Believe it or not, I don’t like meat in my quesadillas. No chicken. No beef. Just cheese. Ooey, gooey, stringy cheese. Quesadillas are the perfect anytime snack. Heck, you can even make it a meal. They’re definitely perfect for game day, like today. I like a combination of different cheeses in mine – extra sharp cheddar for some bite, mozzarella for that smooth taste and cheesy stringiness (see above), and habanero cheese, for that essential kick in the taste buds.
Before I go forward, I need to write some more about Cabot’s Hot Habanero Cheddar Cheese, my new-found love. I came across it in the imported cheese section of my local supermarket, while I was searching for Cabot’s Chipotle Cheddar. The chipotle cheese was nowhere to be found, and I stood there for a moment, contemplating if I was bold enough to give the habanero cheese a try. I decided to buy it.
Later that evening, I cracked open a bottle of wine (Cannonball, the hubby’s favorite), and placed a few slices of cheese onto a plate. Immediately after my first bite, my tongue was on fire. I felt an insane amount of heat permeating my taste buds. My eyes watered a bit. I drank a sip of wine and waited for the heat to die down. Then, I went back for more cheese. I was obviously insane. This cheese brought a five alarm fire to my mouth, yet I wanted more. I was hooked.
Cabot’s Hot Habanero Cheddar is now a regular in my fridge. I shred a little to top my mac and cheese, slice it for my burgers, and pair it with crackers for a simple snack. Yum.
Back the quesadilla. Even though my sister isn’t a fan of habanero cheese (or anything too spicy, for that matter), this recipe is for her. As a kid, my sister ate two things: pizza and quesadillas. When we had a family night out, if one of these two things was on the restaurant menu, she’d order it. If it wasn’t – watch out! So, Arelis, lover of ooey, gooey, cheesy quesadillas, this one’s for you!
Ooey, Gooey, Cheesy Quesadillas
The Butcher’s Daughter original recipe
What You’ll Need:
For the quesadillas:
5 large flour tortillas (preferably Mission brand)
1 cup shredded extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ habanero cheese (preferably Cabot brand)
pico de gallo (optional)
For the sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
6 slices jalapeño, minced (the kind in the jar)
10 teaspoons jalapeño juice (from the jar of jalapenos)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt
First, make the sauce. Combine all the ingredients and mix well. If making the sauce ahead of time, be sure to refrigerate.
Before you assemble the quesadillas, heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium high heat. I prefer my Cusinart Grill Pan, because it gives the quesadillas nice grill marks. If you don’t have a grill pan, a large skillet will work just fine.
Combine all the cheeses into a bowl. Spread some of the sauce onto a flour tortilla. Make sure to keep it within about an inch of the edge of the tortilla. You don’t want the sauce to ooze out when your press down on your quesadillas. On one side of the tortilla, sprinkle some of your cheese blend. Make sure it’s spread out evenly. You want each bite to be filled with some cheesy goodness. Fold the tortilla over. Place the quesadilla on the grill pan (or skillet, if that’s what you’re using) and let sit for 3 to 4 minutes before flipping. When you flip over the quesadilla, press on it lightly with a spatula to ensure the cheese “glues” the tortilla shell in place. While the quesadilla is achieving that spectacular level of cheesiness, assemble the remainder of your quesadillas.
Once all the quesadillas are cooked, allow to cool for about one minute before cutting into triangles. Serve with the remainder of the sauce on the side and some pico de gallo (optional). Enjoy!