Wow, has it been a week since I posted last? I’m hoping to have a really good post in a few days, but here’s one about a quick, tasty and filling dinner I made myself this week: a quesadilla! This one, however, wasn’t just stuffed with cheese. I pulled a bunch of stuff out of the fridge and decided to use it as a leftovers carrier!
I was going to grill the tortillas, but these were larger-sized tortillas and didn’t fit in the grill too well. Some people fold over their quesadillas. Sometimes I do, too. But that night, I was really hungry so I wanted a large, unfolded quesadilla using two tortillas. So, out came the large frying pan and the Pam.
The one thing about assembling a quesadilla is that you need to do so quickly. Why? Because it’s cooking as you do, so you don’t want to over-cook the tortilla shell before you even get all of the toppings added. So in order to facilitate this, I recommend setting up your mise en place ahead of time. That is, get yourself set up and organized. Pre-chop, slice and shred everything before you even get a pan on the stove.
If you’re going to need cooking spray, pull it out. If you’re going to want any seasonings, get them out and even pre-measure them out into little bowls if you need to. Shred your cheese(s). Chop your veggies and meat. Get these put onto small plates or in bowls. Pull out any utensils you will need, as well as the pan and a plate to transfer the finished dish to. Pull out your salsa and sour cream and get spoons out for them, etc.
Set up whatever it is you need ahead of time and cooking this will be a lot easier and go much more smoothly than if you were chopping as you went. (Believe me, I’ve done both. You want to have this done ahead of time and be completely ready.)
I tend to cook my quesadilla on a low-medium heat because I find the flour tortilla browns very easily/quickly and I want the contents to be heated through but the outside should not get burned. So I get my pan heated and lightly spray it with Pam before placing the first tortilla in the pan. If you’re going to have a folded quesadilla with one tortilla, you might want to let one half of the tortilla hang over the side of the pan first, so that it doesn’t start to brown and cook — it won’t fold very easily if it cooks!
But if you’re going to have a large one like I did, place it in the centre of the pan, then immediately start layering on your ingredients.
I layered on half of the two cheeses I had (cheddar cheese & an Italian blend), then some sliced, leftover turkey (already cooked). From there, I added diced tomatoes and green onions, adding a very light sprinkling of Lawry’s seasoned salt just to pep it up a bit, as well as a tiny bit of freshly ground black pepper.
The rest of the cheese was then layered on top and the other tortilla was placed on top. I lightly sprayed the top of the second tortilla shell, just to prevent sticking to the pan. My pans are old and aren’t very good in the way of non-stick, so if you have good, non-stick pans or a grill pan, you likely won’t need the Pam spray! I quickly checked the bottom tortilla and it was just starting to brown, so I let it go a moment longer, letting the cheese melt before I flipped it.
If you’re having trouble flipping this huge thing, do what I do: slide it onto your plate, then while holding the plate in your hand (your hand spread over the bottom of the plate), place the pan over the plate — then flip both, so that the plate is now on top. Use tongs to carefully pull the plate out of the pan, then replace the pan on the heat. If you flip something this large with a flipper and the cheese hasn’t melted enough yet, you may end up with contents all over your floor. 😉
Cook for a few moments longer until the bottom tortilla is just beginning to brown and crisp up, then slide the whole thing back onto your plate. Give it a moment and then cut first into fourths with either a large knife or a pizza cutter, then cut again into eighths. Serve with salsa and sour cream and enjoy!