Have you ever found yourself standing in front of your fridge, staring at a bunch of miscellaneous ingredients, not having enough of any one thing to really do something with it? I found myself in such a predicament yesterday. Except, I was wrong. I admit, it took some searching on Pinterest to get a little inspiration but thankfully someone on my homepage posted a quesadilla recipe and it got me thinking. Quesadilla night. Why haven’t I thought of that before?
So I went back to the fridge and stared at it some more, got on skype and tossed ideas around with one of my best friends and this is what I came up with…3 kinds of quesadillas, 2 savory, 1 sweet (I never tried a dessert quesadilla before but I will sure be doing it again! YUM!)
#1 The Saltillo Quesadilla
This was inspired by a fajita topping that I used to get all the time at a tex-mex restaurant that we went to pretty frequently in Houston. It was called “Fajitas Saltillo” and it was made of monterrey jack cheese, roasted poblano peppers, and bacon. Deliciousness! Now, I added a little more substance to mine. I hope you enjoy it.
Makes 4 quesadillas
- Tortillas, I used medium size
- 1 chicken breast – butterflied
- 2 strips of bacon, cooked
- 1-2 limes, juiced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup of salsa
- 5 mushrooms, sliced (I had cremini, but whatever you have on hand will work)
- 3/4 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 roasted jalapeno, de-seeded
- fresh cilantro, chopped
- cheese, mild and white (I used plain Havarti)
- salt and pepper
Marinate the chicken with the lime juice, garlic, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper, in the fridge for 2 hours. After the chicken is done marinating, cook the chicken with the marinade (use whichever cooking method is most convenient for you, stove top, baking, or grill). When the chicken is cooked through, let it cool, and then dice or shred the meat.
Saute the onions and mushrooms together. Take them out of the pan and set aside.
Time to assemble your quesadilla. Leaving the salsa for garnish, layer all the other ingredients on to one half of a tortilla. Use as much or as little of each ingredient as you want. Fold the other half of the tortilla over the top. Repeat as necessary. Using a heated non-stick pan, heat the quesadilla on both sides until the cheese is melted and the outside of the tortilla turns a little golden. Garnish with salsa.
#2 The California Chicken Club Quesadilla
There is no sentimental story behind this one, it’s just a recipe that evolved from getting excited over each ingredient I kept finding. “I could do a BLT, oh wait I have chicken….and avocado, and bacon!!”
Makes 4 Quesadillas
- 1 chicken breast, butterflied
- 1 Tbsp coarse grain mustard
- 4 strips of bacon
- baby spinach leaves
- 1 tomato, diced and de-seeded
- cheese (again, I used havarti, but use whatever your tastebuds desire)
- avocado, thinly sliced
Marinate the chicken in the mustard for 2 hours, in the fridge. Using your preferred cooking method, cook the chicken, cool and then shred or dice.
Time to assemble your quesadilla. Layer each ingredient in the amount you desire onto one half of a tortilla, fold the other half over the top. Repeat as necessary. In a heated, non-stick pan, heat the quesadilla on both sides until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is a little golden.
#3 The Baked Brie Quesadilla
When I was in college I waited tables at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck in Houston. Really neat place. If you haven’t been and you’re in the area, go check them out! The food is really good. One of my favorite menu items was their baked brie appetizer. Melted brie with sliced apples, raspberry preserves, toasted almonds and a crusty baguette. Heaven on a plate.
This past weekend my in laws gave me a HUGE bag of frozen berries. They had hand picked them when they were in season and froze them. Wild raspberries and blue berries, sea buck thorn berries, and lingonberries. I have been dreaming of what tasty creations I can make with them. So I went to my freezer and pulled out a bag of raspberries to make a raspberry sauce to top my quesadilla. This step is not necessary if you want to simplify things for yourself. A berry preserve of any kind would work just as well.
Makes 2 Quesadillas
- 1/3-1/2 lb of Brie cheese
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- berry preserves or sauce (ingredients below)
For the Sauce:
- 1 cup Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- granulated sugar
For the sauce: Combine berries and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a small sauce pan. Turn the heat on med until the juices have released and your berries are simmering, remember to stir occasionally. Once the sauce is simmering, turn the heat down to low. This is a good time to taste your sauce, try not to burn your tongue. If you feel the sauce needs it, add another teaspoon of sugar. Stir, taste, and repeat as necessary until the sweetness is to your liking. Simmer until most of the runny liquid is evaporated, this should take 15-20 minutes. Take the sauce off the heat and let it cool. It may still look a little thin when it comes off the heat, but it will thicken slightly as it cools.
*If you like a more syrupy sauce, mix 2 tsp of cornstarch with the berries and sugar before you put them on the heat. Follow the directions above, but don’t let them simmer so long at the end, take them off the heat once you have the sweetness to you liking and the berries have all broken down to a smoother consistency.
For the Quesadilla:
On your tortilla, alternate thin slices of brie with apples across one half of the tortilla, fold over the other half of the tortilla over the top and in a non stick pan heat both sides of the quesadilla until the cheese is melted and the tortilla turns slightly golden. ***Please note, when brie melts, it’s a little thin, so if you want to avoid a mess, be a little more sparing with it than you might be with other cheeses.
Serve with a healthy dollop of your homemade sauce, or preserves.