Small Cheese Worm

By Adam Kraemer

Hey, boys and girls! It’s time for another exciting episode of Kraemer’s Kooking Korner! (I really need to come up with better initials.)

Okay, so it’s not a TV show, but I do have an excellent recipe I’ve been messing around with. It’s a full meal and nicely low in SmartPoints® values. Plus, it gives me an opportunity to use the brush of genius (for those who don’t know what that is, read my entry on the basting brush I bought (NOTE TO BAILEY: ADD LINK); for those who do know what that is, yeah, I’m still pretending buying the brush was an unmatched act of brilliance).

Actually, the brush plays a sort of large part in this little operation. Maybe not as large as my waffle sandwich, but still useful — I use it to evenly spread a very thin layer of olive oil onto a tortilla. In fact, that’s one of the first steps. And by “one of the first,” I mean “one of the last.”

Let’s just jump right in, shall we? For this, I use two flat tortillas. I generally tend to prefer Mission tortillas, but feel free to use your favorites. Also note that a whole wheat tortilla is a full SmartPoints value lower than a regular flour tortilla (2 vs. 3). The fat-free ones are even lower in SmartPoints values. I do recommend you use some sort of tortilla, though. Cooking with “air only” is very low in SmartPoints values, but not nearly as filling.

Anyway, between my tortillas (sounds like that should be some sort of Univision soap opera), I put what I call “the filling,” but which you can call “Enid.” Or whatever. Basically, we’re creating a healthy version of a quesadilla (which, in my limited Spanish, I believe translates to “small cheese worm”). So I obviously add cheese (plus, the melted cheese helps the tortillas stick together at the end). I take two slices of fat-free cheese (a total of 1 SmartPoints value, btw) and sort of tear them up so they take up more area on the tortilla.

Now it’s time for the meat. I’d recommend deli-sliced turkey or ham, as you can use six or seven slices (depending on brand, according to the Weight Watchers online tracker) and it will still only count as a single SmartPoints value. We’re talking very thinly sliced meat here. Translucent, if you will. Arrange your see-through meat evenly on the tortilla on top of the first slice of cheese. Then, tear up the second slice of cheese and place it on top of the meat. Then, place the second tortilla on top of the cheese.

This is not rocket science, people. You basically just made a ham/turkey and cheese sandwich.

But here’s the fun part. And by “fun,” I mean “fun.” Spread a thin layer of oil or butter on the top of the tortilla. I like to use my brush. Actually, I’ve found I’ve started brushing oil on in the same way that Bob Ross painted the sky — little crisscross strokes. I’m not kidding. I was like, “Ohhhh, that’s what he meant.”

Once you have a single side of your tortilla covered with oil (and I can’t stress how thinly you need to coat it), carefully place it oil-side down in a hot skillet or frying pan. This will a) allow the tortilla to get a little crispy and 2) melt the cheese on that side so the quesadilla holds together when you flip it over. That’s right. You’re gonna get to flip it over. But first, while it’s in the pan, cover the remaining side of the tortilla with oil or butter again. Trust me; much easier to do with a brush than a knife (maybe I am a genius).

Then you flip. You turn the quesadilla over so the other side gets cooked, too. The cooking aspect of this doesn’t actually take very long; a couple of minutes, max. You don’t want to carbonize the tortillas, just brown them a little.

Once you’re done, take the quesadilla out of the pan (I recommend using a spatula instead of your bare hand; in fact, I strongly recommend it) and cut it into slices with your pizza cutter. Oh, right. You should have a pizza cutter. But if you don’t, I guess a knife *sigh* will suffice.

Last step: Serve with a bowl of your favorite salsa, dip, and eat. That might be three steps. See photo.

There you have it, a semi-traditional small cheese worm. I probably could have described the process in half the time, but where’s the fun in that?

Talk to you soon.

Follow Adam on Connect @adam.k

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