Posts Tagged ‘quesadillas


Cooks Illustrated: American Classics

Or, the Cooks Illustrated Gets Fussy issue. Yes, I know–Cooks Illustrated is always a little fussy. It’s their thing, and I love them for it. But this is serious.

Page 49 is devoted to making the perfect pitcher of iced tea. Page 17 agonizes over the difficulties of the grilled cheese sandwich. I am pleased that quesadillas find a place as an American classic, on page 16. Appropriately, that faces the grilled cheese sandwiches; I made my share of both as a child, and since. Classic beef fajitas, a slightly more complicated preparation, gets two pages. But really, are these things that hard to make?

Maybe they are. The quesadillas article notes that “Some cookbooks suggest passing the tortillas over the flame of a gas burner to lightly char and soften them. This idea worked, but it … demanded close attention to keep the tortillas from going up in flames.” Of course it demands close attention! It takes about 10 seconds–I certainly hope your attention doesn’t wander in that amount of time. And, traditionally, you don’t “pass” them over the flame-you set each one on the burner, turning it with your fingers. Easy. You can turn the flame off while you flip, if you have soft skin–but that pushes the bounds of authenticity.

I also noted that while the quesadillas and beef fajitas write-ups both insist that good flour tortillas are key to the recipe, they say nothing about how to prepare your own.

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