Thursday, December 03, 2009

Goat Cheese in America

Call me a food snob (I'll take it as a compliment), but I am appalled at the new Kraft American cheese commercial—America's cheese. Bah! We can do better, which leads me to this recipe I found the other day. I'm working through the CIA's Gourmet Meals in Minutes cookbook this week, and goat cheese and red onion quesadillas from pages 242 are on the menu.

I forgot to take a photo of the finished dish, but quesadillas all look the same on the outside, I think. Here's how it goes:

(serves 8)

2 red onions, thinly sliced
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups Jack cheese, grated
16 flour tortillas, 6-inch
1/2 cup goat cheese
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup sour cream

Sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. For each quesadilla, sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the Jack cheese on a flour tortilla. Crumble 1 tablespoon of the goat cheese over the jack cheese. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the sautéed onions on top and lay 7 sprigs of cilantro over the onion. Cover with a second flour torilla.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat (I think it works better if you lightly brush the tortillas with oil so you don't have too much, and it's evenly distributed). Cook each quesadilla for about 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and the cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream.

•••

This is so easy and yummy and beats American cheese hands down. The owner of a Mexican store in Small Town once told me that burritos weren't really Mexican but that Mexicans on this side of the border made them up to appease Americans. I wonder if quesadillas have the same history—I'll have to ask the women in class this morning. And I'll have to ask them if they like American cheese or if they think it looks and feels and taste like the plastic wrap it comes in.

3 comments:

dive said...

Ah, the oxymoron that is American 'cheese'!
For us in England (and France) it used to be (and still is outside of specialist cheese shops in London) that American cheese came in three varieties:
(1)Orange plastic sweaty stuff, (2)the stuff in spray cans, or (3)the entire culture between the Canandian and Mexican borders.

Now at least we are getting the first dribbles of produce from tiny artisan creameries in places like Oregon and I must say that some of the stuff I've tried is actually quite good.

They've a long way to go before the US produces a Stilton or a Vieux Comté but with the growth of farmers' markets and small, high quality independents the future looks rosy.

We'll still keep laughing at you, though, until you stop making Cheez Wiz and Kraft plastic salty squares or pretending that you can make an edible Cheddar.
Eww!

kyle@sift said...

American cheese? That's not cheese. That's cheese food. There is a differnce.
Check out http://www.lakeeriecreamery.com/

dive said...

Mmmm … That looks good, Kyle!