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College Guide

Dorm gourmet

Recipes for college cooks who are more Top Chef than Top Ramen

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2008:12:12 11:36:24

When drinking is involved, notions of nutrition go out the window – at that point it’s all about fun food. Of course you can always make nachos in the microwave, but how about a crisp-on the-outside quesadilla? Or melty, crunchy grilled cheese? For that all you need is – not a frying pan, not a panini press – an iron. The basic technique and equipment, for both quesadilla and grilled cheese, is the same. You’ll need a good iron, a steady surface, a roll of aluminum foil and some patience.

Basic quesadilla or grilled cheese

Makes one

Equipment: clothing iron, aluminum foil, chef’s knife

2 8-inch flour tortillas or two slices of bread
1 tablespoon oil or softened butter
other fillings

Tear off a long piece of foil, at least 24 inches long, and put it down on a steady work surface.

Lightly oil or butter one side of one tortilla or slice of bread and place it greasy-side-down just to the right of the middle of the foil. Cover with a thin layer of cheese of your choice. Place other fillings, if desired, on top of the cheese, then sprinkle just a bit more cheese over that. (Really, just a little – it’s just to make it all stick together.) Now oil (or butter) the other tortilla (or slice of bread) and place it greasy-side-up on top.

Fold the left side of the foil over the quesadilla or sandwich, like closing a book. Neatly fold over all three open edges twice.

If it’s a steam iron, empty out the water and turn off the steam option. Set the iron to a high setting – cotton or linen – and iron just like you’d iron a shirt. Don’t just set the iron down on the foil – not only is that stupidly unsafe, it will probably shut itself off. Keep it moving for about two minutes, then unfold the edges and check to see how melted the cheese is (this is why you folded the foil neatly), fold it back up, and turn it over to iron the other side for another minute or two.

Unwrap carefully, cut into two or four pieces, and chow down.


Quesadilla filling ideas:

Sharp cheddar, refried black beans, black olives, cilantro, cumin-lime sour cream
Pesto, cannellini beans, feta, mozzarella, kalamata olives
Swiss cheese, thin-sliced apple, chopped red onion, dijon sour cream
Monterey jack, sweet potato (bake in the microwave, then scoop out and mash), green onions, crumbled bacon
Cheddar-jack, cotija, cilantro, sprinkle of dried red chili
Nutella, sliced strawberries, sprinkle of powdered sugar

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