Pretty much everyone loves a quesadilla. Whether you are feeding a 3-year old with mild Monterey jack, or a sophisticated foodie with taleggio and grilled figs, a tortilla and melted cheese is quick to make and irresistible. Let me tell you about a simple trick which will take your quesadillas from tasty but floppy to crispy and delicious.
First a word of warning: this only works with corn tortillas. Flour quesadillas are fine too, but thats a different article. I prefer corn because it adds more flavor and texture.
Anyhow, here is the secret: brush both sides of the quesadilla with a bit of oil before putting them on the pan or griddle on medium-high heat, and then let it cook plenty of time on each side.
I told you it was easy! It doesnt need to be a lot of oil, but the difference is amazing. When you cook a quesadilla dry, the shell simply heats up and dries out a bit, which is ok. But when you brush on a bit of oil and let it cook awhile, the tortilla gets crispy/chewy and tastes amazing, like a perfectly fresh tortilla chip.
If you are lucky, a bit of the cheese might run out and brown and stick to the edges like the top of a great mac and cheese. Now youve got some serious flavor going.
To get your creative juices flowing, heres a tasty quesadilla I made the other day, filled with green peppercorn pecorino, red onions, and (incredible) Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Garlic & Onion Savory Jam. I served it with a quick chèvre and cilantro sauce and some smoked paprika. You should substitute ingredients wildly and make whatever sounds good to you!