We love quesadilla at home. My daughters, especially. We like the tortillas crispy and the cheese melted and gooey. I’ve tried a couple of techniques to achieve that oh-so-perfect texture. One is to fill and fold the tortillas, arrange them on a baking tray and put the tray in a hot oven. The problem with this technique is that the folded tortillas have a tendency to open and unfold while inside the oven. Besides, preheating the oven takes so much longer than the time the tortillas need to turn crisp and for the cheese to melt.
So, I switched to a second technique. I’d heat a tortilla in a frying pan, spread the filling on it, place another tortilla on top, then flip everything to heat the top tortilla until as crisp as the bottom piece. Flipping might sound simple but preventing the small pieces of vegetables from falling out during the process requires a lot of luck. Not good, is it, to rely on luck. So, I now use a third technique. I call it the plate technique.
Spread the filling on one side of a tortilla, fold and place on a hot frying pan. No oil needed if you’re using a non-stick pan. Depending on the size of the tortilla and the pan, you can cook as many pieces that will fit in the pan.
When the tortillas are all neatly lined up, place a heavy plate on top. The plate will make sure that the tortillas do not unfold. Cook for a minute or two over medium heat.
Flip the tortillas over. See how nicely browned they are? No need to worry about any of the filling falling out either because the melted cheese would have bound everything together.
After flipping, weigh down with the plate again and cook for another minute or so.
And you have beautifully browned, wonderfully crisp tortillas with soft melted cheese inside. Perfect quesadillas!