Quesadillas

I have been won over to the way of the wrap generally, but I insist this is the best use of the tortilla ever. I came across it first in Miami, in the Raleigh Hotel in South Beach to be precise. The restaurant there is one of my favorites: it nestles in a ludicrously beautiful garden, hung with shimmering lights, and the food is so good that when I'm in Miami I don't dare eat anywhere else. The Raleigh's Morning Quesadilla is a tortilla wrap, folded around avocado and scrambled egg and grilled and shouldn't by rights be as good as it is. You can do a version of it, should you have any leftover Mexican scrambled eggs, but I find whenever I put avocado in, it squelches out before I get the wrap to my mouth. These cheese and ham babies are very good to offer alongside the cool ceviche, but I often make them for supper. They're that good - and that easy. I give quantities for each round soft flour tortilla; each quesadilla makes three little triangles and it's really up to you how many of them to eat. I wouldn't presume.

Photo: Quesadillas

TOTAL TIME: 15 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: --
 
YIELD: 1 quesadilla
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

FOR EACH FLOUR TORTILLA WRAP:
  • Soft flour tortilla
  • 1-ounce thinly sliced cured ham
  • 3 coin-sliced slices pickled green jalapeno peppers from a jar, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • 1 scallion, finely sliced
  • Few fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (not extra-virgin)
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Directions

For service: good store-bought salsa of your choice

Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat.

Place the tortilla wrap on the counter in front of you and cover with the ham.

Over 1/2 only, sprinkle the chopped pickled jalapeno, the grated cheese and the chopped scallion. Scatter over the cilantro leaves.

Carefully fold the tortilla wrap in half, that's to say, fold the untopped half over the cheese so you have a fat half moon.

Lift this is up carefully and brush each side with the oil before putting it on the hot griddle; grill for a minute each side.

Using a steady hand and a wide fine spatula or fish slice, transfer the tortilla to a board or plate and cut into 3 triangles. Eat with some salsa on the side. And please feel free to play with the fillings as you wish.

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