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Super Pairing: French Cheese and Quesadillas
January 2011

Simple, tasty and perfect to munch on at a casual get together party, quesadillas are must serve Super Bowl fare.

While countless Super Sunday gatherings will feature quesadillas this year, not many are likely to feature the effortless gourmet flavor that comes from making the classic dish with gourmet fromage!

Tortillas, cheese and salsa are all that's needed to make quesadillas, a traditional Mexican party dish that's tasty, easy-to-eat and fun to customize with different flavors. Special ingredients like chicken, chopped fruits and vegetables and much more can be added, too.

Flour tortillas work the best for making quesadillas because they allow the cheeses on the inside to melt evenly, which creates the sticky filling that makes quesadillas easy to eat and carry around at parties.

When selecting the cheeses to use for your quesadillas, it's important to select fromages that melt evenly and quickly.

Hard-pressed and pressed cheese families are ideal. Try grating and combining 2-3 of these fine, meltable fromages; Entremont Emmental, Charles Arnaud Comté, Fol Epi, Etorki, Raclette, or Morbier.

Add a bit of a meltable blue - like St. Agur, Bleu d'Auvergne or Roquefort – into your cheese mixture for a more intense flavor experience. Once you've got the tortillas and cheeses ready, go ahead and spread a condiment of choice on one side of two tortillas. Guacamole, tomato salsa or sour cream are excellent choices.

Place one tortilla on a buttered pan heated to about medium low. Then place your mix of cheeses and other ingredients on top - grilled chicken strips, sliced steak or ground beef can be used to make the quesadillas heartier. Diced tomatoes and chopped red or green peppers will add additional flavor and texture.

Once the cheese mixture begins to melt and the tortilla begins to brown, add the second tortilla on top. Flip and continue cooking each side to desired crispness. Once your creation is cut into pie slices, stack the slices on a plate in the center of a table. Add extra ingredients and toppings in small bowls around the plate for garnish.

Quesadilla spotlight:

Etorki cheese and pear quesadilla with apricot salsa
1 16 oz jar of salsa, medium heat
½ cup minced dried apricots
12-8 four tortillas
18 oz some cheese
3 firm pears, thinly sliced

In a bowl, combine salsa and apricots. Refrigerate until needed

Place one flour tortilla into a medium skillet. Top with four overlapping sliced of Etorki cheese. Place pear slices on top of the cheese. Top with another flour tortilla.

Turn the flame down to low and cook slowly until the tortilla is toasted. Carefully flip tortilla.

Cook the other side until the tortilla is lightly toasted and the cheese is melted.

Transfer to a cutting board. Using a large knife, cut into 8 wedges. Spoon apricot salsa on top of each wedge and serve.

Makes 12 appetizers.

Also try our: Ile de France Brie Cheese Quesadillas