Preserves in Action: Kimchi Quesadilla

side of quesadilla

I taught a class Monday night and by the time I got home, I was ravenous. I’d eaten all the interesting leftovers for lunch and my husband had made himself a meal of hot dogs and peas from the freezer. Looking into the fridge, I spotted a package of whole wheat tortillas, a jar of kimchi, and a block of cheddar cheese. Kimchi quesadillas it was!*

tortilla with cheese and kimchi

To make the quesadilla, I plunk a skillet on the stove and start heat the pan over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, I put the bottom tortilla into the skillet. I don’t add any oil because my pan is seasoned well enough that for a quick job like this, it just doesn’t need it. If you were using a stainless steel pan, you might want a quick slick of oil to prevent sticking.

kimchi

Yes, I’m using store bought kimchi. I am out of my homemade version and with the book work going on around here, I just cannot muster the will to make a fresh batch.

 

Then I spread the grated cheese out on the tortilla, taking care to keep it on the tortilla and off the actual pan. Then I fork out some kimchi. Because I have a small obsessive streak, I try and make sure that my kimchi is placed so that I will get some in every bite. Then I put the second tortilla on top, pressing down gently with the palm of my hand to help adhere it to the melting cheese.

fish spatula

Because my burners heat incredibly unevenly, I end up rotating the pan during cooking, so that all sides get even toasting. Using a flexible fish spatula (the best tool ever for jobs like this), I peek underneath the bottom tortilla. If it is golden, it is time to flip. The second side needs just a minute or two. Once it’s done, I put it on a cutting board to let it cool for a moment and then cut it up into wedges using a big knife.

finished quesadilla

This would work just as deliciously if you cooked sauerkraut or some other tangy pickled vegetable into the quesadilla. I’ve also made something similar with a few spoonfuls of chutney to very good effect. Heck, you could even make a dessert preserves in action quesadilla using fresh ricotta cheese and some fruit preserves. The options are endless!

*I do not claim to have invented the kimchi quesadilla. As far as I can tell, the idea has been floating around the internet since late 2009, when Roy Choi’s recipe was printed in one of the final issues of Gourmet. Still, it’s a good one!

Related Posts:

,

4 Responses to Preserves in Action: Kimchi Quesadilla

  1. 1

    oh gosh, that is my FAVORITE kind of kimchi! I made homemade once, but it tasted like spicy sauerkraut and NOT like the Kimchi Pride kind we love.

    I saw somewhere (maybe even through one of your links?) to take a bit of kimchi and mash it up with cream cheese and eat as a dip with veggies or spread on bread. I did that once – so good. But usually we eat kimchi straight out of the jar 🙂

  2. 2
    Gene Black says:

    Oooh I love the idea. Good Kimchi is hard to find here. But I can see using canned apples and grated cheddar for a fun dessert.

  3. 3
    Desiree says:

    Yum! Don’t you love how hunger inspires us to combine our random refrigerator ingredients? I never would have thought to make this but I bet it’s delicious!

Leave a Reply