Eggy Quesadilla

Years ago the wonderful Heidi Swanson of 101cookbooks.com posted a version of this dish that has inspired me ever since. I make variations of this simple concept–a beaten egg in a skillet, covered after a few seconds with a corn tortilla, then flipped over and topped with herbs, cheese, beans, veggies, . . . then folded in half and cooked for another minute.

 

You can also make these with flour tortillas, if that’s what you have on hand or if you want to feed more people. Use at least 2 eggs for a large flour tortilla, and a larger skillet.

 

Watch a quick video of me making this with my son, if you’d like a tutorial.

 

I usually use an 8-inch skillet which works perfectly for my 6-inch corn tortillas. You want the skillet to be just a little bigger than the tortillas so the pan contains the egg to the size of your tortilla but still enables you to flip it easily.

 

You can also add finely chopped cooked vegetables or shredded meat to these. Use what you have.

 

Serves 1

 

A little oil

1 egg, lightly beaten with a pinch or two of salt

1 corn tortilla (I usually use 6-inch ones or slightly larger which work well with one egg. If you have larger, flour tortillas, you’ll need 2 eggs and can feed more people with)

A bit of cheese (anything you’d like–I usually use sharp cheddar as that’s what I keep on hand), thinly sliced or grated

1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, chives, basil, tarragon, . . .)

A little minced scallion or onion (optional)

2 tablespoons cooked beans (optional)

A little hot sauce of choice (optional)

 

Heat a little oil in a small skillet that is as close to the circumference of the tortilla as possible (see headnote) over medium heat. Pour in the egg and tilt pan to cover evenly. After about 10-20 seconds, when the bottom of the egg is set but the top is still runny, lay the tortilla on the egg and press down gently. The egg will cook into the tortilla and adhere to it. If the tortilla lifts up in places just gently hold it down with a spatula. After another 30 second or when you can tell the egg is just about cooked through, carefully loosen the edges (if they’re sticking a bit) and flip the whole thing over. Now cover half the eggy side with the toppings, starting with the cheese and evenly sprinkling the herbs over the cheese and finishing with a little hot sauce. Now flip the empty half over the filled half and press down gently. Let cook for another 30 seconds to melt the cheese and just warm things through. Enjoy!

White Beans with Leeks and Sausage

This is more technique than recipe and is one of those that can be endlessly adapted and is a good template. Make it more or less soupy. Add kale or other greens or use more onion if you don’t have leeks. Change the ratio of vegetables to beans. Use bacon instead of sausage or leftover chicken or no meat at all. The beans are creamy and rich on their own. Add spices, maybe chili flakes or cumin and coriander.

 

Serves 4

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 pork sausages, spicy if you like, sliced into rounds or crumbled

2 large leeks, trimmed, well washed, cut in half lengthwise and then cut into thin half moons

1 teaspoon of fresh or dried thyme, savory or sage

3 cups cooked beans (I used Corona beans in the above version but any medium-large white bean works well)

2-3 cups bean cooking liquid (depending how thick/thin you’d like it), veg or chicken broth

Salt and pepper

 

In a large skillet or dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, leeks, sausage and herbs and a couple of pinches of salt. Stir well and sauté for several minutes, then cover the pan and turn down to medium and cook for about 10 minutes until the leeks have softened.  Stir in the beans and cooking liquid or broth simmer for 5 minutes to marry the flavors. Season with freshly ground black pepper and add salt if needed. Serve with another drizzle of good olive oil and good, crusty bread.