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Cheese Quesadilla

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Quesadilla is made using a toasted tortilla (made from flour or corn meal) and queso (cheese). Quesadilla is a Spanish word meaning 'cheese tortilla', Queso in Spanish means cheese. The snack is prepared either using wheat flour or a corn meal tortilla; cheese is used as the filling.


Quesadilla is simple to make, the tortilla is folded over the filling and both its sides are browned. They are cut into wedges and served. The cheese filling can be replaced with tomatoes, chicken, beef, seafood, onions, turkey, olives and mushrooms, though this might not equate the authentic cheese flavor. Quesadilla is either grilled or fried and is served with sour cream and guacamole.

Originally quesadilla was made with masa (cornmeal dough) dough. In the traditional version of quesadilla, Chihuahua cheese is used. This cheese is a white and mild Mexican cheese, this cheese is also popular as queso menonita. Quesadilla varies in taste in the southern regions of Mexico. Oaxaca cheese (similar to the mozzarella cheese), potato and pork sausage (chorizo), mild to hot chilies, etc are used for fillings. Quesadillas are often served as an appetizer. Read up more on how to use quesadilla makers.


Cheese quesadilla

There are a variety of cheese that can be used to prepare quesadillas, few of the popular varieties are:


  • Queso Oaxaca is used to make the original version of quesadillas. This cheese is semi-soft and has a unique taste. It is similar to mozzarella cheese.

  • Queso blanco cheese is also used to make quesadillas. This cheese is white, soft, smooth and mild. It is a favorite choice for making quesadillas because it melts easily and makes the dish rich and creamy too. The uniqueness of this cheese is that it does not melt and run when used as a filling. Queso blanco also does not separate into oil and solids when heated.

  • Queso jalapeno has jalapeno peppers and spices blended in it. The sizzling spiciness of the peppers makes this soft and creamy cheese just perfect to make quesadillas.

  • Queso Chihuahua is used in making the traditional Mexican quesadillas. This cheese is pale yellow in color and its taste varies from mild to sharp. It can be replaced with the mild cheddar or jack cheese.

  • Queso manchego is a semi-firm cheese and melts well. It can be replaced with the Monterrey jack cheese.

Quesadilla Maker

A quesadilla maker looks more like a round waffle iron. It has a nonstick metal plate on the top and the bottom. The top and the bottom portion are hinged together and the equipment can be opened and closed just like a waffle iron. It is better to use a quesadilla maker rather than frying or baking quesadillas as it can retain steady heat. This stable temperature browns the quesadilla evenly on both its sides. With a quesadilla maker you need not turn the quesadilla as you have to do while using a frying pan or baking dish.


The edges of the quesadilla are sealed by metal plates; this prevents the filling from spilling out. The metal plates of the quesadilla maker have wedge-shape segments. This enables easy removal of the quesadilla for quick serving. Few quesadilla makers have timers that can be used to set the cooking time.


Using a quesadilla maker

The quesadilla maker is pre-heated to the desired temperature. When the quesadilla maker reaches the cooking temperature, open the quesadilla maker and place a flour tortilla on the bottom plate. Place the cheese and other ingredients over the tortilla, cover it with a second tortilla and close the lid. Set the timer (if the quesadilla maker has a timer) else wait for two to three minutes and lift the lid. The tortillas will be adequately browned and the cheese completely melted.


Cheese quesadilla recipe

Flour tortilla 2
Mexican blend Cheddar 1/4 cup shredded
Salsa or taco sauce 2 tbsp

Pre-heat the pan. Apply sauce on the tortilla and spray the cheese. Fold over. Place the tortilla over the pan and cook on each side for about 3 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve


Cheese quesadilla with mangoes for kids

Flour tortilla 2
Mango 1/3 cup, peeled and finely sliced
Monterey Jack cheese 1/3 cup, shredded
Red onion 1tbsp, finely chopped
Butter

On a stove top, heat a skillet. Spread butter on one side of the tortilla. Place the non-buttered side of the tortilla on the skillet. Flip over, reduce heat and add the onions, mango slices. Spray cheese over this and wait until the cheese melts. Fold the tortilla and flip over to cook the other side. The tortilla should be browned evenly on both sides. Cut into wedges and serve


Shrimp quesadilla recipe

Flour tortillas 2
Shrimp 1/4 pound, shelled and de-veined
green onion 1, chopped
Cheese (Monterey Jack, Cheddar, etc) 1/2 cup, shredded
Jalapeno 1, chopped
Avocado 1, sliced
Cilantro 1 handful, chopped
Lime juice 1 tsp
Zest 1 tsp
Cumin 1/2 tsp, toasted and ground
butter or oil 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Cook the shrimp in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Rinse the cooked shrimp in cold water. In a mixing bowl blend the lime juice, zest, green onion, jalapeno, cilantro, cumin, pepper and salt. Add the shrimp to this mixture; allow it to stand for about 30 minutes.


Melt butter in a pan. In the pan, place a tortilla and rub it so that the butter coats around well. Heat the tortilla until air pockets are formed. Drain the excess liquid from the shrimp. Place some shrimp and the mixture over the tortilla. Spread cheese above this. Cook the quesadilla until golden brown on both sides


Spicy cheese shrimp quesadilla recipe

Flour tortillas 4, large
Shrimp 1 lb, peeled and de-veined
Mozzarella cheese shredded
Spicy cheese shredded
Sweet pepper 1, chopped
Onion 1, chopped
Butter

Sauté pepper, onion, and cilantro in butter. When the onions turn transparent, add the shrimps. Cook the shrimps until they turn pink. Keep aside. Heat the flour tortilla in a large pan. Place the shrimp mixture on the tortilla and spray both the cheeses on top. Just as the cheese begins to melt, fold and flip. Cook until the cheese melts completely. The tortilla should be browned evenly on both sides. Cut into wedges and serve


Quesadilla makers can also be used to grill small sandwiches. The general power requirement of a quesadilla maker is 900 watts. Most quesadilla makers have a dimension of 4x9x12 (height x width x depth). A quesadilla maker is priced between US$15 to about $45.


Cheese and beans quesadilla

Tortillas 8
Mexican cheese 4 oz, shredded (you can use any bland cheese too)
Black beans ¼ cup, drained and mashed
Tomato 1, diced
Salsa ¼ cup
Red bell pepper ½, diced
Green onions ¼ cup, chopped
Fresh cilantro 2 tbsp, chopped
Dry pepper flakes 1 tbsp

Pre-heat the quesadilla maker. Blend all ingredients except tortilla in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle this mixture on the tortilla. Cover with a tortilla on top. Place this in the quesadilla maker, set the timer if the quesadilla maker has a timer else wait for two to three minutes and lift the lid. Cut into wedges and serve hot with sour cream and guacamole.


Chicken quesadilla

Flour tortillas 8
Cheddar cheese 1/2 cup, grated
Monterey Jack cheese 1/2 cup grated
Chicken tenders 8 ounces
Eggplant 4, 1/4-inch-thick diagonally cut slices
Red onions 4 1/4-inch-thick slices
Jalapeño chili 1, sliced
Fresh lime juice 1 tbsp
Fresh cilantro chopped, 2 tbsp
Water 1/4 cup
Olive oil 1 tbsp
Salt as per taste
Pepper to taste
Vegetable oil 1 tbsp

Mix sliced jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, water, and olive oil using a blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Put the chicken tenders in a shallow baking dish. Marinade with the prepared mix, it should be coated completely. Cover it and refrigerate for 4 hours. Preheat Grill.

Remove the chicken from marinade and grill it until cooked, for about 6 minutes. Coat the eggplant and onion with oil. Sprinkle little salt and pepper and grill for about 4 minutes. Keep turning in between. Wrap the tortillas in a foil and put it on the top rack of the grill as the other ingredients get cooked.


Remove from grill. Mix the cheese in a bowl. Place cheese on the tortilla. Place a slice of chicken, onion and eggplant each. Cover it with another tortilla. Put it on the grill and cook over low heat until the cheese melts. The tortillas should turn into nice golden brown. Wedge them and serve with sour cream.



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Cheese Quesadilla
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