Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Arizona Cheese Crisp

One of my favorite things to do these days is read food blogs. I love looking at (and drooling over) the pictures and reading about the good food my fellow food-lovers have eaten. One of my daily reads is Feasting in Phoenix. Seth, the blog's owner, loves Mexican food and whenever he goes to a Mexican restaurant he orders something called a cheese crisp. Apparently this is an Arizonian thing because before reading his blog I had never heard of a cheese crisp. A quesadilla, sure, but not a cheese crisp.

Since a trip to Arizona is far off in the future, I decided to make my own cheese crisp at home. It couldn't be more simple - all you need is a tortilla and some cheese.


I added a chopped scallion for some color and mild onion flavor, even though I know it's not traditional. I served my crisp with taco sauce (the stuff I've been using on my breakfast burritos) because I like the tang.

For something so simple, it was amazingly good. I got the tortilla nice and crispy so it held up to the melted cheese. It was a great snack. In fact, I liked it so much I made one for lunch today since I'm home sick:

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7 comments:

  1. Swwweeeet! You don't know how long I've longed to have one of these...Seth has teased me constantly that I can't find one in OC. So please, please, tell me the procedure. Did you deep fry? You shared the ingredients...cheese and tortilla, but I've attempted to make it and got nothing more than an open faced quesadilla, which isn't very crispy. How'd you do it?

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  2. elmo - Don't you just drool over those crisps every time he mentions them? Drives me crazy!

    It is SO easy to make them at home. All you do is heat a griddle over medium heat. Add a drizzle of oil and place the tortilla on top, moving it around so the bottom gets a coating of the oil. Allow the bottom to get nice and crispy and browned and then flip it over. Top with the cheese and then just wait for the bottom to get crispy and the cheese to melt. Viola!

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  3. Holy cow! Congratulations!!!!

    You have me beaming from ear to ear that you made your own. So easy, so simple, so delicious. And you cooked it correctly.

    As for your comment about the scallions, cheese crisps are the canvas and everything else is the paint. I love mine with hot sauce. Others like onions or guacamole or salsa or, at most restaurants, they are offered as a Mexican Pizza with ground beef, onions, etc.

    For a real treat, I will often make a dinner of a fresh cooked cheese crisp and top it with homemade red chile or green chile stew (called a "Mary Lou" in Arizona).

    Elmo, HC's procedure is correct. Make sure you cook at medium high heat. Just a drop or two of oil and let the bottom get crispy and brown and then flip, top with cheese, let it melt and you are ready!

    At my favorite Mexican restaurant, they do deep fry the tortilla if you want it "extra crispy." Hard on the arteries with all that cheese, masa and oil, but so wonderful on the palate.

    Awesome post!!!!

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  4. Seth - yay! I'm so glad you saw this post. Thanks for the kudos. I was pretty proud of myself for finally getting around to making one. :)

    I'm glad to hear it wasn't criminal of me to add the scallions. I've only seen you eat yours plain, so I wasn't sure what proper protocal was.

    These are a great snack since they're lighter than a quesadilla and take no time at all to cook. I think my next experiment will be the Mexican pizza with a few layers of cheese crisp, some taco meat and toppings. Mmmm...I'm drooling just thinking about it!

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  5. We're having Mexican pizza's next week! Yumalish!

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  6. HC,

    One other thing to try - but not for the weak at heart: cook up some chorizo and sprinkle it on top of the cheese as it is melting. The cheese will envelope the chorizo and it is pure heaven.

    But keep a defibrillator handy.

    Let me know how you fare with other creations using the crisp as a base!

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  7. Seth - Oh man! Chorizo with the melted cheese...wow!

    I've got a bunch of tortillas so I definitely see a Mexican pizza being made this weekend.

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