TOTAL TIME: 40 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 20 min
 
YIELD: 4 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

SIMPLE SALSA:
    • 8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
    • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 4 ounces)
    • 1 cup grated Cheddar (about 4 ounces)
    • 4 teaspoons finely chopped yellow onion
    • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
    • Simple Salsa, recipe follows
    • Holy Guacamole, recipe follows
      • HOLY GUACAMOLE:
            BABY BAM:
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                Directions

                Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, originally appearing in Emeril's There's a Chef in My Soup, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2002

                3 tablespoons paprika
                2 tablespoons salt
                2 tablespoons dried parsley
                2 teaspoons onion powder
                2 teaspoons garlic powder
                1 teaspoon ground black pepper
                1 teaspoon dried oregano
                1 teaspoon dried basil
                1 teaspoon dried thyme
                1/2 teaspoon celery salt

                Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir well to combine, using a wooden spoon.

                Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

                Yield: about 3/4 cup

                1 avocado, peeled, halved, and seeded
                1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
                1 tablespoon minced yellow onion
                1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
                1/4 teaspoon Baby Bam, recipe follows
                1/4 teaspoon salt
                1/4 teaspoon Emeril's Green Pepper Sauce or other hot-pepper sauce

                Place an avocado half on a cutting board, flat side down. Cut into sixths lengthwise, then chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Place the pieces in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mash with the back of a fork until mostly smooth. Stir to evenly distribute ingredients. Serve immediately or store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

                Yield: 1/2 to 1 cup

                Place 1 tortilla on a flat work surface, cover it evenly with 1/4 cup of each of the cheeses, and top with 1 teaspoon of the chopped onion. Cover with the second tortilla and rub 1/2 teaspoon of the oil onto the top tortilla. Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas; you will have 4 stuffed tortilla "sandwiches" in all.

                Heat a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining oil to the pan and use a large turner to carefully transfer 1 of the stuffed tortillas to the hot pan, ungreased side down. Cook until the bottom is just golden and the cheese is starting to melt, about 2 to 3 minutes. Gently turn with the turner and cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until golden brown on the second side. Using the turner, remove the quesadilla from the pan, place on a cutting board, and slice with a pizza cutter or sharp knife.

                Repeat with the remaining tortillas and ingredients and serve immediately with about 2 tablespoons of Simple Salsa and a dollop of Holy Guacamole.

                Be careful flipping your hot quesadilla and cutting the hot tortilla; hot cheese can stick!

                2 medium tomatoes, halved and seeded
                1/2 teaspoon salt
                1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
                1 tablespoon minced yellow onion
                1 tablespoon minced green bell pepper
                1 tablespoon lime juice
                1/4 teaspoon Emeril's Green Pepper Sauce or other hot pepper sauce

                Place the tomato halves on a cutting board and slice into quarters. Working over a mixing bowl, squeeze each piece in your hands to remove the seeds. Discard the seeds, then chop into 1/2-inch chunks. Place the tomato pieces in a serving bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well with a fork or spoon.

                Let rest for at least 30 minutes before serving; this will allow the flavors to blend.

                Yield: about 1 cup

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