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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chicken, Cheese and Bean Quesadillas


This my friends, is cooking for dummies. To paraphrase those Geico commercials, “so easy a caveman can do it”. I hold a soft spot for Tex-Mex food; it tends to be fast, easy and oh so delicious. And it has a lot of cheese in it, which is always a plus. This recipe is very easy to whip up on a weeknight after work and you can easily vary the fillings to suit everyone in your family. Tex-Mex Quesadillas at their most basic are a Mexican grilled cheese sandwich, with tortillas instead of bread. Here is my rendition.


I love beans. My family is Latin American so I grew up eating them. Eating them reminds me of my mother’s cooking. I do take a shortcut when making Tex-Mex and use canned refried beans. Please don’t think too badly of me.

I start off by smearing beans directly on a tortilla since it helps to hold everything together.


Next up is the cheese. I have a super difficult time finding Mexican cheese at my supermarket and by difficult I mean they don’t carry any so I always get mixed pre-shredded Taco/Nacho cheese.


As you can see, I don’t skimp on the amount I add.


Next up is the chicken. If you want a vegetarian quesadilla leave it out. In this case I cooked chicken thighs specifically for this recipe but if you have leftover roasted chicken this is a great way to use it up.


I know this will seem very weird but I add Frank’s Red Hot sauce to my chicken. If you want to be more traditional add salsa instead but try Red Hot at least once, trust me, it is really good.


I add a liberal amount of sauce to my chicken. Red Hot is not very hot at all so don’t be scared.


The chicken goes on top of the cheese.


I like red onions so I thinly sliced some and added them along with more cheese. The quesadilla doesn’t cook for a super long time so your onions will still be half raw. If this bothers you either pre-cook them or omit them.


I actually use a crepe pan to cook my quesadillas. The sides are very low which makes it easier to flip them upside down.


I generally cook them on medium heat and when I see that the cheese on top is melting I put a tortilla on top, press down a bit and then put plate on top of the pan, flip it over and then slide the tortilla back again onto the pan.


Mmmm…. cheesy.


Let’s look inside: everything is heated through and the chees has all melted.


I of course, added a scoop of guacamole on the side. Although I am willing to slave for hours over a hot stove to please my stomach, sometimes the tastiest things are happily, quite easy to make. This was a very satisfying dinner and each tortilla is enough for 2-4 meals depending on appetites and what you put in the middle. Do try this recipe out, it is really a go-to recipe when you don’t have a lot of time but you still want something that tastes great.

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