Cooking meat, cheeses inside tortilla creates inside-out pizza


Don't be fooled by the long name. It's the most difficult part of this recipe. Quesadillas, pronounced kay-sa-DEE-yahs, are a kind of Tex-Mex grilled sandwich made with flour tortillas and usually filled with slightly spicy things. Since some kids don't like spicy food, we make ours with pizza fixings so everyone is sure to like them. Because the ingredients are inside instead of on top, we call them inside-out pizzas.

Making these pizzas requires no fancy kitchen tricks. Even the youngest school-age child can make them with little or no assistance. The only difficult part may be in cooking them on a stove. But young children and those who are not tall enough to reach that high can make their inside-out pizzas in the microwave. Use your imagination and any fixings you have on hand to create your own inside-out pizzas.

A word of caution for all chefs: Don't be tempted to climb up on a chair or stool if you can't reach the stove. A chef could lose his or her balance that way and topple onto a hot burner.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Do ahead: Set out all ingredients and equipment so you're sure you have everything you need to make this recipe.

You'll need:

wax paper

a 10-inche frying pan

a sharp knife

a set of measuring spoons

a set of measuring cups

Inside-out pizzas

Makes five pizzas.

10 6-inch tortillas (found in the cheese or deli-meat section of the grocery store)

1/2 pound thinly sliced smoked turkey

1 8-ounce bag grated low-fat Cheddar cheese

1 8-ounce bag grated low-fat mozzarella cheese

3 medium tomatoes, sliced

1 jar of your favorite pizza or spaghetti sauce

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Spread out 5 tortillas on a large sheet of wax paper. Sprinkle with a small handful of both kinds of cheese (about 1/4 cup total). Cover with 2 slices of turkey. Top with slices of tomato, then cover with 1 tablespoon of sauce. Sprinkle another handful of both kinds of cheese and cover with another tortilla.

2. Put the frying pan on a front burner that's set on low heat. (If there are toddlers around, use a back burner and have an adult help you reach it.) Add a teaspoon of oil and spread it around the bottom of the pan. Using 2 hands to keep the tortilla sandwich together, gently set one pizza in the pan. Cook 2 minutes or until little brown spots appear on the bottom tortilla. Use a spatula to flip the pizza and cook another 2 minutes. Remove to a plate. Repeat until you've made all the pizzas. Cut into quarters and serve.

This recipe makes 5 inside-out pizzas.

Tips: To make these in the microwave, assemble them and place one pizza on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute or until cheese has melted and tortillas stick together. Cut and serve. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

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