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Almost a quick as grilled cheese



Published: Wed, March 5, 2008 @ 12:00 a.m.

Almost a quick as grilled cheese

By BILL DALEY

Chicago Tribune

Quesadillas can be as fancy as you want them to be, but the simplest are often the best. For me, nothing beats two toasted flour tortillas sandwiching a filling of melted cheese and a little bowl of salsa on the side for occasional dipping.

Mild asadero, a Mexican cow’s milk cheese, is a great melter and would make for a good filling. Look for this cheese in supermarkets or ethnic stores. If you want more of a flavor zap, consider a fine Wisconsin cheddar or even a French mimolette.

Soft flour tortillas can be found in supermarkets and ethnic food stores.

Menu:

UAvocado halves stuffed with shrimp salad

U Cheese quesadillas

U Green salad with radishes

U Flourless chocolate cake for dessert

Tips:

You can also microwave the quesadillas: Cook on high until the cheese melts, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

To the filling, consider adding chilies, diced ham, crumbled bacon, leftover grilled chicken.

Beverage suggestion:

A crisp sauvignon blanc would be a lively counterpoint to the richness of the cheese. A chilled Mexican beer works too.

CHEESE QUESADILLAS

1 clove garlic, smashed

8 small flour tortillas

12 ounces Mexican or cheddar cheese, crumbled or grated

1 cup chopped cooked chicken or steak, optional

1‚Ñ4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Chopped cilantro, optional

Rub garlic on both sides of the tortillas. Evenly sprinkle grated cheese over 4 of the tortillas. Top evenly with chicken, if using. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Place the remaining tortillas on top of the filling; press down lightly.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tortillas; cook, turning once, in batches if necessary, until tortillas turn light brown and cheese melts, about 2 minutes per side. Slice in wedges to serve. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition information per serving: 679 calories, 52 percent of calories from fat, 39 g fat, 20 g saturated fat, 89 mg cholesterol, 52 g carbohydrates, 29 g protein, 1,297 mg sodium, 3 g fiber


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