I love recipes that are so simple they’re hardly a recipe at all – where great produce and flavours shine and I don’t have to do too much. That’s what these simple fried cheese sandwiches are all about, especially served with this vibrant green sauce (which keeps for a week in the fridge and is delicious on just about everything, especially eggs). In Mexico they’d be cooked on a traditional clay or cast-iron comal, but you can use a frying pan or char-grill pan. They make a delicious breakfast, entrée or snack at any time of day … and I love them with a glass of Sardinian vermentino, like the Ràfia from Cantina Santa Maria la Palma. Oaxaca cheese, a firmer cousin to Italian mozzarella, can be hard to come by in Australia, thankfully stretched-curd specialists Vannella make a great version.
Serves 6 as an entrée
- 230g Oaxaca cheese
- 12 x 16cm wheat tortillas
- Vegetable oil, for greasing
- Pico di Gallo, for serving
- 1 cup coriander leaves and stems
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves and stems
- 1 jalapeño chilli, seeded and chopped
- 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 1½ tablespoons lime juice
- ¼ cup shelled pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, coarsely ground
- ½ teaspoon salt flakes
- 200g drained canned tomatillos (or fresh when available)
- Preheat a heavy-based char-grill pan over medium heat.
- Cut cheese into thin slices, then shred with your fingers into strips.
- Lightly grease 6 tortillas with oil and place on a chopping board oiled side up.
- Place another tortilla on top and rub them gently together, to oil the base of the second tortilla.
- Distribute cheese evenly over the top tortillas.
- Place cheese-topped tortilla in char-grill pan, oiled side down, top with the second tortilla, oiled side up, press down gently with a spatula.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes until well-coloured.
- Turn and cook the other side for a further 2-3 minutes, until well-coloured.
- Remove from pan, cut into quarters and serve with Pico de Gallo and Salsa Verde.