While I have no desire to be a short order chef, I rather like standing comfortably by my stove, a-grilling quesadillas, and handing out hot, seared tortillas, oozing with melted cheese, as I go. Since I buy the tortillas rather than make them myself (though I have plans in that direction), these are no harder to make than a grilled sandwich, which is, in effect, what they are.
If you want the grill marks to come through super-clearly, it will help if you weight the quesadilla down as it cooks; I used to use a saucepan with many canned things balanced on it, but my lovely handyman, Ken, kindly and unquestioningly gave me, at my request, a brick covered in aluminum foil, which does the trick perfectly. But for some reason, I seem to have lost my brick and don’t dare ask for another, so I have resigned myself quite happily to cooking quesadillas freestyle, with no heavy weight to press them down.
Makes 24 slices/wedges
4 soft flour or corn tortillas
4 ounces Manchego cheese, sliced, or other cheese of your choice that melts well 1 avocado, pitted, skin removed, and cut into chunks
approx. 16 jalapeño rings, from a can or jar (or more, to taste)
• Get out 1 tortilla and lay it flat in front of you, then put about G of the thinly sliced cheese on one half – not too near the edge, though, as you don’t want the cheese to spill out as it cooks.
• Top the cheese with ¼ avocado, sliced in chunks, followed by about 4 jalapeño rings, or more to taste. Fold over the uncovered half of the tortilla, so you have a bulging semi-circle in front of you.
• Heat your grill pan – or use a dry frying pan if you don’t have a grill pan – and slide the uncooked quesadilla on it. Squish down with a weight, or just press down briefly with a slotted spatula or similar, and cook for 1 minute, then flip the quesadilla and grill it for 1 minute on the other side.
• Tip the hot quesadilla out onto a cutting board and slice each folded semi-circle into 6 wedges, serving straightaway, and continue likewise with the remaining 3 tortillas.
CREDIT: FROM NIGELLA KITCHEN BY NIGELLA LAWSON. COPYRIGHT (C) 2010 NIGELLA LAWSON. PUBLISHED BY HYPERION. AVAILABLE WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.