Gooey, spicy quesadillas are an inexpensive, hangover-abating and crowd-pleasing snack. But crispy ones, like the kind you find in bars? They're hard to come by at home.
The key to making them pub-worthy is having an appropriate cheese-to-tortilla ratio, a bit of oil, and high heat. Yes, you can cook them in the oven at 400 degrees, eliminating the oil and replacing it with a double-sided spray of Pam, but the results won't be as good.
And if you're worried about a bit of cheese oozing out, don't: it's the best part.
That under-utilized George Foreman grill works wonders on quesadillas, but because they need to be cooked one at a time, keep them warm and crisp in a 200°F oven, laying finished ones on a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Yield:makes 4
- Active time: 20
- Total time:20
- 4 (10-inch) flour tortillas
- 1 cup grated pepper jack cheese
- 2 Serrano peppers, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup prepared salsa
- 1/2 lime, cut into wedges
Preheat a countertop panini-style grill (like a George Foreman). Alternatively, preheat a large, heavy grill pan over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
Lay tortillas on a flat surface and sprinkle ¼ cup of the cheese on the bottom half of each one, leaving space around the edges. Scatter peppers and cayenne evenly over cheese and fold over to form a half-circle. Cut the folded half in half, and brush both sides of tortillas with oil.
Place on grill one at a time and lightly tamp down lid (if using a countertop grill). Flip and rotate half-way through to achieve hatched, griddled marks (about 2 minutes per side).
Serve immediately with salsa, sour cream and limes for passing.