Whether it’s mid-essay crisis or mid-morning hangover, there are times when many of us want nothing more than a hot snack smothered in or filled with melted cheese. I, however, don’t eat eggs nor do I eat enough bread to warrant buying a loaf which immediately rules out an omelette or cheese on toast to satisfy this yearning. Thankfully tortilla wraps keep far better in the fridge than bread and can quickly be used to make delicious quesadillas.
1 tortilla wrap
40g cheddar cheese
1 spring onions
1 red pepper
Chorizo, ham or salami
1) Take a tortilla and spread one side with butter. Place it butter side down on a plate.
2) Grate an even layer of cheese over one half of the tortilla. Finely chop quarter of a pepper, a spring onion and some chorizo, salami or ham and add it to the cheese.
3) Fold the tortilla in half and press along the folded edge to ensure that it won’t open up again.
4) Heat a frying pan or, if you have access to one, a griddle over a high heat for a few minutes before adding the folded quesadilla to the pan.
5) Fry the quesadilla for 30 to 40 seconds before carefully turning it over with a fish slice.
6) Fry on the other side for a further 30 seconds and serve. Your quesadilla should now be a crisp shell full of melted cheesy goodness.
Tips and Variations
If you’re in a rush or feeling particularly lazy then quesadillas can be quickly prepared in the microwave. Don’t butter the tortilla and simply microwave at full power on each side for about 40 seconds. This won’t give the crisp shell of a fried tortilla but still makes for a tasty, cheesy snack with next to no washing-up.
Quesadillas, much like an omelette or a pizza, can be made with any number of ingredients. Mushrooms, olives and cooked bacon can all make great additions; a little chilli sauce and a layer of refried beans spread in the tortilla can give an air of Mexican authenticity. These are just a few suggestions though and all sorts of flavour combinations can be experimented with. Just ensure not to put in anything that you wouldn’t eat without cooking first as it won’t be cooked thoroughly once in the quesadilla.
The inside of the quesadilla can also be spread with tomato puree, pasata or a finely blended salsa to make something more akin to a calzone pizza. The cheese can be replaced partially or entirely with mozzarella to make a gooier interior or, for that matter, any other cheese that will melt to introduce further new flavours. There’s really so much that can be done with quesadillas, so take a break and see what you can create.
PHOTO/ Jamie Russell