I love our family "Quesadilla Night". No one in my family likes their quesadillas the same way. I like mine to be vegetarian. Phil doesn't like any onions. Joey doesn't like cilantro. Jamie wants only chicken and cheese in hers. It is enough to drive my crazy! I finally decided the easiest thing to do would be a 'make-your-own' quesadilla bar on the kitchen island.
I put out several bowls of fillings on the counter, and 'take orders'. Then I custom make the quesadillas to everyones liking. This may sound complicated, but it's not. Once the bowls of fillings are out, it is easy! I always have out a bowl of shredded Mexican cheese. The rest of the fillings vary by what I have in the house, or picked up at the store. This week, fillings that I offered were: a mixture of fat-free refried beans and corn; chopped cilantro; chopped jalapenos; sliced mangos; and sliced brie. Then I took my orders, filled the quesadillas accordingly and I was done. On the dinner table, I had 2 bowls. One bowl of jarred salsa and one bowl of cilantro-lime dipping sauce (3 ingredients). Everyone was happy, and we had a delicious meal.
I have a few tricks for making quesadillas super easy. First, I like to pre-brown my tortillas in a dry, nonstick pan. I use whole wheat tortillas, which taste delicious, and are healthy.
I brush each side of the tortilla with a little EVOO, and brown on each side for a minute or two, in the hot skillet. When each tortilla is done, I stack them on a plate. Now the tortillas are nice and crispy, with hardly any oil.
Next, I place the crispy tortillas on a cookie sheet and start making my custom order quesadillas.
On the left is the plate of fillings I use for my mango brie quesadillas...mango, brie, jalapenos and chopped cilantro. On the right is a bean and corn quesadilla before cooking. For the bean and corn quesadilla filling, I combined one can of fat free refried beans with one can of corn. I always have canned corn in the house, and I always keep different varieties of canned beans in the pantry as well. Then I spread the mixture on the tortilla, and topped it with chopped cilantro and shredded Mexican cheese.
Here is my mango brie quesadilla (mango, brie, and jalapeno) ready to go in the oven. You will notice that I did not put a top tortilla on these. Sometimes, I leave the top tortilla off, and make a tostada. This will go in the oven on broil for 2 - 3 minutes, just to melt the cheese on top. When it comes out of the oven, I like to sprinkle the top with chopped cilantro. If I decided to put the top tortilla on, and make a true quesadilla, I would then put it in the oven on bake, at 350, for about about 20 minutes, until the cheese was melted. Either way tastes great. When they are done, I cut them into quarters, with a sharp knife, and serve!
To make the Lime-Cilanto Dipping Sauce combine 1 c. of light sour cream, the juice of 1 lime, 1/4 c. chopped cilantro and kosher salt to taste. You could also use Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream.
Some other filling suggestions are: roasted chicken, black beans, scallions, sliced steak, any roasted vegetable, shrimp, tomatoes, avocado, portobello mushrooms....whatever you can think of, will probably work!
The leftovers from this dinner are wonderful. I just heat them up in a toaster oven for 5 minutes, and they make a perfect light lunch the next day! This recipe can also be used as an appetizer.