I was craving cheese. Not just any cheese, but molten, runny, stringy cheese. In snack form, to be eaten with fingers and no need for a table. Being Friday, I knew exactly what I would make. Three cheese quesadillas. White corn tortillas, hot and crisp, glued together with melted cheese, spiked with pickled jalapeños. A lazy dinner requiring little effort or preplanning, that we could graze on throughout the evening while chatting about the week’s events.
The weekends seem to have been very busy lately, but Friday’s are still exciting, signalling a change of pace. Activities done on a Saturday and Sunday are usually carried out at in a much more leisurely manner and unrelated to Monday to Friday’s work. To mark the change in tempo, Friday dinners are fun. They involve less formality or forethought and in our house, a lot of the time, they are eaten with fingers around the kitchen bench. Sticky pork ribs, pancakes with crispy lamb and hoi sin sauce, garlic prawn pots with crusty bread, home made pizza and often, these three cheese quesadillas.
I’m not sure what it is about grated cheese, but I have always been one to steal little handfuls of this ingredient when it is sitting in a pile on a chopping board, prepared and ready for a recipe. It could be because it’s naughty. As I child I knew my mum needed all the cheese that she’d grated for a dish, but I couldn’t help sneaking some to stuff into my mouth while she wash’t looking. It could be textural, the way you can compress the individual strands together in your mouth. It could also be because you get the impression that you are being completely overindulgent, the air between the yellow strands tricking you, making you think you are eating more that you really are. Whatever the reason, grate lots of cheese for this dish. More that you think that you will reasonably need to sandwich together two corn tortillas. It will melt into a comforting, salty, savoury, moorish snack that you just won’t be able to resist.
Three cheese quesadillas
- 3 types of cheese – your choice. I used mozzarella for it’s stringy characteristic when melted, cheddar cheese for it’s punchy flavour and feta for it’s saltiness and creamy quality when hot.
- corn tortillas. They must be corn. Flour tortillas just don’t crisp in the same way and are more prone to burning.
- pickled jalapeños, finely chopped
- oil for frying
- optional Mexican beer
1. Lay out several corn tortillas and spread each with a teaspoonful of pickled jalapeños.
2. Take a handful of the first cheese and evenly distribute it over the tortilla.
3. Now do the same with the second and third cheeses.
4. Place another tortilla on top the cheese laden base tortilla and you are ready to start frying.
5. Set a frying pan over a moderate heat and let it become nice and hot.
6. Pour a little oil into the pan and add the quesadilla. Fry until cheese starts to pour from the sides of the tortilla and the base is crisp and brown.
7 .Flip the tortilla with a spatula and cook until the other side is also browned, then tip onto a chopping board, cut into slices and enjoy.
Enjoy this recipe? You might also like this cheesy recipe for gougeres