Time Taken: < 10 minutes
Serves: any number
This is the easiest recipe in the world, but the difference between good quesadillas
and bad ones is enormous.
- Flour tortillas. Pretty much any size will do, but ones a tad smaller than your skillet are best. Good quality is helpful here.
- Coursely shredded cheese. Best is Mexican Manchego. It is now being imported by Cacique. If you can't get this stuff, a mixture of 80% jack or mozzarella and 20% cheddar, also each shredded, will do fine. Spanish Manchego is nothing like Mexican. Don't use it for these. You can skip the cheddar, no problem, if that's needed. (Shredded cheese will freeze well and for a long time. Tortillas will, too (microwave on high for 8-10 seconds to thaw a large tortilla.) So these can be available anytime you want.)
- Stick of unsalted butter (sin sal).
- Heat cast-iron or other skillet to medium.
- Lay a tortilla flat. Cover half in a semi-circular pattern with grated cheese. If using Manchego, leave a full inch plus around the edges; it melts very well. If using other cheeses, go to within 1/2". Fold uncovered side over. The layer of cheese is roughly 1/2" thick but loose, so it'll be 1/4" ish when melted.
- Rub a stick of butter on the bottom of the skillet until there's a light coat of melted butter. It should be bubbling gently.
- Place folded tortilla on skillet. You can usually get two on at the same time.
- Cover. Cook until bottom is golden brown and crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Remove. Add a little butter as before. Flip. Replace.
- 2nd side should be a little faster, 2-4 minutes.
- Start the next batch before the next step. These go fast.
- Remove and cut into radial pieces for serving, anywhere between 1 and 6 depending on the size of the tortilla.
- Serve immediately.
- Optional toppings: salsa, pico de gallo, sliced avocado, taco sauces, etc.
- Optional additional fillings: nearly anything. Chicken, potatoes, any shredded meat, chopped ham, salsa, taco sauce, tomatoes. Lettuce not so much. Just cheese is great.
© Jeff Goldsmith, July 24, 2021