Dad’s Super Yum Quesadillas

My husband likes to cook more than I do.  It is for this reason that you may see more of him than me.  We are both hooked on Food Network and various cooking shows, but unlike my husband my idea of my LEAST favorite job in the world would be to work in a kitchen.  Ugh.  It really is like a chore to me.  That is part of the reason for this blog.  I am trying to dislike the process a little less.  I love food.  I love to eat.  I appreciate a nice looking dish.  My issue is probably the same as a lot of other moms out there in that I have to get a meal on the table by a certain time, amidst noise, errands, laundry, whilst mediating arguments and helping kids with homework.  It just ends up being one more thing to cross off the list before I get to collapse in bed at the end of the day.

Money is also a factor, for as much as I’d love to dine out every night or pay a personal chef to cook for me, I can’t.  Meals sometimes have to stretch further.  For example, I will make more of something so that I purposely have enough for a second meal.   I am also making meals for the dogs while I am making dinner for the family sometimes, so all of this is taken into account when choosing ingredients.  These ingredients are organic whenever possible.  There is just no comparison when it comes to flavor and health benefits.

My husband makes awesome chicken quesadillas.  It’s one of my favorite things that he makes.   Normally he likes to use chicken breast meat, but this time around he used thighs.  I prefer dark meat anyway, so this was fine with me.  Make sure that you season the meat with salt and pepper.  So many people fail to do this and it really makes a difference.

For these quesadillas you will need:

*boneless chicken
*salt
*pepper
*orange, lime
*fresh cilantro
*fresh garlic
*cayenne pepper
*smoked paprika
*roasted cumin
*1 large or 2 smaller tomatoes
*1/2 large white onion
*low-fat or fat-free sour cream
*fiesta blend cheese
*large tortillas

Depending on how many people you’re feeding, you may need anywhere from 1-5 lbs of chicken.  Here we have 3.5 lbs and we are feeding 5.

 

Fresh citrus.
Fresh cilantro.  Don’t even bother using anything other than fresh cilantro.  It’s just a travesty.

 

You will also need fresh garlic (we use about 2 full cloves but we are garlic lovers, so 1 might suffice), tomatoes, onion (not pictured here), cayenne pepper, smoked paprika and roasted cumin.

 

Someone is already lurking.

 

Chop the chicken into small strips/chunks.
Sassy is paying very close attention, so as not to miss anything.
Add about a pinch of each of your spices (or more if you prefer stronger flavors or one over the other), then squeeze in some fresh orange juice…
And fresh lime juice (lemon is also nice) and cook until chicken is nearly done.
Place into food processor and give a few good pulses.
Pour back into pan (or wok in this case) and let simmer while you chop your veggies.
Slice up your tomatoes and cilantro…
And your onion (this is to taste–here we have used 1/2 of a large white onion).

 

“I has some now?”
Add to your chicken and blend well, cooking until veggies are tender (about 5 minutes).  If you like a little crunch and your onions not as cooked, wait until you assemble the quesadillas to add the onion.  Stir frequently to distribute flavors and make sure chicken is cooked thoroughly.
I like to use Fiesta blend cheese, which usually comes with a little kick of added spice and combines a few different cheeses.
Put cheese and meat mixture on the lower portion of the tortilla.
Fold over and gently press down.
Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for about 5 mins on each side.
Cut into fourths and serve with sour cream and salsa and dig in!  These can also be frozen.
Enjoy!

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