Quesadillas – The Quintessential Snack

Fresh Corn Tortillas from Las Tortillas in Calgary

Quite often I find myself staring into the fridge or pantry, trying to get an inkling of inspiration about what to make for a snack.  Deciding what to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner is enough of a chore as it is so I feel sorry for myself when everyone is hungry and I’m definitely NOT inspired.  Enter Quesadillas, the quintessential snack.  Quick, comforting and delicious, they can’t be beat!  We like to use corn tortillas from Las Tortillas as they are fresh and made locally here in Calgary.

If you have never had a quesadilla, I think you should try them in their most classic form first.  There are many recipes you can find that add in a protein or some veggies.  My favorite addition is caramelized onions and grilled chicken but our mainstay is plain cheese quesadillas.

How To Make A Classic Quesadilla

  1. Shred a good melting cheese of your choice.  We like to use aged cheddar as the base cheese and whatever else we happen to have on hand to add another layor of flavor.

    Shredded Aged Cheddar Cheese

  2.  If you have a gas stove, it is really nice to get a slight char on the tortilla before you put it on the griddle.  If not you can always get some browning on the tortillas quickly by adding a little butter to your griddle or more healthily by cooking them on a dry griddle a little bit longer as I did in the photo above.

    Getting some char on the tortillas first really adds great flavour.

  3. Heat your griddle on medium.  You may need to adjust your heat as you go. The goal is to melt the cheese without overcooking the tortilla.
  4. Place shredded cheese in the center of the tortilla being careful not to sprinkle it on the griddle.  I am a little bit of a klutz so when I do sprinkle it 0n the griddle I make sure to set a tortilla right on top of it so that it will get nice and golden instead of sitting by itself and burning.  Burnt cheese is such a waste but crispy, golden cheese on the outside of a quesadilla is a nice treat.

    I topped the shredded cheddar with some thin slices of Havarti that were left over from lunch.

  5. Place another tortilla on top of the cheese and press down with a spatula.  When the cheese has melted enough to stick together, flip the quesadilla and make sure both sides are evenly browned.

    These were browned without any fats on the griddle. It takes longer but is much more healthy.

  6. In a few short minutes you should have a toasty, cheesy snack ready to quarter up and dip in Cholula, sour cream or just shove in your mouth as is.  Careful of the hot cheese!  I stack the quesadillas and cut them in stacks of 3 or 4 after the cheese has cooled a bit.  If you quarter them immediately after taking off of the griddle you lose a lot of oozing cheese out the sides.

    Max helps himself to the Quesadillas!

 

Gourmet Quesadillas

You can make more than a snack out of quesadillas, you can make a meal out of them if you put enough inside.   Most of the time the fillings we add are chopped up leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.

  • Roasted pork tenderloin
  • Grilled chicken
  • Shredded pot roast
  • Black beans smashed with a bit of salt
  • Grilled or roasted veggies (sweet peppers and onions are perfect)

Some of my friends have some cool combos for your consideration as well.

From Jennifer Gacek over at The Fit Housewife, Chicken and Peach Quesadillas. I love that she browns her tortillas on the grill!

Jen Taylor at Little Miss Mocha has a lot of dessert quesadilla suggestions.  We often do brown sugar and butter in flour tortillas but I must admit none of these sweet combinations ever crossed my mind!

Do you have a go-to snack that your whole family loves?  I would love to hear about it!

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