Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I've never been to Mexico, but I'm thinking that these things aren't overly authentic Mexican food. That doesn't mean they aren't delicious though! I have been to Atlanta, and when I was there in 2002, I had quesadillas for the first time. From the second I saw these on my plate I knew that they were easy to make. I was working in the kitchen of the campus pub at the time and when I got back to Halifax, I convinced the chef to try them as a "special" one day. They sold like hotcakes. They next year he put them on the menu fulltime and it seemed like within a year every pub in Halifax had them on their menus. I'm not saying I'm responsible for it, I'm just saying that maybe I was a head of the curve!
This is yet another recipe that is super easy to make. All you need is 2 frying pans, flour tortillas, vegetables, chicken or steak and cheese. You can use one frying pan, but you'll have to wash it in between uses.
Chicken or Steak (optional for vegetarians)
You will notice that I didn't put any types of vegetables or cheese. That is all up to you. The sky is the limit. This recipe is more to show you how to make quesadillas and give you suggestions as to their content. What you put in them is up to you. For the vegetables, you can use, red or green pepppers, onions, green onions, mushrooms, tomatoes,corn, jalapenos, etc... For the cheese, I like using marble cheese, but you can use cheddar, mozzarella, monterey jack, etc...
Feel free to use chicken or steak, or leave the meat out and keep it vegetarian. One chicken breast is more than enough to make quesadillas for 3-4 people.
Dice all your vegetables in to fairly small pieces. You don't want big chunks of stuff in the finished product. Same thing with your meat. Cut it fairly small, season with salt, pepper, and cajun spice (only on chicken) if you got it. Heat some oil in a pan (preferablly olive oil) and cook you meat about until it about 50 percent cooked. Add your vegetables to the same pan. Season the pan again with a little salt and pepper. Everything should be finished around the same time
If you have another frying pan (preferablly non stick), get it out and turn the heat to about 7. If you don't have another pan, wash the one you were using and you're good to go. Very important. Do not add oil to this pan. You want to use it dry. Place a tortilla in the pan and add a little bit of cheese to one side of the tortilla. The will kind of act like glue and hold it all together.
Then add your vegetable/meat mixture on top of the cheese. You don't want to overcrowd the tortilla with mixture. Think of it as adding a layer to half of the tortilla. Don't put the mixture too close to open edge of the tortilla too or it will be falling out when you eat. Sometimes I add a spoonfull of salsa on top of the mixture. It adds a little bit of wetness and flavour to the mixture. This is optional though.
Add a little bit more cheese to top of the mixture. If you like a lot of cheese, use a lot of cheese.
Fold the tortilla in half and let it cook until it is brown on one side. With a spatula, flip it and let it cook until it is brown on the other side. Don't not put your heat on max. Keep it at about 6 or 7. Stand over the stove and watch it cook. The tortillas can burn very quickly and you'll have to start all over.
When it is done on both sides, cut it into 3 equal triangles and serve with salsa and/or sour cream.
TIP: This is a great recipe to use some left over meat. If you have some chicken or a piece of steak left over in the fridge, you are all set. In these pictures, I used some left over rotisserie chicken that I had in the fridge. I didn't have to cook anything. I just heated it up with the vegetables.
I've never tried these with ground beef, but I'm sure it would work fine. Ground chicken or turkey would work great too and it would be a little leaner as well.