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Quesadillas

Jane ButelThis recipe has been reproduced with the kind permission of Jane Butel and comes from her latest book Real Women Eat Chile.

Often credited with starting the Tex-Mex mania, Jane Butel published her first cookbooks on New Mexican and American Mexican food in the 1960s. Sixteen cookbooks later, her books and her Cooking School in Albuquerque, which Bon Appetit called among "the best in the US", bring you all there is to know and love about this cuisine.

Jane is an internationally recognized authority on the regional cooking of the American Southwest. The daughter and granddaughter of accomplished home economists, she is a cookbook author, teacher and television personality.

Her interest in Southwestern cooking predates its current widespread popularity by decades. She was the first to write about the cooking style that evolved in the Southwestern border area and is credited with starting the USA's love affair with this cuisine.

Jane operates her own site-based Cooking Schools, which have been recognized far and wide for their quality of instruction. Jane's Cooking School specializes in week long and weekend full participation classes on New Mexican and Southwestern cooking - to find out more click here.

QuesadillasQuesadillas are one of the most versatile of all light meals or appetizers. Restaurants in Old Mexico serve a much simpler version of quesadillas. There, generally a quesadilla is a freshly baked corn tortilla oozing with quick-melting cheese and served with a side dish of freshly made salsa. Sometimes they are fried, though often not. Quesadillas are one of the most fun foods to garnish and present in creative and pretty ways. Innovation is the key to a great quesadilla; just use your favorite or on-hand ingredients and let your imagination roll.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
1 wheat-flour tortilla (10 to 12 inch size)
2 to 4 tablespoons grated Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese combination or any substitution, such as goat cheese, asadero, or other quick-melting cheese
6 to 8 slices pickled jalapeños

Other fillings as desired:
sautéed chorizo
sliced grilled chicken
baby shrimp
cooked pinto or black beans
chilied meats
any sliced seared vegetables
chopped onion and tomato

Method

  • Preheat a comal (Mexican flat griddle), tapa, or griddle to medium heat.
  • Brush some of the butter lightly in the shape of half a tortilla on one side of the comal.
  • Place the tortilla on the butter.
  • Place the cheese on the buttered half of the tortilla, allowing a ½ inch margin around the edge of the tortilla.
  • Scatter the jalapeño slices and any other fillings over the cheese.
  • When the cheese starts to melt, fold the other half of the tortilla over the fillings and lightly press until the edges hold together.
  • Brush the top with more of the butter.
  • Flip the quesadilla by gently placing a pancake turner under the curved edges of the quesadilla and rolling it over.
  • Cook until browned. Remove from the heat, slice into 4 or more sections, and garnish as desired.
  • Serve warm.

Serves: 1

Jane Butel
www.janebutel.com

Reprinted with permission from Real Women Eat Chiles by Jane Butel

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