Caramelized Onion Quesadilla

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Quesadilla means “a little something made of cheese”; and there are innumerable variations of it in Mexican cookery: deep-fried or baked, stuffed with everything from plain cheese to refried beans to lemon-flavored sweet tarts vaguely similar to cheesecake. Some of our favorites are the quesadillas served at The Plaza in Santa Fe. Based on flour tortillas, they feature soft, caramelized onions and/or garlic, and, if desired, shredded pork.

Roadfood review of The Plaza: https://roadfood.com/restaurants/plaza-cafe/

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup chicken stock
salt to taste (none needed if canned chicken stock is used)
6 10-inch flour tortillas
1 cup grated jack cheese

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions in the oil until they begin to soften. Sprinkle in basil and continue stirring over medium or medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. The goal is to soften the onions: do not burn or even brown them. Stir in the honey and continue cooking 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and turn the heat high enough so the stock barely simmers. Continue cooking and stirring until the stock has almost totally evaporated. Salt to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle cheese onto tortillas, then spoon on the onions, dividing them equally among the tortillas. Fold each tortilla in half, creating a half-moon shape. Bake in oven long enough for cheese to melt, about 8-10 minutes, but not so long that the tortillas turn brittle and dry out.

Remove the quesadillas from the oven and slice each into thirds. Serve with hot salsa for dipping if desired.

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