Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chicken & Jalapeño Quesadillas

Yeah, we're midway through September but I'm still posting recipes that use the grill. I won't give up on grilling until it's too cold for flip flops. To be fair, these quesadillas were made on the last day in August when it was still technically grilling season but that's not to say you couldn't make them today, if you wanted to (weather permitting).
This is a dish I made for lunch smack dab in the middle of our kitchen renovation. If you've been following along, you'll know that we've been living without a kitchen since August. The grill has been our best friend throughout this ordeal and you know what I realized? It's actually nicer to grill when the weather is cooler. I don't end up with heat rash and I'm much more comfortable sitting down to dinner when I'm not sticky with sweat.

Eventually I'm going to compile a bunch of recipe ideas in a "What to eat during a kitchen renovation" entry but today, I'm just sharing this one recipe for quesadillas made on the grill.

Ingredients [per quesadilla]:
2 medium sized tortillas
⅓ to ½ cup cheese
shredded chicken (I used a store-bought rotisserie chicken)
thinly sliced jalapeno
salsa, sour cream, pico de gallo, avocado, onion, and other garnishes


Start by warming up the tortillas on the grill. The flame should be low. You don't need too much heat to toast up tortillas and melt some cheese. But, make sure it's hot enough to give you a few grill marks. Grill marks make food look more delicious. That's a well-known fact.
Add a layer of cheese to one tortilla - I used a combination of a 'taco' cheese blend from Sargento and regular mozzarella for some of that gooey, stretchy effect. Top with some chicken, jalapeno slices, and some more cheese. Top with the second tortilla and close the lid for just a minute or two to melt the cheese.
Flip the quesadilla once, close the lid again for another minute or two, and then serve. That's it; quick and easy.
If you're feeling a bit more ambitious, you could also lay out a big piece of foil on the grill, drizzle with a little oil, and warm up the chicken with onions and mushrooms and a bit of taco seasoning (I used cayenne pepper and chili powder and black pepper) and fill the quesadillas with that. It's heartier but requires a little more work.
I like to cut up each quesadilla into sixths, pile on some delicious salsa, and garnish with a lime wedge. I used store-bought hot salsa and mango salsa (fresh in the produce section, not the kind in the jars). These quesadillas were really filling and hearty from all that chicken. And of course, it was delicious and full of flavor and I loved the surprise spicy bites of jalapeno. It really gives you a good kick in the mouth.
Enjoy.

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