Because of our current quarantine situation, the idea of me stopping at several stores throughout the week for various ingredients is a joke. Instead, we pick one grocery store per week and whatever we can get there, we get. That meant I didn’t have a ton of interesting ingredients to work with for last week’s Taco Tuesday and instead decided to play with the format instead. Tacos became quesadillas and I traded the stove for the oven.
Start by getting some yellow rice cooking. While that’s going, prep your meat. I was using ground turkey and sautéd it with green chiles, chile powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, oregano, and salt. On a baking sheet, rub a baking sheet (I used a silpat) with olive oil and laid the tortillas flat. Next, fill half the tortillas with shredded cheese, the cooked turkey, the rice, black beans and more cheese. Fold the tortillas over (since you oiled the baking sheet rather than the tortillas themselves, both sides of the folded quesadilla will be greased), top with a second baking sheet (so the quesadillas don’t fall open – and if you stuffed them as much as I did, they would fall open) and bake at 400 for 6-8 minutes. Flip the quesadillas and cook another 5 minutes (they won’t need that top baking sheet anymore), or until the cheese has melted and the tortillas are nice and crispy. Top with salsa, crema (try mixing sour cream or yogurt with lime), and avocado (which I ran out of – used a jalapeño sauce instead).
I took the pantry approach to these quesadillas. Nothing groundbreaking in the spices I used or the dish’s main components. I did, however make sure to include everyyyything in this one quesadilla. This goes beyond the meat + cheese combo you usually find in a quesadilla. This has meat, cheese, rice, and beans – all in one little handheld clutch. It’s the whole Tex Mex platter in one place.
Today isn’t just Taco Tuesday…it’s also Cinco de Mayo. The fact that these two glorious events fall on the same day this year is not something I take lightly so you know this is a recipe and cooking method I stand by. Now that I know the baking method works (vs. pan frying), I’ll probably try it out with more thoughtful combos. I can see mole pulled chicken quesadillas in our future….