Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Whoever invented quesadillas should be sainted. The hot, melted cheese, bits of chicken or shrimp, mushrooms, peppers, and whatever else you fancy sandwiched in a crisp, toasted tortilla--it just doesn't get much better. Also, it's a ludicrously easy dish. Just chop up your choice of ingredients into little bits, toss them into a fresh tortilla, fold said tortilla in half, and toast the whole thing in a hot pan until everything is all golden and melty and delicious.
You can't really go wrong with quesadillas, but this particular ingredient combination happens to be especially good. I love queso fresco, a mild, crumbly, nutty cheese that happens to work really well with lots of diced up peppers and cilantro. Perfection. All pictures by Mark Iantosca. xo
2 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2/3 cup crumbled queso fresco
1 tablespoon chopped roasted red pepper from a jar, drained and patted dry
1/4 teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped
Vegetable oil for brushing tortillas
Heat 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Place 1 tortilla in skillet and toast until soft and puffed slightly at edges, about 2 minutes. Flip tortilla and toast until puffed and slightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Slip tortilla onto cutting board. Repeat to toast second tortilla while assembling first quesadilla.
Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese and half of peppers over half of tortilla, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edge. Fold tortilla in half over filling and press to flatten. Brush top generously with oil, sprinkle lightly with salt, and set aside. Repeat to form second tortilla.
Place quesadillas in skillet, oiled sides down. Cook over medium heat until crisp and well-browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Brush tops with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Flip quesadillas and cook until second sides are crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer quesadillas to cutting board. Cool for a couple of minutes, halve each quesadilla, and serve.