Introduction: Spicy Spinach Quesadilla
This is my recipe for nuclear hot quesadillas!
Spicy quesadillas are an excellent quick cheap meal that make an excellent lunch or snack, and are great for when you don't really feel like cooking anything big.
Keep in mind these are meant to be super spicy, and you may well regret eating them right before bed once morning rolls around. I learned this the hard way.
Step 1: Assemble Your Ingredients and Tools
You will need:
- Mission spinach wraps (or your choice of tortilla and leaf spinach)
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Spicy Habanero Jack cheese (I used Tillamook brand, but you can use any pepper jack, as long as it's hot!)
- Hot Sauce (I went for Tapatio, because it has a good amount of heat and a great flavor with cheese)
- A sharp knife or cheese grater, keeping in mind a cheese grater takes longer to clean out.
- A large nonstick pan (using a pan slightly smaller than the tortilla is wide helps to keep the cheese contained when it melts)
- Any stovetop, mine is an old electric one.
- A cutting board.
- Optional tools are a pizza cutter and a fork, but for me they just feel like extra cleanup later.
Step 2: Prep Your Cheese and Start the Stove
Note: If you're using a gas cooktop, you will want to start the stove a lot lower than I do here, or wait until you've prepped your cheese in order to avoid burning the tortilla.
This is the most work you'll do for the whole meal. Simply slice up your cheese as thin as you like while your pan heats up with the first tortilla on it.
Please use your best judgement on how fast this thing will heat up. We want it warm when you lay down the first layer of cheese, not ready to burn, as we will be allowing the cheese to melt a bit before flipping the quesadilla.
Step 3: Lay Down Your Cheese, Pepper Flakes, and Hot Sauce
In your warm tortilla, arrange the cheese in a nice flat layer. Don't worry too much about any little gaps, as the cheese will be melting and filling them in later.
Next, lay down your pepper flakes and hot sauce in whatever order and amount you'd like. I like mine very hot, so I tend to use quite a bit of each. Try to avoid piles of flakes or pools of sauce though, as either will make for a particularly brutal bite later on.
Step 4: Cover With Another Tortilla and Cook at Medium Heat.
Now, whether you're on a gas stove or an electric one, you should be cooking at about a medium heat, poking at it every so often to check the softness of the cheese.
Once the cheese starts feeling good and melted, check whether it's ready to flip by gently lifting the top tortilla a bit. The pan being slightly smaller than the tortilla allows you to use your fingers just fine, but you can use a fork to get a corner up to begin with.
If the cheese isn't sticking to both tortillas, close it back up, give it a gentle press to squish the cheese a bit, and wait about another minute or so before checking again.
When the cheese starts sticking to both sides, it's ready to flip!
Step 5: Flip It, Cut It, and Eat It!
At this point, you'll flip the whole quesadilla in the pan and give it another minute or so to melt further and heat the top (now bottom) tortilla.
When you're satisfied with the consistency of the cheese, which should be pretty molten at this point, flip the quesadilla onto a plate or paper towel on your cutting board. I usually spring for the latter for the sake of easy cleanup.
Cut your quesadilla into your preferred portions. I like to quarter mine if I'm eating them myself, but if I'm sharing I'll likely make it eighths.
If you used the cutting board method, transfer the quesadilla onto a plate, if you cut it on the plate, then just dig right in!