Deceptively moreish, this is a Mexican classic full of flavour but really simple to make and even easier to devour. They are also really versatile and, as long as there is cheese in there (which is the origin of the dish, just cheese and a tortilla) you can pretty much do what you like. Beans or tofu instead of chicken – Sure. Throw in some other veggies – why not – Ground beef, pulled pork, sweetcorn, peppers… this can take it all.
- 8 large Mexican tortillas, preferably corn (flour ones with work too)
- 200g mozzarella, grated
- 200g Cheddar cheese or similar hard cheese grated
- 350g cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
- 8 medium sized ripe tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
- 8 spring onions, chopped
- 1 small bunch coriander, chopped
- 16 slices of jalapeno chilli from a jar (optional, or served separately for those who like the heat and tang they give. If you're feeling brave, for fresh ones)
- 1 small pot of sour cream
- Brush a frying pan with a little olive oil and heat on the hob over a medium heat. It helps if you have two pans to speed up the process but it isn't a requirement.
- Mix the two cheeses together as evenly as possible.
- Lay a tortilla out flat on a chopping board. Spread 1/8th of the cheese mixture on the tortilla. Scatter the chicken, tomato, spring onion and chopped coriander evenly over the cheese so each ingredient is spread around the tortilla. Leave about a centimetre around the edge to allow for melting ooziness. If using, chop up four of the jalapeno slices and dot around the tortilla so it is evenly spread. Take a second tortilla and spread the sour cream lightly over it. Lay the tortilla spread with sour cream cream-side down on the cheesy tortilla. Repeat this process for each of the tortillas so you end up with four tortilla 'sandwiches'.
- Slide the first tortilla into the medium hot frying pan and cook for a few minutes until the bottom is starting to brown. I like it with a little char so it may take five minutes or a hotter pan, otherwise it will only take 3 or 4 minutes. Once the cheese is melting, flip the tortilla carefully and cook the other side until crisp and coloured, somewhere between 3 and 5 minutes.
- Slide each cooked quesadilla onto a chopping board and cut into wedges and serve immediately. If you have two pans on the go as suggested above it will speed up the serving process as these are best eaten while the cheese is all gooey.
- Serve cut into quarters (and here a very sharp knife is necessary to cut without overly squeezing the cheese out of the edges) with guacamole, any salsa you fancy, and a wedge of lime and more sour cream.
Wine: The fruitiness of a zinfandel, grenache or Chilean carmenère would all be amazing here – just steer clear of the big bruising styles and go for something relatively bright and juicy. A zingy white (think fruity sauvignon blanc) or craft beer make a refreshing match to cut through the unctuous cheese.