Fiesta Quesadillas with Simple Salsa and Holy Guacamole

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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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

Simple Salsa:

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

Holy Guacamole:

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

Baby Bam:

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and ingredients and serve immediately with about 2 tablespoons of Simple Salsa and a dollop of Holy Guacamole.
  4. Be careful flipping your hot quesadilla and cutting the hot tortilla; hot cheese can stick!

Simple Salsa:

  1. 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.
  2. Let rest for at least 30 minutes before serving; this will allow the flavors to blend.

Holy Guacamole:

  1. 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.

Baby Bam:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir well to combine, using a wooden spoon.
  2. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  3. Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, originally appearing in Emeril's There's a Chef in My Soup, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2002