I don’t know what it is about kids and fries, but if my daughter, Lana, is within sniffing range of a kids menu, chances are she’s got fries on the brain. Since I’m not super comfortable deep-frying at home (a French fry-initiated grease fire nearly burned down the kitchen in my childhood home – who can blame me!?), these quesadilla “fries” make an appearance quite regularly. And who can resist a meal where fries are the main event? Certainly not me!
The technique for these quesadilla fries is nothing new: tortilla, cheese, tortilla, grill. BUT it’s the crispy coating of frico’d Cacique® Cotija on these guys that gives them their sturdy “fry” likeness once they’re cut into thick strips. With a side of cool Crema Mexicana Agria for dipping – and a veritable bounty of equally snacky veggie sticks alongside — this is the kind of recipe that makes eating in feel just a little more like eating out. Now I just need to print up the kids menus…
WHAT YOU NEED
- 2 large 10” flour tortilla
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 2 oz. Cacique® Cotija Cheese, finely grated*
- 2 oz. Cacique® Manchego Cheese, shredded
- 2 oz. Cacique® Oaxaca Cheese, shredded
- Cacique® Crema Mexicana Agria, for serving
- Salsa, for serving
- Carrots, celery + apples, cut into large matchsticks, for serving
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Preheat a large cast iron or nonstick pan over medium heat. Line a large plate with paper towels. Spread ½ Tbsp. butter on one side of each tortilla. Sprinkle Cotija cheese evenly over the top, pressing lightly to adhere.
- To assemble quesadilla, lay one tortilla Cotija-coated side DOWN in the preheated skillet. Carefully and quickly top with the grated cheeses, then place second tortilla Cotija-coated side UP on top.
- Cook until Cotija is deeply browned and shredded cheeses are melted, 3-5 mins. (If Cotija is browning too quickly, reduce heat to low and tent pan loosely with foil.) Carefully flip quesadilla and brown second side. Remove quesadilla to paper towel-lined plate and allow to cool until cheese begins to set. Cut quesadilla in half, and then cut each half crosswise into “fries.”
- Serve “fries” with Crema Mexicana Agria, your favorite salsa + fresh fruit/veggie sticks. Enjoy!
- *NOTE: I find the easiest way to finely grate the Cotija is with a food processor. Just break large chunks of cheese off the wheel, place them in the food processor, and pulse to desired fineness. (Store any leftover grated Cotija in a sealed container in the fridge and use it to top soups, salads, pasta or -- our favorite -- garlic bread.)