Introduction: Breakfast Quesadillas
This simple egg quesadilla, which will henceforth be referred to as an "eggadilla," has long been one of my very favorite breakfasts and late night snacks. I was first introduced to this particularly divine egg and cheese delivery system by my best friend's mother in Elementary school, and it has remained a staple of my cooking repertoire ever since. Adding eggs to quesadillas is by no means a novel idea, but it is the particular method of fusing egg and tortilla that I believe makes this variation special and also extremely easy.
The eggadilla, like an omelette, is not a recipe to follow to the letter, it is a vehicle of the creation of an infinite variety of unique amazing breakfasts with all sorts of ingredients. A vehicle that will deliver delicious melted cheese and perfectly cooked egg to your mouth in a new and wonderful way. An eggadilla can take on almost any flavor profile. I have made Italian style eggadillas, Moroccan influenced eggadillas, eggadillas with a French flare and a lot of eggadillas that deliciously repurposed the leftovers from last night's dinner. It is one of those guilty pleasure cooking tricks that is so easy and so good, it feels like cheating... delicious cheesy cheating.
In the words of Ron Swanson, "There has never been a sadness that cannot be cured by breakfast food".
When I'm eating an eggadilla, I know this to be true.
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
Like most foods that are simple to prepare, the quality of an eggadilla is really determined by the quality of the ingredients, so I always try to make sure every component is fresh and delicious. For this Instructable I created a version with a very Mexican influenced set of ingredients because that is the most obvious version, and also probably my favorite. The three basic components of any eggadilla are tortillas, eggs and cheese (of course, you could make one without the cheese, but why??). What other ingredients you choose to add are up to you. I definitely recommend including some kind of sauce or spread like the salsa I've used here. Adding a meat like ham or bacon is also delicious, or you could include some vegetables like fresh tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms or kale. The options are endless, but if you want to make the version pictured here, use these ingredients:
- Small corn and wheat tortillas - I think the quality of the tortilla is especially important. I love these local tortillas that are a combination of corn and wheat which gives them a nice corn flavor, but a slightly chewier texture and more structural integrity than just corn. If you want to make bigger eggadillas you can use larger flour tortillas and coat them with more than one egg.
- Eggs - 1 per eggadilla for small eggadillas, 2 per eggadilla for larger ones
- Cheese - I used both a sharp white cheddar and a pepper jack here, but you could use any cheese you like
- Salsa - I used a fresh roasted tomatillo salsa
- Fresh cilantro
- Oil, salt and pepper
Step 2: Egg the Tortilla
I have never actually seen anyone else use this little egg trick, though I'm sure it's not unique. It's easy to do and there's something very satisfying about it.
Place a frying pan on the stovetop over medium/high heat (I prefer to use a cast iron). Add some oil or butter to the pan and wait for it to get hot.
Crack an egg onto the pan. If the pan is hot enough, it should sizzle quite a bit and stay fairly contained. Sprinkle some salt and pepper onto the the egg.
Before the egg has a chance to cook too much, take one of your tortillas and place it gently over the egg, pressing it down slightly so the egg and the tortilla stick together. At this point you can choose to press down enough to break the yolk or not. I usually like my yolk broken in this context because it makes the whole thing a bit less messy and lets it cook more evenly. Some egg will probably spread out beyond the borders of the tortilla as you press down, that's ok.
Now leave your egg to cook for about a minute under the tortilla, then take a spatula and carefully unstick the egg from the pan. If the egg still seems like it its insides are uncooked an sliding around on the tortilla, let it cook a bit longer, otherwise, flip the whole thing over so the tortilla side is down. Now use your spatula to flip any escaped bits of egg back onto the tortilla.
Step 3: Add the Fillings
Now add the cheese and any other fillings you've decided to use. I made a few different versions with these ingredients, but I think my favorite had ham, cheese, salsa and cilantro inside and avocado as a garnish.
Step 4: Top and Flip
Now top your pile of deliciousness with a second tortilla, pressing down on it slightly to squish the whole thing together.
use your spatula to take a peek at the underside of your bottom tortilla to make sure it's getting brown and crispy, but not burned. If it seems crispy enough, use your spatula to flip the whole thing over. You may want to use your other hand to make sure all the layers it stay together as you flip.
Now leave it on in the pan for about a minute until the second side is nice and crispy.
Step 5: Cool and Cut
When your eggadilla is done, take it off the pan, and set it somewhere to cool for a minute before cutting it in half... If you try to cut it too soon you will just smoosh it and get melty cheese everywhere.
Step 6: Garnish and Serve
Finally you can garnish your creation with salsa, sour cream, avocado, or something else that will add a nice cooling contrast to the heat of the eggadilla. Alternately you could serve the sauce on the side for dipping.
Now experience the incomparable bliss that comes with the consumption of the perfect breakfast food.
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