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~ Run-Up-the-Score with Chicken-Fajita Quesadillas ~

IMG_3155 2Got leftover chicken-fajita filling or steak-fajita filling?  Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't, but when I do, I know exactly what to make with that tasty couple-of-cups:  fajita quesadillas. Ooey-gooey and cheesy, they're so dang good, I won't lie, sometimes I make the filling for the sole purpose of making fajita quesadillas.  When I do do that, it's usually because I'm feeding a crowd, and, more-often-than-not, the occasion is a tailgate in front of the TV.  No matter how many I make, they're the first appetizer to disappear -- there never seems to be enough. 

6a0120a8551282970b0278803122fe200d"Queso (KAY-soh)" is the Spanish word meaning "cheese", and, a quesadilla is a tortilla containing ooey-gooey melted cheese.

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d15ed99a970cQuesadilla (keh-sah-DEE-yah):  A round, flat, cooked-until-soft corn or flour tortilla (even though most folks associate them with flour tortillas exclusively), folded in half to form a half-moon with a savory filling sandwiched in the center.  It is fried on a well-seasoned cast-iron comal (a flat, round griddle), using no or very little oil (although in American kitchens, mine included, a nonstick skillet or a grill pan commonly substituted.  FYI:  "Queso (KAY-soh)" is the Spanish word for "cheese", which, in turn, makes a quesadilla a container for ooey, gooey melted cheese.

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c8a000fe970bAlmost any cooked and chopped or shredded meats and/or vegetables can be used as a filling for a quesadilla (fish and seafood are not typically used) -- the meats and vegetables must always be cooked first because a quesadilla cooks in a few short minutes.  For each fajita-quesadillas (3 triangles), you'll need:

1, 8" round flour tortilla

1/2  cup chicken-fajita filling

6 tablespoons shredded Jack, pepper Jack or cheddar cheese 

Prepare each quesadilla on the stovetop in a grill pan as follows:

IMG_3121 IMG_3121 IMG_3121 IMG_3121 IMG_3121 IMG_3121 IMG_3121~Step 1.  Spray a 12"-round grill pan with no-stick cooking spray and place it over medium heat (medium-heat on my gas stove is medium-high heat on an electric range).  Place a tortilla on the grids and sprinkle 6 tablespoons shredded cheese (a scant 1/2 cup) over the entire surface of the tortilla to within 1/2" of the perimeter all around (resist using too much cheese).  Place a generous 1/2 cup of chicken fajita filling atop the cheese on half of the tortilla.  When the bottom layer of cheese has melted, which takes about 45-60 seconds, use a spatula to lift and fold the cheesy half of the tortilla over the chicken-filled half and allow to sit on the heat about 15 more seconds.  Remove from heat and transfer quesadilla to a cutting board.  Repeat with as many quesadillas as you want to make.

Smile for the camera & have a bit of patience...

IMG_3142... you gotta wait 1 minute before slicing it into three wedges.

IMG_3150Cha-Cha-Cha for Cheesy Chicken-Fajita Quesadillas:  Recipe yields 8, 8"-round quesadillas and 24 appetizers.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; 12" skillet w/lid; large skillet; hand-held box grater; 12"-round grill pan or nonstick skillet; paper towel; wide spatula

6a0120a8551282970b027880393a15200dCook's Note: Newsflash.  A flank steak does not have to be grilled outdoors to be a great flank steak. While grilled is very, very good, truth told, my oven broiler method does a marvelous job with no stress, guess nor mess.  The end result is wonderfully seasoned, perfectly-cooked medium-rare steak.   The process is so foolproof, I prefer it. There's more.  Once sliced, a flank steak feeds an entire family.  When the flank steak gets added to an easy-to-make sautéed vegetable medley, this meal feeds a crowd.  It's perfect for any indoor or outdoor gathering any time of year. Try making fajita-quesadillas using my ~ Tex-Mex Broiled Flank Steak Fajita Filling ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2021) 


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