Culinary Curious

Quesadillas Photo: Daniel J. van Ackere

Quesadillas

Presented by America's Test Kitchen

Makes 2 folded 8-inch Quesadillas

Use a light hand when seasoning with kosher salt, as the cheese itself is rather salty. Cooling the quesadillas before cutting and serving is important; straight from the skillet, the cheese is molten and will ooze out. We advise against using sharp or aged cheddar cheese in this recipe, as both tend to separate and turn greasy. Serve the quesadillas with salsa, guacamole, or sour cream. Finished quesadillas can be held on a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven for up to 20 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 plain flour tortillas, eight-inch
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese or shredded Monterey Jack (3 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon minced pickled jalapenos (optional)
  • Vegetable oil for brushing tortillas
  • Kosher salt

Method

FILLING

  1. Heat 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Place 1 tortilla in skillet and toast until soft and puffed slightly at edges, about 2 minutes. Flip tortilla and toast until puffed and slightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Slip tortilla onto cutting board. Repeat to toast second tortilla while assembling first quesadilla. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese, and half of jalapenos, if using, over half of tortilla, leaving 1/2-inch border around edge. Fold tortilla in half and press to flatten. Brush surface generously with oil, sprinkle lightly with salt, and set aside. Repeat to form second quesadilla.
  2. Place both quesadillas in skillet, oiled sides down; cook over medium heat until crisp and well browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Brush surfaces with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Flip quesadillas and cook until second sides are crisp and browned, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer quesadillas to cutting board; cool about 3 minutes, halve each quesadilla, and serve.