For dinner a couple of nights ago, I had considered making nachos. I do enjoy a good nacho for dinner. But then I saw two baking potatoes waving at me like the dolly and the tugboat from the Island of Misfit Toys, and they totally sucked me in with their vulnerable "we just want to be loved" act. So, I threw them in the oven. There's probably some moral to that story, but we're talking dinner here, people.
So, rather than having Nacho Fixin's on tortilla chips, we had them on baked potatoes. Them were good, too. But then I was left with some vegetarian refried beans and some chili-no-beans that needed a home. Enter tortillas--big old 10" multigrain guys. Delightful. And just like that, the Leftover-Nacho-Fixin's-Quesadilla was born. I know, I know. It's not a traditional quesadilla. Apparently they are always made with corn tortillas with nothing but some melting cheese in them, but here in Uh-Mer-Ka, we cannot leave Well Enough alone. And I'm pretty much okay with that, especially when it comes to food. Here, quesadillas have long been a staple of chain restaurant appetizers and can have anything shoved in them from shrimp to tofu to corn.
With that in mind, meet my decidedly Uh-Mer-Kin take on Quesadillas.
- 2 10″ multigrain tortillas
- a wee bit of vegetable oil
- about ¼ cup each chili-no-beans and refried beans. Or, just go with chili with beans. Fewer cans to open, you know?
- some shredded pepper jack cheese
- sour cream
- chunky salsa
- pickled jalapenos
- First, heat up the ingredients that are going inside the tortillas. For us, that was the chili and the beans.
- Heat up a big 12″ cast iron skillet (or whatever kind of skillet you have) and then add some vegetable oil and smear it around with a paper towel.
- Put one tortilla in the pan. Spread on your heated ingredients in a thin layer–no more than ¼″. You don’t want a bunch of stuff leaking out of the sides.
- Sprinkle on the cheese, and slap on the top tortilla. Let the whole thing sit there for a couple of minutes, or until the bottom tortilla is a beautiful golden brown.
- Flip the whole thing over with a big old spatula. If you haven’t tried to shove too many ingredients in there, this should go Well.
- Let the other side brown, pushing down on the tortilla just a bit to make sure the cheese melts.
- Once the quesadilla is golden brown on the second side, remove it carefully to a large cutting board.
- I spread the top of ours with thin layers of sour cream, salsa and guacamole and then topped the whole deal with pickled jalapenos. You can do whatever you want with yours, though.
- Then, cut the whole thing with a pizza cutter. You could cut it into skinny little slices, but we cut our guy into six big pie wedges. A delightful dining experience, indeed. And fast. And easy.
- And there you have it. You use whatever you have in the fridge. Any kind of little pieces of meat and/or vegetables are fair game. Pretty much as long as it’s good with cheese, it’s in. I’m pretty sure the one hard-and-fast requirement for quesadillas–even US of A quesadillas–is cheese. Toppings are entirely optional, but who wants to serve a naked quesadilla? Load that puppy up.