I'm a big food person, but I'm also trying to finish graduate school, which means I'm usually both broke and short on time. So to keep myself from growing stale with the same food menu, I try experimenting with new combinations every once in awhile to quickly make delicious items for devouring in a short period of time.
In this Instructable, I'm going to share with you all my recent breakfast concoction, the egg quesadilla. Please feel free to mod it as you like and post any suggested mods you feel others might enjoy or would improve on the current process. For now, let's get started...
Step 1: Ingredients
For this recipe, I've provide an amount of ingredients for two egg quesadillas.
2 - Tortillas
- I like to use the new Mission brand Jalapeno breaded or Sun-dried Tomato breaded torillas. I'm originally from Texas, but haven't found good homemade tortillas in Seattle yet.
1 - Package of shredded Mexican style cheese
- You won't use it all, only 1-2 handfuls for each quesadilla. In this case we're using Tillamook's Mexican style shredded cheese.
4 - Large Eggs
- Remove the egg yolks if you're health conscious and/or substitute another egg white to replace the egg yolks removed.
6 - Strips of Bacon / Turkey Bacon
- You can also replace the meat with other variations (i.e. italian sausage, ground beef, etc.) I have found a lime marinaded ground beef works out really well.
1 - Tablespoon of Butter or Butter Substitute
- We use the butter to grease the surface and add flavor to the tortilla. I didn't say it would be completely healthy. A butter substitute can be used in place of the butter as well (i.e. Pam, cooking spray, etc.)
- I've found combinations of basil, thyme, lemon, chives, and black pepper work really well, but avoid adding too much of each and too many in a combination. I once added chives, basil, lemon, and black pepper in one attempt and it ended up ruining the taste due to all the flavors competing. Thyme, lemon, and black pepper with a lime marinated ground beef turns out great.
Step 2: Scrambling Eggs & Preparing Bacon
To begin, start by frying your bacon in a skillet or cooking pan as you would anytime you cook bacon and to your preference. Some like their bacon crispy while some like their bacon a little soft.
While the bacon is cooking, go ahead and crack your eggs into a bowl for mixing. Mix or scramble them to a fairly homogeneous mixture.
Once the egg mixture is homogeneous and your bacon is cooked, go ahead and chop up the bacon into small, bigger-than-bacon-bite size pieces. Next, mix those pieces with a couple of dashes of your spices in the egg mixture to prep your mixture for cooking in the quesadilla.
Step 3: Prepping Quesadilla Pan and Quesadilla
When making my quesadillas, I like to use a rectangular, gridle-like pan in order to achieve a nice flat, fairly and evenly flat cooking surface for uniformly cooking the tortilla. For the cooking temperature, you will want to shoot for a low to medium temperature in order to heat the tortilla without burning it and thoroughly cook the egg mixture. These are egg quesadillas after all, not Salmonella quesadillas. In my case, my stove is a gas stove and I use a heating level of 3-4 on a scale of (lo-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-hi). You can try adjusting yours to pinpoint a good cooking temperature.
After a few minutes of heating to allow the pan to warm up evenly, I'll place the tortilla on the pan and move it around on the surface to help spread the butter evenly across the surface of the pan and the surface of the torilla. Be careful if you don't use butter, the torilla will cook a lot faster and will even burn where the torilla surface has the best contact with the pan's surface.
Step 4: Adding Cheese
Once you've heated the tortilla on the pan for a minute or two in order to evenly heat the entire tortilla evenly, go ahead and add a handful of shredded cheese to one half of the tortilla surface. Personally, I like to mound the shredded cheese up with a hill-like shape around the edge of the tortilla. Doing this acts as a barrier and helps prevent the egg mixture from quickly spreading out and all over the pan once you pull the tortilla flap over to enclose the egg mixture in the tortilla.
Step 5: Adding the Egg Mixture and Another Handful of Cheese
After adding your initial handful of cheese to the cooking tortilla, carefully pour your egg mixture in the middle-center of the tortilla side with the cheese. Slowly pouring will help ensure the egg mixture doesn't spread out too quickly and all over your pan. Once added, try to spread the meat and egg evenly across the one half of the tortilla with a spatula or cooking utensil of your choice. Some spreading of the mixture to the other side is okay, we're going to fold it over anyway.
Once you've spread the mixture evenly across one half of the tortilla surface, add another handful of cheese on top of the egg mixture side. This will aid in stabilizing the mixture by thickening and entangling the egg further. This also helps us stick the other side of the tortilla to the mixture once we fold the other half of the tortilla over. Let the mixture sits for a minute or two to help melt the cheese and egg together and to allow the egg to cook and slightly start solidifying.
Step 6: Folding Over the Tortilla
After adding your second handful of cheese, go ahead and carefully with a pair of cooking tongs or with a spatula and your kung-fu iron hands bring the non-egg and cheese mixture side flap over and on top of the egg and cheese covered side.
The egg mixture will spread out a little during the cooking of the tortilla and this is okay. When this happens, you can use a spatula to push the escaping egg back into the folded tortilla and along the edges of the quesadilla. (See the second picture for an egg-xample).
Once the escaping egg has been returned to the quesadilla, you will need to let the quesadilla cook for another 1-3 minutes on this side, then flip the quesadilla over to prevent overheating the tortilla surface on the first side. Once flipped over, let the quesadilla cook for another 1-3 minutes. You can flip it more often and in shorter intervals if you'd like, but I've found flipping it once or twice for 1-3 minutes on each side is enough.
The key to knowing when the quesadilla is done, is to touch and lightly push on the middle of the quesadilla with the backside of the spatula. If it feels soft and squishy, you need to cook it longer to ensure you fully cook the egg. If it feels slightly rigid or like a thick cooked pizza breading, you're done.
Step 7: Finishing Touches
Once the quesadilla feels slightly rigid around the core of the quesdilla, you should carefully remove it from the cooking pan (i.e. slide it off onto a plate, with tongs, etc.). Now your ready to start over and make the second quesadilla with the leftover ingredients.
Special & Important Note:After the first quesadilla is complete, I suggest clearing the cooking pan and starting with a fresh layer of butter or butter substitute. You can re-use the cooking pan without cleaning following the completion of the first quesadilla, however be careful as the remnant butter/grease may burn and brown/blacken due to decomposition from heating. Even worse, it will ruin the taste of the tortilla's outside layer.
Once you've completed both your quesadillas (one for yourself and an other person or one for breakfast and one for a later meal), simply cut up the quesadilla however you'd like and garnish it with some condiments such as sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc. Enjoy! Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or your own take on this recipe, I'd love to hear them.