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Day 52: Chicken, Black Bean & Mushroom Quesadillas

One of my favorite things to eat in the world are gooey quesadillas. They are also, conveniently, a snap to make, can be done in under 5 minutes, and are the best use of virtually any kind of leftovers; poultry, beef, pork, shrimp, beans, veggies. Roast chicken, of course, is ideal. Since I always have a can of black beans in the cupboard, a few scattered on top always work. I had a few depressed mushrooms in the bottom of the fridge, so those got sauteed and added as well. Any sort of cheese ends you have rattling around make the glue to stick it all together.

My friend Nicole popped by last night to sit at my kitchen table for a quick visit, and told me about the outstanding quesadillas she had eaten at the Post Hotel: three-ply, she called them. I didn’t have the gumption to go for a three-tiered quesadilla, but I love the concept, and even more the comparison to toilet paper.

If you can make a grilled cheese sandwich, you can make a quesadilla. Buy whole wheat flour tortillas; might as well, they taste better and are better for you than plain white ones. While we’re on the subject, I should mention the common misconception that “wraps” are somehow healthier than bread… this began sometime during the Atkins dynasty, at which time “low carb” products made with flatbread were abundant. Now, a flat bread is just an unleavened bread; you would achieve the same result by taking a slice of regular sandwich bread and rolling it with a rolling pin. So tortillas aren’t magically low-calorie: imagine if they had a leavening agent like yeast added, they would be enormous slices of puffy bread.

If you’re brave enough to flip a full size quesadilla, throw a whole tortilla into a dry skillet and scatter with cheese and anything else you have around: beef, pork, shrimp, roasted veg, goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes, sauteed spinach or mushrooms, really anything you can think of. Top with a little more cheese (to keep the lid closed) and top with another tortilla. If you’re wary of flipping something that size (really, it’s easy if you just invert it onto a plate and then slide it back in), spread out your fillings on half the tortilla and fold it over like a taco; they are much easier to handle that way.

Cut into wedges and serve straight from the cutting board with some good chunky salsa. My current favorite is the extra-chunky mild from the Superstore – Mike usually adds a few chugs of Tabasco.


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5 comments on “Day 52: Chicken, Black Bean & Mushroom Quesadillas

  1. JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen
    February 22, 2008 at 9:27 am

    I absolutely adore the combination of bread and cheese in any form – grilled cheese, quesadillas, foccacia, pizza, crostini, bruschetta the list goes on and on!
    This looks so good!

    Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll!

  2. Anita
    February 22, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Thanks for the delicious and quick recipe ideas. Please keep them coming….

  3. Camryn
    February 22, 2008 at 10:38 am

    I have a recipe to share with you! A co-worker invented this for a potluck last month. I’ve named it “Insanely Easy Mango Meatballs”

    Take half a box of frozen, pre-cooked meatballs and cook according to the directions on the box. Half way through the cooking time, add a jar of Newman’s Own Mango Salsa.

    Ta da! I serve it over rice with steamed carrots and broccoli on the side.

    Of course, you could make your own meatballs but that means you’d actually have dishes to wash and ingredients to buy and hands to get mucky. 🙂 Although they’d likely be healthier…

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