How To 'Fry' Cheese In Your Waffle Iron

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Yes, you can waffle cheese. [Photographs: Daniel Shumski]

Is it just me, or do you take special pleasure in the cheese that leaks out of quesadillas—you know, the melty, crispy stuff that sticks to the pan?

I'm betting it's not just me.

Those cheese drips were the inspiration for these squares of waffled cheese, which are breaded and "fried" in a waffle iron for just a minute until their outsides turn golden brown and crunchy and their insides become molten and gooey.

The waffle iron is the right tool for the job here, better than any frying pan. Its direct, two-directional heat crisps the breading without the need to flip. And those indentations the waffle iron creates? Those will hold salsa nicely, thank you.

(Not that you need salsa to enjoy these. I can personally attest to the fact that they go down just fine on their own.)

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I used a low-moisture mozzarella, but any good melting cheeses could be substituted as long as you avoid cheese that is too wet (think: fresh mozzarella), or dry cheeses that are meant for grating (think: Parmesan). Go along the lines of a provolone, fontina, Jack, cheddar, or a queso chihuahua.

You could even line up a variety and do a waffled cheese flight.