Quesadillas can be as fancy as you want them to be, but the simplest are often the best. For me, nothing beats two toasted flour tortillas sandwiching a filling of melted cheese and a little bowl of salsa on the side for occasional dipping.
Mild asadero, a Mexican cow's milk cheese, is a great melter and would make for a good filling. If you want more of a flavor zap, consider a fine Wisconsin cheddar or even a French mimolette.
You also can microwave the quesadillas: Cook on high until the cheese melts. To the filling, consider adding chiles, ham, bacon, leftover grilled chicken.
Bill Daley writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis. Cheese Quesadillas
Serves 4 -- Total time: 14 minutes
1 clove garlic, smashed
8 small flour tortillas
12 ounces Mexican or cheddar cheese, crumbled or grated
1 cup chopped cooked chicken or steak (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
chopped cilantro (optional)
Rub garlic on both sides of the tortillas. Evenly sprinkle grated cheese over 4 of the tortillas. Top evenly with chicken, if using. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Place the remaining tortillas on top of the filling; press down lightly.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tortillas; cook, turning once, in batches if necessary, until tortillas turn light brown and cheese melts, about 2 minutes per side. Slice in wedges to serve. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.
Per serving: 679 calories, 39 grams fat, 20 grams saturated fat, 89 milligrams cholesterol, 52 grams carbohydrate, 29 grams protein, 1,297 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber