One irony about cooking is that it's often the simplest dishes, the ones that seem un-screw-up-able, that you are most likely to -- wait for it -- screw up. Maybe it's overconfidence, or maybe it's that simplicity does not always equal lack of difficulty. Or maybe it was a combination of the two that led to last night's Quesadilla Fail.
A quesadilla seems like a no-brainer, right? But I made two fatal errors, both intended as concessions to "health-consciousness": (1) using whole-wheat tortillas; and (2) using the toaster oven instead of frying in a generously buttery saucepan. The result was a goopy, curdly mess inside (I had included some leftover pork and beans, which did not help the aesthetics) and resembled leather in both appearance and taste outside; in short, it did not deserve to be called the Q-word.
So tonight, I was taking no chances. I vowed that my next quesadilla would be the ultimate quesadilla.
First I covered a big white-flour tortilla with thin-sliced cheddar. You want to leave a margin around the outside of your fillings (proportionally, think the width of a pizza crust in relation to the toppings) so the filling won't all ooze out when you cut it, and it won't be unwieldy to handle.