Friday, June 19, 2009

A House Staple

When I was in college I lived in a sorority house my sophomore through senior years. One night Chris dropped in and cooked dinner for me. Thankfully he had enough supplies to feed the entire house, because the scent of his meal travelled upstairs causing everyone to come out of the woodwork. It was such a fun evening, and everyone in the house fell in love with him then and there. He made simple quesadillas, and we've had them at least once a month ever since that evening in 2000. Here's the basic recipe:
Chris' Quesadillas
flour tortillas
chicken, fully cooked
Shred, chop, or dice your chicken. In a skillet over medium heat, combine chicken with as much salsa as you like (we usually use about 1/4 - 1/2 cup to each chicken breast), and cook until bubbling. When the salsa has reduced and thickened, turn the heat to low.
Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Butter one side of each flour tortilla. Put the tortilla buttered-side-down in the heated skillet, and sprinkle with cheese. Add a scoop of the chicken and salsa mixture, and spread to cover. Sprinkle again with cheese, and top with another tortilla buttered-side-up.
Cook on each side until the tortilla is browned and crispy. Slice and serve with sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo (make your own by mixing 1 chopped tomato (seeded) with 1 chopped jalapeno, 1/4 diced red onion, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, salt, pepper, and the juice of half of a large lime), or cilantro.
In these quesadillas, I used my own homemade salsa. Here's the recipe:
1 large can of diced tomatoes (you could absolutely use whole tomatoes here too)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 sweet onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 jalapeno*
salt and pepper to taste
Drain the tomatoes, but reserve the juices. Add the tomatoes to a food processor or blender. Add the cilantro. Grate the onion and garlic, and add to the tomato mixture. Then, finely chop the jalapeno, and toss it in. Pulse the mixture, and add the juices back to your desired consistency. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Since all of the ingredients are pre-chopped or grated, the food processor only serves to meld the flavors, so do not overmix. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 week (although I've never had this last even 2 days!).
*Obviously you can change this to meet your taste for spiciness. I usually seed the jalapenos and remove the white parts before I chop it up. Using 1/2 seems to be very mild, and even Hannah enjoys this recipe.

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