Monday, April 25, 2011

Create Your Own Quesadilla

Quesadillas are basically grilled cheese sandwiches made with tortillas and various types of fillings. As a matter of fact, quesadillas are a great way to create an interesting meal from just about any type of leftover meats or vegetables.

  • Lay a flour tortilla flat on a tray.
  • Sprinkle a think layer of your favorite flavor shredded cheese on the tortilla.
  • Add the toppings of your choice (ideas detailed below) to half the tortilla.
  • Fold the tortilla in half

Heat a non-stick pan over a medium heat. Spray with Pam or lightly brush with extra-virgin olive oil. Make sure the pan is hot before you add the quesadilla, because it won't brown properly if the pan isn't warm. Sprinkle a few drops of water in the pan to test the temperature. When the water sizzles, the pan is hot enough.
Place the quesadilla in the pan. Once the first side is browned (just a few minutes), flip the it over. Once both sides are browned to your liking, you have a delicious quesadilla for dining or snacking.

Some of my favorite quesadilla recipes include:
  • Shaved deli ham (best with Swiss or Monterey Jack Cheese)
  • Veggie quesadilla - cooked spinach with sautéed onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms
  • Leftover spinach and artichoke dip with grilled chicken strips
  • Shredded chicken (I usually use roasted chicken from my local deli)
  • Taco Meat (either by itself or with refried beans.
  • Sliced meatballs with Marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese
Even though quesadillas are traditionally considered a Mexican dish, it's easy to vary the flavors based on the filling. For example, The sliced meatball, mozzarella sauce, and mozzarella cheese quesadilla filling is more Italian than Mexican. It actually tastes very much like a calzone.
Use your imagination when it comes to coming up with innovative quesadilla fillings. Tortillas are really just thin bread, so anything that you would eat in a traditional sandwich is likely to make an excellent quesadilla filling.
Serving Suggestion
Serve warm. If desired, top with sour cream and/or salsa.