Friday, January 22, 2016

Free Range Friday ~ Quesadillas

My friend Teresa makes really good quesadillas. But beside providing a good meal, what she more long lastingly did for me is show me how simple a process it really is. Not that I thought making quesadillas was on the same par as, say, a soufflé or Hollandaise sauce, but more the construction of them and carrying through to the unburned end. 

No, it was not a duck quesadilla. I just had to put them here.
I tried and failed on my first one, quite awhile back, mainly because there was something in my head that was thinking about grilled cheese sandwiches and that there needed to be some sort of butter or oil in the pan. Fail of course is a relative term here. It was still really good but it was greasy and that is not what I was going for. 

I have it down pretty well now and truthfully, quesadillas are one of the best lasting returns for labor meals. Even though this is using small tortillas, it felt like there was a large pizza in front of me. Except when I was done, I felt good instead of sick.

This is a very simple quesadilla. These things were in the fridge, it was quick and it more than did the job of being satisfying - from preparing it to eating it.

Shallots & mushrooms from the veggie guy

Sautéed in wee bit of butter

I chunked this pepper jack cheese up instead of shredding it.
It worked just fine.

And an egg sounded perfect. This egg is swirled in the pan, not beaten.
No reason for that except laziness - no extra bowl to clean - and it works.
Time to layer it up. Your pan should be on a medium low heat. I usually use a propane stove, so I'm just guessing at the name of the heat, but you don't want it very hot, these can go from golden to burned in a glance away.

Tortilla, mushrooms and onion, no grease!

On goes the cheese

I put the egg on top to help melt the cheese a little faster

The other tortilla on top
I was reading a recipe for quesadillas and the instructions had you put everything on top of one tortilla and then fold it over. That, to me, is called a taco. This is how I do it, partly because I think that's how it's done and partly because it's fun.

The plate turnover method
Because I have a weak arm, I have learned all sorts of great tricks to compensate for it (compensate in this case means not breaking things or spreading food much farther than its intended target). You don't have to have any weaknesses (like just being a garden variety klutz) for this to help out in a turnover.

The plate turnover is a trick that I actually read in a recipe for Spanish omelets (or potato patata, as I call it). I use it for this as well. Find a plate slightly larger than what you want to turn over, and with your hand on the bottom of the still cool plate, do the obvious - turn it over. Then slide it from the plate back into the pan. Wa la!! No disaster!

Once the bottom is that same golden brown, and it won't take long, the cheese will most likely be nice and melted as well. Slide that puppy onto a cutting board.

The first cut through the crunchy tortilla
will let you know just how good this is going to be.

The tomato is/was from some friends garden and deserved a starring role.
The thing about quesadillas is, you can put ANYTHING in them. I usually use a lot more herbs spices and major ingredients but sometimes simple is exactly right.  

They are great for using up leftovers, including salad items. The one common ingredient is cheese, any cheese, which holds it all together. In fact, leftovers work really well because they are already cooked, making this a seriously fast meal to prepare. And, you've used food that might have gone to waste. Win win.

Play with your food!

Buen provecho!


  1. This looks delicious! I'm gonna make a veggie quesadilla.. I never thought about using an egg!

    1. Exactly the hoped for response! Enjoy.