In college, I had about three staples that I rotated through my weekly meals: boneless, skinless chicken breasts on the George Foreman, spaghetti and a can of Prego spiced up with sauted garlic and green peppers, and cheese quesadillas. As with the the first two, I later realized that there was a better way to make quesdillas.
My cousin and her then-boyfriend (now finance, soon-to-be husband) Sergio visited me in Chicago. After a long day of eating and drinking, we wound up back at my apartment with a case of beer and no snacks. Sergio volunteered to make quesadillas. That was great except that I didn’t have any of the ingredients. Well, do you have any meat? Only bacon. Perfect. What about vegetables? Just mushrooms. Cool. What about cheese? No cheddar, only monterey jack. And you have tortillas? Yeah. Well then, you have everything you need. I didn’t believe that you could make quesadillas without cheddar and I was very skeptical about the bacon. Those quesadillas are still the best I’ve ever had (and I don’t think it’s just because they were such a great drunk snack).
Here’s what I think is important:
- Have the right cheese. Any mexican grocery will have “quesadilla cheese” and it’s the best. It’s somewhere between a monterey jack and a mozarella.
- Precook the filling. Just like an omelet, everything you put into a quesadilla should be ready to eat.
- Don’t overstuff. A little bit of cheese oozing out the sides is good, but a half inch thick quesadilla just gets rubbery.
- Really fry the tortillas. I like to use bacon grease, but no matter what kind of fat you’re using get it nice and hot and fry the tortilla until it browns.