Grilled Eggplant and Red Bell Pepper Quesadilla with Fresh Mozzarella, Olives and Basil

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

 

 

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Quesadillas.  Who doesn’t love them?  You can put any old thing in there to suit your tastes or empty your fridge of perishables on the verge of perishing.  That is what I did here.  I had some sad eggplants & a sad red bell pepper.  So – I grilled those bad boys up & – if I’d had guests – nobody would have been the wiser.

I like to use these uncooked tortillas.  Not sure why.  They come out the same in the end & I am not one to add work for the sake of work – but these please me.  Use regular ones if you feel like it but definitely try this quesadilla!  I was surprised at how substantial & delicious it was.  Grilled eggplant is so delightful – I think even eggplant haters might enjoy these guys.

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Grilled Eggplant and Red Bell Pepper Quesadilla with Fresh Mozzarella, Olives and Basil

INGREDIENTS

Tortillas

Fresh mozzarella (or vegan alternative)

Basil

Sliced black olives

Eggplant

Red bell pepper

Italian salad dressing (or just some olive oil)

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I dredge my vegges in Newman’s Own Oil & Vinegar & grill them up.  This can be done on a grill or in a grill pan.  You might even pull it off directly on the burners but it might get messy.  Chop the grill eggplant & red pepper.

If using uncooked tortillas, cook two of them on one side only.  Then Flip one over & stack the contents upon it.  Top it with the other tortilla – cooked side down & top with the lid of a pan.

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Using a spatula, flip the quesadilla & cook it on both sides until it is nicely browned & the cheese is melted.

Divvy it up as if you were gonna share it & then eat the whole Goddamn thing yourself!  I did!  MMMMMMM!

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Sauteed Kale & Mushroom Quesadillas with Horseradish Cream Cheese & Poached Eggs

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Sometimes I feel guilty posting something as a “recipe” when all I am really doing is suggesting a combination of ingredients.  I had:

INGREDIENTS

Tortillas

Kale – chopped into small bits (stems removed first)

Mushrooms – sliced

Cream Cheese

Horseradish

Grated cheese blend (mozzarella & cheddar)

Eggs

Olive oil

I made the thing you see here.

Poaching eggs can be quite a thing.  I have this handy little poacher:

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I boiled the water beneath that the egg cuppy thing.  A sprayed the cuppies with cooking spray.  I added the egg & turned the heat off & covered the pan.  I waited three minutes.  I had poached eggs.  HERE are some more professional suggestions about poaching eggs.

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Sauteed Kale & Mushroom Quesadillas with Horseradish Cream Cheese

DIRECTIONS

Wait to poach your eggs until the quesadilla is nearly done.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the kale & mushrooms & saute over med-high heat until the mushrooms & kale are tender. 5-10 minutes or so.

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Meanwhile – with a fork, mix prepared horseradish – to taste – into a chunk of cream cheese.  Set aside.

When you are ready to eat, heat a clean saute or grill pan over medium heat.  Smear the cream cheese on a tortilla & place it the pan.  Top with kale & mushrooms & grated cheese.  Top with the another tortilla.  Get the water for your poached eggs boiling.

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Press this with the lid of a pan & heat a minute or two (or until it begins to brown), give it a good press with the lid & then carefully flip it.  Press with the lid.

Now poach your eggs in the manner you selected.

When the quesadilla is ready, slice it up & stack it up & top it up with poached eggs.

Pour yourself a mimosa & get your feed on!   Then go HERE on Amazon and buy my book!

HAPPY SUNDAY!

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Fig & Gruyere Quesadilla with Balsamic Glaze & Honey or Fig, Spinach & Whipped Goat Cheese Pizza with Honey

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I can’t resist figs now when I see them at the store.  They are beautiful to look at and so delicate & versatile – I love them.  But they tend to go bad fast so, when I buy them, I end up eating fig everything.  To extend their shelf life, I put them in a Ziplock baggy & put them in a single layer on a shelf in the fridge.  That seemed to add a day or two to their lifespan.

These are not really recipes.  These are really just suggested ways to use figs.

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Fig & Gruyere Quesadilla with Balsamic Glaze & Honey

INGREDIENTS

Flour tortilla

Gruyere cheese – sliced

Figs – sliced

Honey

Balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS

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Bring some balsamic vinegar to a boil & then reduce to a simmer.  In 20 minutes – my 1/4 cup of balsamic reduced to only one or two teaspoons of glaze – so boil down an appropriate quantity.

Layer the cheese & figs on a tortilla, fold it over & grill it on both sides until the cheese melts & the tortilla browns.

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Slice it up & drizzle with honey & the balsamic glaze.  MMMMM!

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Fig, Spinach & Whipped Goat Cheese Pizza with Honey

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (mine is HERE)

Spinach

Figs – sliced

Mozzarella – grated

Goat Cheese

Cream cheese

Olive oil

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DIRECTIONS

To get whipped goat cheese – simple blend goat cheese with some cream cheese at approximately a 2 to 1 ratio, like – 4 ounces goat cheese to 2 ounces cream cheese.  Go heavier with the goat cheese if you want that flavor to be stronger.

Now just roll out your dough, put it on a greased baking sheet and smear some whipped goat cheese on it.  Layer some spinach & drizzle with olive oil.  Add figs & then some grated mozzarella & bake at about 450-500 (be sure the oven is at full temperature before putting pizza in there) for about 12 minutes or until the cheese melts & the crust browns.  Drizzle with honey!

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Squash (Zucchini) Blossom Quesadilla

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I made a trip to the incredible Super King yesterday & now I have more cheese & produce than I know what to do with.  A HUGE shopping cart full of awesomeness for $135.  But I live alone & usually eat alone – so getting through all that before it spoils will be a challenge.  Still – it is worth noting that I bought three bunches of curly kale there for .99 cents.  They cost $2.50 a bunch at Gelson’s.  So – $1 or $7.50?  Which sounds better to you?  Or – those little plastic containers of cherry or grape tomatoes?  Between $5-$7 at Gelson’s – for ONE.  Same thing at Super King?  SEVENTY-NINE CENTS!  So – with just those purchases – I saved at least $10.  At least.  On one package of cherry tomatoes & three bunches of kale.  I saved ten dollars.  I wince to imagine what the contents of my $135 cart would cost at Gelson’s!  I bought a one-pound wedge of Ricotta Salata for about $6.50.   I got that grillable cheese – Halloumi – that I blogged about HERE – see?  YUM!

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Anyway – they had several brands to chose from ranging in price from $3.50 – $9.  Gelson’s has only one kind and I think it costs $11.  So – you get my point.

Yesterday – I was bizarrely pleased to see they had squash (zucchini) blossoms for sale again at $1.49 a bunch.  Bizarrely – because I already posted a fried zucchini blossom recipe last week and, frankly, I don’t know what you can do with them beyond that.

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Still – I bought two bunches.  Then I came up with a few ideas.  Quesadillas!  I have quesadillas on the brain.  And pizza!  Pizza with squash blossoms – coming soon!

So – this is a simple & beautiful quesadilla using fresh squash blossoms.  They are very delicately flavored so I opted for the mild fresh mozzarella cheese rather than the fontina I was considering.  You might want to try a different cheese.  I added tomato for color & jalapeno for color & flavor & this guy was yummy!  I hope you try it!

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Squash (Zucchini) Blossom Quesadilla

INGREDIENTS

1 tortilla

6 or so squash blossoms – stem & pistils removed (the pistil is that little furry candy corn thing growing in the center)

some sliced mozzarella

some diced tomato

some diced jalapeno

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DIRECTIONS

Heat a dry pan or prep a grill pan with cooking spray.  Heat it up.  Assemble your quesadilla.  Cook it on both sides until the cheese is melted & the outside looks browned.

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Eat that delicate motherfucker.  Know satisfaction.

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Chipotle Sweet Potato & Caramelized Onion Quesadilla with Goat Cheese on Homemade Flour Tortillas

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012


Well – now that I know how easy it is to make homemade tortillas – I’ve kinda gotten lazy & have been living on an all-quesadilla-all-the-time diet.  Once you invest in the 5 lb bag of cheese from Smart & Final and the 10 lb bag of flour – all you really need is a bunch of creative details, other ingredients – most of which can be overlapped from one quesadilla adventure to the next.

I will post two more random choices from my quesadilla marathon: a sweet potato & onion one & a simple mozzarella & green chile version.  They are both delicious!  The sweet potato one is stuffed pretty thick & is rather substantial.  Here is the sweet potato one but made with spinach tortillas (which were beginning to stale & get too crumbly):

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PRINT THIS TORTILLA RECIPE

 

FLOUR TORTILLAS

INGREDIENTS

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1-2 tsp salt

5 TBS olive oil

1 – 1 1/2 cups water

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DIRECTIONS

In your food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder & salt until blended.  Add the olive oil & pulse until it is incorporated.  Add water in a slow stream & pulse until it is completely incorporated and the dough has formed a tacky ball & is traveling around the bowl.  You might not need all the water – you might need a bit extra.  If it is too sticky – just add a bit more flour & pulse it around.

Put the dough on a lightly floured surface & roll it around to eliminate any tackiness that remains.  Dived the dough into four balls & then divide each of those four balls into three more balls.  Each ball should be about the size of a golf ball.  Let the dough rest 10 minutes or so.

Roll out each ball as flat & thin as you can – or until they are about 8 inches across.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Do not use any oil or cooking spray.   Leave the pan dry.  Cook each tortilla on each side about 20 seconds or until brown spots begin to appear.  Over cooking will make them crispy so err on the side of under-cooking.

Store under a clean kitchen towel as you cook all 12 tortillas.

Wrap the ones you do not use in a zip-lock bag or tightly in plastic wrap & store on your counter for up as long as they last (3 days or so) before getting stale.

PRINT THIS TORTILLA RECIPE

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PRINT THIS QUESADILLA RECIPE

 

Chipotle Sweet Potato & Caramelized Onion Quesadilla with Goat Cheese on Homemade Flour Tortillas

INGREDIENTS

1 baked sweet potato (pierced with a fork & baked for 45 min at 400 degrees)

2 TBS Adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers (or to taste)

1 inch cube of goat cheese (or to taste)

1 small onion – sliced thick & sauted on olive oil til soft & browning

Grated cheese (cheddar, jack, pepper jack or mozzarella – or a blend)

sliced fresh jalapeno (optional)

1 small can green chiles (optional)

Fresh cilantro

Tortillas

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DIRECTIONS

Mash the baked sweet potato into a creamy texture.  Add adobo sauce to taste.

Saute your onions til they begin to caramelize.  Remove from heat.

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Heat a tortilla in a dry pan over med-high heat.  Layer with sweet potato, goat cheese, grated cheese, sauted onions and jalapeno and/or green chiles (if using) – and maybe some chopped cilantro.  Fold over & place a soup pot or other heavy, heat tolerant item on top your quesadilla.  OR – you can just top the flat tortilla with a second tortilla & continue.  After a minute or so, flip it, put the pan on top of it & cook until your cheese is sufficiently melty.

Cut into slices.  Sprinkle with fresh cilantro.  Serve!

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PRINT THIS QUESADILLA RECIPE

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And just because I have the photos – here is a lighter, easier one.

Cheese Quesadilla with Green Chiles & Cilantro

INGREDIENTS

Tortillas

Cheese

Green Chiles

Cilantro

DIRECTIONS

I think pictures get it all across:

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Serve with pico de gallo!  YUM!

Spinach Pesto Quesadilla with Homemade Spinach Tortillas

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

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Hey!  Have you heard?  I wrote a really funny & dirty novel!  www.BathingBook.com.   Check out the reviews on Amazon!  Why not buy a copy?

vromans front vromans back

I posted a Margarita Pizza Quesadilla recipe with the spinach tortillas earlier this week HERE.  I am posting the tortilla recipe again here but without the photographs.  These tortillas can be made without spinach simply by leaving the spinach out and using 3/4 cup to just over a cup of water.  DELICIOUS!  And easy.  I really recommend trying them.

Anyway – not sure if it is the holidays or the Connecticut tragedy or both plus more – but I really need comfort food these days.  And I haven’t got the energy to get elaborate with the meal.  These quesadillas are a super-fast & easy & yummy & how can you go wrong with melted cheese?

PRINT THIS RECIPE

Spinach Tortillas

INGREDIENTS

2 cups fresh spinach

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1-2 tsp salt

5 TBS olive oil

Water

DIRECTIONS

Steam the spinach in a pan in about a cup of water.  Once wilted, scoop it out with a slotted spoon & cool in in cold water.  RESERVE the hot spinach water.  Squeeze all the water out of the spinach, put the dry ball into a measuring cup & then add the hot spinach water until you have 1 1/2 cups with the ball of spinach in there. (ignore my photo showing 1 cup.  I did end up using 1.5 cups.  If there isn’t enough spinach water – just add more tap water.  Set aside.

In your food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder & salt until blended.  Add the olive oil & pulse until it is incorporated.  Add the spinach & pulse it in & then add the spinach water in a slow stream & pulse until it is completely incorporated and the dough has formed a tacky ball & is traveling around the bowl.  You might not need all the water – you might need a bit extra.  If it is too sticky – just add a bit more flour & pulse it around.

Put the dough on a lightly floured surface & roll it around to eliminate any tackiness that remains.  Dived the dough into four balls & then divide each of those four balls into three more balls.  Each ball should be about the size of a golf ball.  Let the dough rest 10 minutes or so.

Roll out each ball as flat & thin as you can – or until they are about 8 inches across.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Do not use any oil or cooking spray.   Leave the pan dry.  Cook each tortilla on each side about 20 seconds or until brown spots begin to appear.  Over cooking will make them crispy so err on the side of under-cooking.

Store under a clean kitchen towel as you cook all 12 tortillas.

These can be stored at room temperature in a zip-lock bag on your counter for several days.  Rewarm in the oven wrapped in foil or between damp paper towels in the microwave.

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PRINT PESTO RECIPE

SPINACH PESTO

INGREDIENTS

2 packed cups fresh spinach

40 almonds, crushed & toasted for 5 minutes or so

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 cup olive oil

water for added smoothness

DIRECTIONS

Blend all in a food processor.

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SPINACH PESTO QUESADILLAS

Ingredients

Tortillas

Cheese

Spinach pesto

diced jalapeno (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Heat a dry pan.  Place a tortilla in the pan, spread pesto & sprinkle cheese.  I added diced jalapenos.  Fold & heat until cheese melts.  Devour.  ‘Nuff said.

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Margarita Pizza Quesadilla on Homemade Spinach Tortillas (Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

 

LARGE BathingandthesinglegirlOrangeV52

 

My debut novel is out!  Check it out!  I think it is HILARIOUS!  I hope you will, too!

www.BathingBook.com

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Yes – yes, I bought the 3 pound bag of spinach at Costco & now I am making a conspicuous number of things using spinach.  At least spinach is good for you.  Not so much the 5 pound bag of grated pizza cheese I bought at Smart & Final but this recipe puts both items to use so it works for me.

These tortillas are EASY to make – if you own a food processor.  I really suggest you try them at least once – because I think you will have the same sense of pride & achievement I did – making such a simple & basic item but so clean & fresh – it makes a huge difference.

Lots of tortilla recipes I looked at used lard or vegetable shortening.  Not only does that sound gross, I don’t have Crisco in my house which would have meant adding more expense to my already bloated grocery tab – so I substituted olive oil.  It worked out just fine!

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 Spinach Tortillas

INGREDIENTS

2 cups fresh spinach

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1-2 tsp salt

5 TBS olive oil

Water

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DIRECTIONS

Steam the spinach in a pan in about a cup of water.  Once wilted, scoop it out with a slotted spoon & cool in in cold water.  RESERVE the hot spinach water.  Squeeze all the water out of the spinach, put the dry ball into a measuring cup & then add the hot spinach water until you have 1 1/2 cups with the ball of spinach in there. (ignore my photo showing 1 cup.  I did end up using 1.5 cups.  If there isn’t enough spinach water – just add more tap water.  Set aside.

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In your food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder & salt until blended.  Add the olive oil & pulse until it is incorporated.  Add the spinach & pulse it in & then add the spinach water in a slow stream & pulse until it is completely incorporated and the dough has formed a tacky ball & is traveling around the bowl.  You might not need all the water – you might need a bit extra.  If it is too sticky – just add a bit more flour & pulse it around.

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Put the dough on a lightly floured surface & roll it around to eliminate any tackiness that remains.  Dived the dough into four balls & then divide each of those four balls into three more balls.  Each ball should be about the size of a golf ball.  Let the dough rest 10 minutes or so.

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Roll out each ball as flat & thin as you can – or until they are about 8 inches across.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Do not use any oil or cooking spray.   Leave the pan dry.  Cook each tortilla on each side about 20 seconds or until brown spots begin to appear.  Over cooking will make them crispy so err on the side of under-cooking.

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Store under a clean kitchen towel as you cook all 12 tortillas.

These can be stored at room temperature in a zip-lock bag on your counter for several days.  Rewarm in the oven wrapped in foil or between damp paper towels in the microwave.

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Margarita Pizza Quesadillas

INGREDIENTS

Tortillas

tomato

grated mozzarella (or fresh buffalo mozzarella) – or vegan alternative

chopped basil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat a dry skillet.  Put a tortilla in there & let it warm with the pan.  Add cheese, THINLY sliced tomatoes, chopped basil & heat until cheese begins to melt.  Fold the tortilla over & press.  I put a smaller pan on top to increase the heat & to compress the quesadilla – but this is not necessary.  Once your cheese is good & melted – remove the quesadilla from the pan, slice it up & serve!

PRINT THIS RECIPE

 

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