recipe

Mmm, Quesadilla

Mmm, Quesadilla. Me love you long time.

I’ve been asked in the past (in person, but who cares) to share my quesadilla recipe. Perhaps because it is well known that ‘quick and easy’ is how I roll. Uh, in the kitchen. Just to clarify. Also perhaps because this is omnomnom delicious.

First, because you can’t get away without some random blathering from me to start things off…

Quesadillas and Laura – A Love Story

Quesadillas and I first met when they were being served in the college cafeteria as the lunch special. I had never met them before, much to the surprise of my peers. A classmate offered me a slice of hers, and a torrid love affair was born.

Our love continued on when I moved into an apartment with some friends. There was lots of experimentation with quesadilla. More cheese… shrimp instead of chicken… one of us even wound up with a kitchen device specifically for making quesadillas. (Not me, surprisingly.)

The relationship hit its peak when I was pregnant with Nicole, during which time I was downing quesadillas at such a rate that it became necessary to find faster, easier ways to get my fix. And thusly the Quick and Easy Quesadilla was born.

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A touching story, no? Now, on to what you’re really here for, unless you scrolled past that are are here already, in which case, you probably have no feelings, or are really hungry. So here it is! If you scroll to the very bottomy bottom there will be a simple recipe typed out, if you’re into printing things instead of looking at pictures of how-to.

Chicken, Pepper, and Cheese Quesadillas

  • one pack of large tortillas
  • two chicken breasts
  • two bell peppers (I used red and orange, but any mix will do)
  • grated cheese, at least two large handfuls
  • salsa … one cup for inside, and extra for dipping.
  • sour cream for dipping

To start off, cook your chicken breasts. I did mine on a Pampered Chef stone for 40 minutes at 400 degrees F, ignoring it thoroughly, but I’ve also done it in a frying pan. You can also use leftover chicken.

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Once the chicken is cooked, chop it up and toss it into a medium-sized bowl. Add one cup of salsa to the bowl and blend, then let it sit while you chop your peppers. You can chop them as coarsely or as fine as you like, I like to chop mine a bit finer to try sneak them past my three year old. (It doesn’t really work for more than a few bites.) Also, turn on your stove to Medium and put a large frying pan on to preheat. If it’s nonstick, it won’t require any oil or anything, as long as you heat it up properly first. You can also use a countertop griddle or skillet, anything with a hot flat surface.

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Here is a beautiful little illustration of how to chop peppers, if you aren’t familiar. From top left red pepper across, and then bottom left across… First, cut the pepper in half. Then break off the stem and pull out any white parts or seeds. Next, place it cut side down and squish it flat with your palm, this makes it much easier to cut. It will break. Do not be alarmed. Next, cut it into slices. Finally, cut the other way to cut it into… dices. Tadaa! (Observe, I do this with a steak knife with this since the pepper has a slick skin, see the guts of two peppers, and also note that we hate our counter enough to cut on it. You probably want a cutting board to be involved in this situation.)

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Here is where the recipe can vary. If you want a crunchy, garden-fresh tasting quesadilla, toss your bell peppers in the bowl with your chicken right now. If you want a soft, ooey gooey chewy comfort-food quesadilla, saute the peppers first, THEN toss them in. To continue with the variations, you can add onions, mushrooms, corn, pretty much any veggie. Have a party. Clean the fridge.

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With your chicken, salsa, and peppers already in the bowl, toss in at least two generous handfuls of grated cheese, to taste. More cheese is almost never the wrong answer. You can grate it yourself, or you can be a bum like me and just use pre-grated cheese. I buy substantial amounts of Tex Mex Shredded Cheese at costco and do my best to get fat off it. Mix it all together. (Note that I used a small bowl. Trust when I say, use a medium bowl.)

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To make a traditional quesadilla, place one tortilla down and cover it in the filling, then cover that with another tortilla.Once the first side is browned, flip it over and brown the second side until the cheese is melted.

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To make an easier-to-flip quesadilla, place one tortilla down and cover half of it in filling, then fold it in half.

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You know that friend who always does things like burn herself to crunchy on the element ofthe dishwasher, or nearly break her finger poking at the stuff in the mixer without turning the mixer off first? No? Okay, well, you do now, and it’s me. Here’s an idea… use a spatula for the folding thing. Instead of your hand.

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I can do two this way at a time in my big pan. Also, I sometimes put in more filling than this. Yum. Quesadilla.

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Once you can life the first quesadilla with the spatula and it stays stiff and straight, flip them both. They should look like this next picture.

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Melty cheese. Always a good thing. This made more than enough for my small family. It could easily feed four.

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This is how I served it to Nicole on her cute little plate, all dolled up and with nice dollops of sour cream and salsa. I told her it was inside out pizza. It kind of is, if you think about it!

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This is how I eat it myself, with the sour cream and salsa all mixed together and spread over top of it. It’s probably pretty fatty but I mean, there’s slightly crunchy veggie goodness in there, so I don’t care. Chalk it up as a healthy meal. Look ma, all the food groups! And I cut it with a pizza cutter. And I ate it last night and now I’m hungry for it again, looking at this picture.

 

and here’s just the recipe text:

Chicken, Pepper, and Cheese Quesadillas

  • one pack of large tortillas
  • two chicken breasts
  • two bell peppers (I used red and orange, but any mix will do)
  • grated cheese, at least two large handfuls
  • salsa … one cup for inside, and extra for dipping.
  • sour cream for dipping

To start off, cook your chicken breasts. I did mine on a Pampered Chef stone for 40 minutes at 400 degrees F, ignoring it thoroughly, but I’ve also done it in a frying pan. You can also use leftover chicken. Once the chicken is cooked, chop it up and toss it into a medium-sized bowl. Add one cup of salsa to the bowl and blend, then let it sit while you chop your peppers. You can chop them as coarsely or as fine as you like, I like to chop mine a bit finer. Also, at this point turn on your stove to Medium and put a large frying pan on to preheat. If it’s nonstick, it won’t require any oil or anything, as long as you heat it up properly first. You can also use a countertop griddle or skillet, anything with a hot flat surface.

Here is where the recipe can vary. If you want a crunchy, garden-fresh tasting quesadilla, toss your bell peppers in the bowl with your chicken right now. If you want a soft, ooey gooey chewy comfort-food quesadilla, saute the peppers first, THEN toss them in. To continue with the variations, you can add onions, mushrooms, corn, pretty much any veggie.

With your chicken, salsa, and peppers already in the bowl, toss in at least two generous handfuls of grated cheese, to taste. More cheese is almost never the wrong answer. You can grate it yourself, or you can just use pre-grated cheese.Mix it all together.

To make a traditional quesadilla, place one tortilla down and cover it in the filling, then cover that with another tortilla. Once the first side is browned, flip it over and brown the second side until the cheese is melted.

To make an easier-to-flip quesadilla, place one tortilla down and cover half of it in filling, then fold it in half. When it’s stiff enough to flip instead of flop, do so. Less potential mess this way, I find. Do two at a time and you’re going just as fast.

Use a pizza cutter to slice up your quesadillas, and eat them with sour cream and salsa. Yum!

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