Melted cheese: A treat for kids and grownups alike - GulfToday

Melted cheese: A treat for kids and grownups alike

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Goat cheese corn tortilla quesadillas with grilled onions and asparagus. TNS

JeanMarie Brownson

By the time these recipes are published, I will have a granddaughter — my first. I do not feel old enough to be anybody’s grandmother, but I am thrilled to welcome a new child into our lives.

Another mouth to feed. I can’t wait.

Melty cheese of any kind always makes me think of my own children as young ones. Our cast-iron griddle spent a dozen years on the stove waiting for the day’s quesadilla orders.

My son preferred simple renditions of white cheese and flour tortillas, while my daughter liked more complex combinations of tangy goat cheese and soft vegetables. No matter their age, the children in our house never tired of the warm, handheld goodness.

As they grew up, we added mild guacamole and salsas for dunking.

Later, roasted vegetables and shrimp got tucked into the quesadillas. As my prowess in Mexican cooking expanded, so did our quesadilla concoctions.

At home, I played around with the cheese for a quick version of provoleta using unsmoked domestic and imported provolone.

The ticket to success: the thickness of the cheese. Look for chunks that are between 3/4- and 1-inch thick, so it browns and melts at the same time.

 

CARAMELIZED ONION, ASPARAGUS AND GOAT CHEESE QUESADILLAS

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Makes: 2 quesadillas

I also like this with the creamy soft-ripened cow’s milk cheese from Dorothy’s Creamery in Lena, Ill. Brie or camembert work well too.

2 teaspoons expeller-pressed canola, safflower or sunflower oil

1/2 small yellow onion, very thinly sliced

4 asparagus spears, chopped

Salt to taste

2 very fresh corn tortillas, about 6 inches in diameter

3 to 4 ounces crumbled soft goat cheese

Chopped fresh cilantro

Roasted tomato salsa

1. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil and the onion. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft and caramelized, 6 to 8 minutes. Add asparagus; cook and stir until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Season with salt. Transfer to a plate.

2. Heat a nonstick or well-seasoned griddle over medium heat until a drop of water evaporates on contact. Add remaining 1 teaspoon of oil and add tortillas.

Turn once to coat tortillas with oil. Heat until softened, about 30 seconds. Immediately top half of each tortilla with half of the onion mixture and half of the crumbled cheese.

Fold tortillas in half to enclose the filling. Press with a flexible spatula to compact everything. Cook until tortillas crisp a bit; flip to crisp the other side, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Serve hot sprinkled with cilantro. Pass the salsa.

Nutrition information per serving: 231 calories, 16 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 53 mg cholesterol, 15 g carbohydrates, 1 g sugar, 9 g protein, 209 mg sodium, 3 g fiber

Tribune News Service