Cutting a Quesadilla-Tip
05/06/12 Filed in: Tips | Carving | Post Prep
Cleanly cutting a quesadilla can be
difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Grilled quesadillas feature a crispy but somewhat delicate grilled tortilla. The tortilla can be very flaky in texture and can be a challenge to cut. Then there are the fillings which can range anywhere from soft and delicate (egg) to somewhat stiff (chunks of meat) and everything in between. The act of drawing your knife back and forth can start tearing things apart. If you try to chop through the quesadilla you could end up squeezing the ingredients all over the place. There is a rather simple solution, particularly if you already own an electric knife. An electric knife can be the perfect device for quickly and cleanly cutting a quesadilla.
I find many people don’t think of using their electric knife except for a well defined list of certain tasks. This tends to be even more true if they own a good set of kitchen knives. I mean I have some knives where the knives cost double what I paid for my electric knife. So I suppose it can be a bit hard to imagine that something that costs half as much is going to work twice as well. Trust me the electric knife is the best knife I have ever found for cutting quesadillas. Since it does a perfect job, I don’t expect to find anything any better. Now my electric knife comes with two blades: the traditional straight electric knife blade that is a constant 3/4” high and features a serrated blade as well as a bread blade which seems to have the same serrated blade and has a tapered profile ranging from 2” at the base to 3/4” at the tip. The picture above shows this bread knife blade. Now I do use my bread blade to cut quesadillas. Where the serrated knife edge on both blades is the same I think the regular blade would do just as well. I feel the taller profile of the bread blade makes it stiffer, which helps it make it’s way through crusty loaves of bread. A quesadilla is relatively thin so I have no doubt the standard blade would work just as well.
So why does the electric knife work so well? First there is the serrated blade which easily cuts the the crusty crunchy toasted tortilla. I have a Wusthoff panini knife with a tall serrated blade that will cut the tortilla as well, but where the electric knife trumps the panini knife is the rapid short strokes it makes. These short strokes are great for the delicate tortilla and more importantly they are excellent for cutting through the entire range of filling types you may find in a quesadilla. By using very fast very short strokes there is less disturbance of the fillings. But if you don’t believe me, look at the pictures below and note how cleanly the cuts are on both quesadillas.
Whether the filling is soft like eggs (left) or tough such as the chunks of steak (right) the electric knife cuts them with ease. Notice how perfectly the tortilla is cut in both examples. Also it takes next to no time to cut up multiple quesadillas, with each one looking as perfect as the last one.