Nutella®, a Pantry Special (recipe: banana or strawberry Nutella quesadillas)
Pantry Specials are great ingredients that find their way into my pantry from time to time, but not all the time.
When I suggested to my pastry chef friend Cindy that we make Nutella® quesadillas for dessert last week, she asked, "Italian Nutella or Canadian Nutella?" I had no idea what she meant, but a bit of research turned up the answer. Though the Ferrero corporation owns the trademark, the actual chocolate-hazelnut-skim-milk spread made in Italy since the 1940s is not the same product made in Canada and imported to America for the past twenty years. Canadian Nutella contains more chocolate and more sugar, and less hazelnut, than the Italian original. You'll find Nutella on the supermarket shelf with peanut butter, which makes sense; it tastes enough like chocolate peanut butter that I'm sure Elvis would have loved to spread it on his signature sandwich. Stored at room temperature (never in the refrigerator), Nutella keeps for months, though it seldom lasts that long in my house.
Is this Pantry Special new to you?
Where to buy online:
Amazon.com (5-pack for $21)
Banana or strawberry Nutella quesadillas
If this isn't the world's easiest chocolate and fruit dessert, I don't know what is. Despite using my favorite low-carb oat-bran tortillas, the quesadillas were so rich and satisfying that we completely forgot the vanilla frozen yogurt I'd planned for a topping. One tortilla per person would be a very generous dessert portion; this recipe makes enough for 5-6 people.
4 oat-bran or whole wheat tortillas
8 oz Nutella
1 ripe banana, thinly sliced, or 1 pint strawberries, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Lay the tortillas on your work surface. With a spoon, spread each one with Nutella, leaving a margin of at least half an inch all the way around. Arrange banana or strawberry slices in a single layer on one half of each tortilla, and fold the tortilla in half to make a semicircle.
In a large nonstick frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. If your pan is large enough, place two of the folded tortillas in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until brown on the bottom, flip, and cook for an additional 2 minutes until the second side is browned. Remove to a cutting board, and cook the remaining two quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into three pieces, and serve warm.