As many of you know, I’ve recently been transitioning from the world of office life to the land of freelancing, which means my lunchtime agenda has moved from overpriced salads at Cosi to scavenging through whatever I’ve got in my kitchen. This means a good once or twice a week I have a quesadilla, my favorite among all the fantastic ways to consume the glory that is melted cheese (I’m sorry grilled cheese! You’ll always be my first.)
Now, I know some people are purists about using only mozz. or maybe a monterey jack or other Mexican cheese in their goddamn quesadillas, but I like to experiment. Of course, some cheeses just don’t cut it. Cheddar is a bit too sharp, smoked cheeses taste a little off when melted, and Gorgonzola just doesn’t melt right at all. But I have found a secret that kicks any quesadilla up a good few notches: Brie. Seriously. It melts really well, and most importantly, it plays well with others – blending in nicely with your other cheeses and extra add-ins.
7 minutes to heaven after the jump.
First of all, I don’t do any of this throw a slice of cheese in a tortilla, fold it over and stick it in the microwave crap. Go stovetop or don’t go at all. Start with two full flour tortillas.
Slice about 2 oz. of brie and cut off the rind. Spread the brie across one face of each of your tortillas.
Slice about 5 oz. of mozz. cheese – grating is not necessary, but do cut it up real small, so that it melts quick enough. Add this on top of one of your tortillas.
Now add-in whatever extras you’re into. I try to keep it pretty simple – some people like to add chicken, but I find it just takes over too much. Something like ham or turkey breast, meanwhile, gets completely lost in the mix. So I stick to the veggies – slice up a few cherry tomatoes, saute a clove of diced garlic, and 1/2 of a jalapeno pepper. Onions work well too, or black beans if you got ’em. Unlike pizzas, don’t go crazy with the toppings, or these babies will implode on you.
Top your creation with the second tortilla and you’re ready to go.
Heat a frying pan to medium-high. Add one pat of butter. Now, you can make a decent enough quesadilla with evoo or even cooking spray, but I find to get that golden-brown goodness, nothing works better than butter, fat in the way god intended it to be.
Spread the butter around the pan and add your q’dilla. In order to get the cheese to melt as quickly as the tortillas will brown, you gotta put some pressure on it. I find my tea kettle works perfectly to press down on it, but you can use a smaller frying pan, pot, or a plate. Use whatcha got.
Cook for 3 minutes, or until browned, and then flip it. Add another pat of butter, and turn down to low-medium heat, press a little more and cook for about 2 minutes.
Voila! C’est bon!