sophisticated dessert the c...

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My mother grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and remembers fondly what she calls "Sonoran Quesadillas" - large, thin, flour tortillas, toasted with butter and chees...

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Being a quintessential Swiss dish, cheese fondue conjures up images for me of alpine ski huts, deep snow and 20°F weather. Well, we don't get much snow or co...

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My friend Michelle loves to throw big parties, with plenty of food and plenty of friends. I think it must be the large Italian family thing, one is never at ...

Cheese Tacos

Most kids grow up learning how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so they can help themselves in the kitchen when they want some lunch. In our family...