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Grilled Quesadillas with Bacon, Blue Cheese and Caramelized Leeks

Recipe: Grilled Quesadillas with Bacon, Blue Cheese and Caramelized Leeks

Remarks:

    These quesadillas were served for a surprise birthday party. For the whole menu, see "Fiesta Vente Cinco."

Servings:
Serves at least 12. Makes 3 large quesadillas 12 to 16 pieces.

Ingredients:

    6 large lowfat flour tortillas (approx. 12 inches round)
    6 pieces of bacon
    4 small or 2 large leeks, cleaned and sliced thinly, light green parts included
    2 tsp olive oil
    Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
    1 cup crumbled blue cheese
    1 cup Chihuahua cheese (grated) or mozzarella

Instructions:

    Fry the bacon until crisp in a frying pan. Remove and drain on paper towel. Chop finely. (This can be done early in the day and stored in the refrigerator.)

    In a sauté pan, add your oil and then put in the leeks. Separate the leeks into their rings. You can use your fingers to do this as you put them in the pan. Sauté until very loose on Medium. This will take 5 to 7 minutes. When the leeks are fully cooked, drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar. Turn off the heat. Let sit until cool if you are going to store them. (The leeks can also be done ahead and stored in the refrigerator for later assembly.)

    When you want to make your quesadillas . . . .

    Lay out three of the tortillas on a cutting board or cookie sheet. Sprinkle on the crumbled blue cheese divided evenly amongst the three tortillas. Do the same with the bacon and the leek mixture. Then top off with the Chihuahua cheese or mozzarella divided. Place the other three tortillas on top and lightly press down to adhere the cheese lightly. You're just trying to coax it a bit.

    Set your grill on Medium High. Place all three tortillas on the grill (if you have room) or grill them one at a time if necessary. You?re going to grill them until medium brown stripes form on the bottom of the lower tortilla. The cheese in the middle will be melting. Use your metal spatula to press down on the top tortilla so it sticks to the cheese. When the grill marks have formed, you get to the tricky part. You need to flip your quesadilla over. Don't hesitate. Put your spatula under the center of the quesadilla and quickly and smoothly flip it over just like it's a big pancake. If you go too fast or too slowly, you risk the insides flying or flopping out of your quesadilla. You can use an oven mitt as a guide to hold the quesadilla together your first few times until you are a confident flipper. Grill the second side until it's the same golden brown as the first side. (If you don't have a grill, cook these on Medium High, until golden brown, in a large sauté pan on your stovetop.)

Serving Suggestions:

    When I go to serve these I've decided the rustic route is best. I just put them on a cutting board and cut with a pizza cutter and let people help themselves. Alternatively you can cut them and serve on a platter of your choice.

Enjoy!

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