Napoleon Dynamite was a film that ran in my house for some time… My son loved it, and has probably seen it 6 dozen times. No, we don’t have network television, but we get our fair share of idiot box in just the same. One of my favorite scenes was when Napoleon’s grandma yells at him from the other side of the house, something to the effect of, “Jeez, get off it Napolean, go make yerself a dang kay-sadilla!”
I just love that.
First of all, the dilla is worth it’s weight in gold.
And second, it is one of my favorite quickie snacks… Below is my recipe. Bet you dig em!
(from here on out, we will refer to the Quesadilla as a Dang kay-sadilla, and tortillas as dang tortillas… just cuz you can’t grace one without gracing the other with our semantically delightful pronunciation)
(please excuse my lack of measurements, the dang tortilla will guide you, and you will want a couple
DANG FLOUR TORTILLAS*
CHEESE(cheddar or Monterey Jack)
SCALLIONS (one or two)
*(white flour tortillas can be found in the dairy section of your grocer, and whole wheat tortillas are usually in the frozen bread section of your health food store)
Begin by shredding yourself a nice pile of cheese, then chop some scallions in rather small rounds, tomatoes can be sliced thin, or diced small.
set yourself up a station on the counter for ease.
On half of the dang tortilla, spread your tomato, not too much, just enough to dampen it and add some flavor to the whole. Too much, and you will lose some of the delicate flavor.
(I would say for the dang 8 inch tortillas, two thin-ish slices chopped and scattered on half will suffice)
Then sprinkle some cheese… on the same side as the tomatoes. Be sure to keep about an inch of distance between the edge of the cheese and the edge of the dang tortilla.
Atop that, sprinkle a gentle amount of scallions. Just enough to add a little zing, and not enough to overpower the dang kay-sadilla with onion-y freshness. Then fold the dang kay-sadilla in half and set it aside.
Once you have made a couple of them, fire up your pan.
The key to success is in the frying… You must use butter, and be liberal for extra crunchy goodness.
You can put just about anything inside the dang kay-sadilla, but it will not know justice if dry pan fried, or tossed in a panini maker or your George Foreman…
So, to that end, toss a nice sized pat of butter into the pan, and listen till it sizzles.
Don’t let it burn, but have your pan just hot enough to sizzle.
Gently lay the dang kay-sadilla into the pan tomato side down, and pay attention.
It does not take long to melt the cheese and brown the dang tortilla. Flip it when one side is brown and crunchy looking, but not golden. If it is still golden, it will not be crunchy, and lord knows we can’t have any dang limp kay-sadillas!
Once the other side has browned as well, you have a host of options.
My son likes:
sour cream, salsa, sliced avocado & taco meat. And he rather likes the taco meat inside the dang kay-sadilla.
sour cream, salsa & sliced avocado
I prefer to top mine, it really allows for the flavors to remain separate. Since I am one of the most particular eaters around… you must understand my reasoning.
I have stuck with the tried and true simple fillings for just that reason.
You cannot go wrong with this medley of flavor.
Go make yerself a dang kay-sadilla!
I am a firm believer in cast iron.
You can do this in a teflon pan, but be sure you do not live with any birds, lest you heat the pan with nothing in it… (more on that another time). Cast iron heats up very well, holds its heat evenly, and is as nonstick as any non-stick pan I ever used. If you have a 10 incher, or even an 8 incher (you will see a number on your handle, that is inch size) You will be able to fry up two of the dang things at once.
I highly suggest a sizable pan if you are cooking for more than yourself, because they will be lining up for seconds before you can make one for yerself.
***And another thing. If you make more than you can eat, you can surely re-heat them in a toaster oven. They will be okay, but not the same. The scallions don’t do so well with a second re-heat and lose their freshness, and the tomato does a little of the same.
It makes more sense to store the assembled ones and cook them fresh when you are ready to eat them. If you really want to go there, we can talk about how to make a tomato mealy… By storing them in the refrigerator.