Karl's Recipes: Blue Quesadillas

Some people like caviar, I like blue cheese. Some years ago I came upon what must surely be the best U.S. blue cheese, Maytag Blue. Yes, this is the same Maytag of appliance fame. While the Maytag family no longer owns the appliance company, they own a dairy farm in Newton, Iowa that makes several cheeses, of which their blue is the crown jewel. They also own San Francisco's Anchor Brewing Co., which offers a nice accompaniment for their cheeses.

Maytag Blue logo After enjoying Maytag Blue on several trips home to Chicago, I decided occasional tastes just weren't enough. Cheeses generally freeze well, so on the next trip I bought a four-pound wheel of Maytag Blue, cut it into chunks, and froze all but one. These days, it's more readily available at specialty grocers and online, and fresh is better than frozen.

Mexican food is a common theme around my kitchen, and one time while making quesadillas the hunk of Maytag Blue in the cheese bin caught my eye. It seems like a peculiar combination of tastes, but works quite well.

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  • 4 tablespoons sunflower oil or shortening
in a frying pan just to the point where a drop of water sizzles in the hot oil. In Mexico, lard would probably be used, but it's not terribly good for the arteries. I prefer the shortening over the oil as it seems to produce a lighter, flakier result.


  • Maytag blue cheese
on top of
  • 1 medium-sized flour tortilla
Fold the tortilla in half, then fry quickly on each side in the oil until golden brown and the cheese is starting to melt. The whole process will take less than a minute. (Blue cheese melts much more quickly than the harder cheeses generally used for quesadillas, so a hotter oil and quicker frying time is necessary.) Allow the quesadilla to drain on a paper towel while frying the next tortilla.

I generally make these as an appetizer and serve them plain or with sour cream.

(An amusing variation might be flautas made with blue corn tortillas to match the blue cheese filling. Something with blueberries would be the obvious dessert, so you could have a true-blue meal!)

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