The Denver Quesadilla
Hands up everyone who can remember the classic Western Denver Sandwich…
Back in the day, I must have cooked thousands of them as a short-order cook. They were especially popular with women, for some reason, but they have fallen out of fashion now, and you don’t find them on restaurant menus very often anymore.
Anyway, the dish you see pictured above is a partial recreation of the original classic, but fused with the more commonly available Tex-Mex Quesadilla.
The Recipe Card below calls for Swiss Cheese (either Emmental or Gruyère). I have used this here because it is my favorite Cheese, but you can choose some other kind. A nice, aged, White Cheddar will give you a little extra bite, and a Monterey Jack will be more in keeping with the Tex-Mex roots.
First, prepare the Omelet mix by beating the Eggs with the Ham, Green Pepper, and Onion.
Heat a little oil in a pan over medium heat and pour in the omelet mixture. Ideally, you want to produce a circular Omelet about the same diameter as the Tortillas.
Cook the omelet mixture over a low medium heat, flipping once. A few toasty brown spots here and there will add to the flavor. If you are lucky enough to have a pan whose bottom diameter (like mine), is the same diameter as your tortilla, it helps to form a perfect omelet that won’t require trimming (which is something you always have to do when making a tradition Western Denver on toast).
The rest of the process is pretty much the same as for making any regular quesadilla… Put one tortilla into the pan and top with half the cheese. Place the omelet on top, add the remaining cheese, and then top with the remaining tortilla. Let cook until the bottom layer of cheese has melted and carefully flip the entire assembly to melt the second cheese layer as well. By now, the tortillas should be starting to get a bit crispy and nicely browned here and there on the surface. Slice into two or four pieces and serve hot.
Your Recipe Card:
The Denver Quesadilla
- 2 small Flour Tortillas
- 2 small Eggs
- 3 Tbsp. finely diced Ham
- 3 Tbsp. finely diced Green Pepper
- 3 Tbsp. finely diced Onion
- 1 pinch Garlic Salt
- 1 Pinch Pepper
- 2/3 Cup grated Swiss Cheese
- Beat the eggs and stir in the Ham, Green Pepper, and Onion.
- Use the above mixture to cook an Omelet roughly the same diameter as the Tortillas.
- Put a Tortilla in to the pan, spread over half the Cheese, and place the Omelet on top.
- Cover the Omelet with the remaining cheese, top with the other Tortilla and cook until the underside is toasty.
- Flip the Quesadilla over, cook until toasty on the other side then cut into two or four portions and serve hot.