Quesadilla Cooking Tips from Chef Aarón Sánchez

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Quesadillas were one of the very first things that my mom taught me how to make for myself, so I could have one (or two) as an afternoon snack when I got home from school. This was back in the days when she had her restaurant in New York, Zarela’s, so she was a busy lady! I remember, I was about 7 or 8 years old and she took me through all the steps: heating up the comal, melting a little butter, putting down the tortilla and then adding in the filling, which when I first started was just cheese, and then adding a second tortilla on top and flipping it over, just once, to get both sides a little crispy. Oh, the good old days!

Quesadillas have become a staple, not only for afternoon snacks (which I still do, for my son); now there are breakfast quesadillas, dinner quesadilla, quesadillas for parties, the list goes on and on! Here are a few of my tips and tricks for the perfect quesadilla.

  • Instead of using butter, add grated Cacique® Cotija cheese to the bottom of your pan before laying down the first tortilla, this way you get a beautiful, crispy crust that gives the quesadilla great texture.
  • Don’t forget the garnish. Crema Mexicana, tomatoes, cilantro, the possibilities are endless. Mix in a little chipotle with Cacique’s Crema Mexicana for a great topping!
  • Don’t crank up the heat too high. It’s best to cook a quesadilla over medium heat, as opposed to high. I know you want to get all of that gooey cheesy goodness in your belly quickly, but cooking over medium heat will melt all the cheese filling, without burning the tortillas.

I love to experiment with quesadilla fillings. Mushrooms, tomatoes and peppers are pretty common additions. I really like including huitlacoche, squash blossoms and pumpkin puree. Another classic is roasted poblanos and onions. Check out http://caciquedillaclub.com for more filling ideas and recipes that you can try at home! I still love the classic cheese quesadilla, especially with the Cacique® Four Cheese Blend, it’s my son’s favorite too!

Cotija Crusted Quesadilla-v

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