The wide interpretation of tacos and wraps in my household makes tortillas a shopping-list mainstay, as they doubtless are for so many other families. Just when I thought there’s nothing new under the sun to do with tortillas, Jan Roberts-Dominguez comes along with her “golden quesadilla,” as related with last week’s A Fresh Approach column.
The concept is a little hard to describe in the confines of a newspaper recipe. But once you do it, you realize how fun and delicious this maneuver is.
If you like frico — those toasted wafers of Parmesan — the grillable cheese known as haloumi or even just the specks of cheese that escape a quesadilla to brown and crisp in a hot pan, you’ll love this. I describe it as an inside-out quesadilla, which can be layered to resemble Taco Bell’s Mexican pizza. I’ve made this my on-the-fly dinner twice within the past two weeks.
Start with about 1⁄2 cup grated cheese. You should have enough to scatter on the surface of your pan to approximately the same diameter as your tortilla. But don’t try to achieve a solid layer of cheese — too much and it doesn’t brown right and is too rich in the finished quesadilla. There should be gaps in between the shreds of cheese.
Sprinkle the cheese in a medium-hot pan, as Jan’s recipe described, and allow it to melt for a few seconds before pressing a tortilla on top. Let the cheese cook for about another 30 seconds until you can see, by sliding a spatula underneath, that the cheese is golden-brown and has totally adhered to the tortilla. Flip it over and allow the other side to brown a bit.
You can either add fillings to the plain side of this inside-out quesadilla and fold it over so the toasted cheese is showing, or make another one and sandwich fillings in between the two. That’s what I did, adding guacamole, browned, ground lamb, salsa and sour cream. As with any taco, any other sort of beans or meat would be good.
When I described this snack to my husband, Will, and offered to make him one, he was opposed to the concept of toasted cheese on the outside of his quesadilla. Heresy!
But once I made one last night right in front of him, he couldn’t resist a bite. Try it and share your favorite fillings.