We have a joke around here about “drunk quesadillas.” It’s a specialty I make after a long night out that uses only the rarest and most expensive ingredients. A soft tortilla shell is folded in half and then stuffed with a handful of shredded cheese. Throw a healthy dash of cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper into the mix and microwave it for 22 seconds (apparently I’m very adamant that it’s 22 seconds exactly) on each side. You then crumble a handful of Spicy Doritos across the top and serve with a heaping mound of sour cream on the side. It’s quite the delicacy. 😉
Obviously I’m being completely sarcastic, but really.. they’re oddly good. Still, I wanted to prove that I could make mouthwatering quesadillas on a slightly more complex level, so I gave them a shot for the first time on the grill. You get a nice crunch from the tortilla shell right before you bite into melted cheese, spicy quinoa and black beans, grilled chicken, bell pepper, and cilantro, making these significantly heartier (and healthier) than my infamous Drunk Quesadillas!
(makes 4 quesadillas)
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken stock or water
1 (15oz) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Salt to taste
2-3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbs taco seasoning – You can try my homemade recipe here!
8 taco sized tortilla shells
2 cups shredded cheese, pepperjack or cheddar
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Add quinoa and chicken stock or water to a medium-sized saucepan and heat over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, stir in black beans, bell pepper, chili powder, and cumin. Season with salt if needed, cover, and set aside.
While waiting on the quinoa, fire up the grill to medium heat and pound chicken breasts down so they’re even in size. Season both sides with taco seasoning. Once hot, add chicken breasts and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until thoroughly cooked. Transfer to a plate and let them rest for a few minutes before cutting into bite sized pieces. Change heat setting on the grill to low-medium.
Now let’s build those quesadillas!
Place one tortilla shell on a plate, cover with a 1/2 cup of shredded cheese, add 1/4 cup to a 1/2 cup of chicken. Spoon a layer of quinoa and black bean mix across the top, sprinkle as little or as much cilantro on top, and then place another tortilla shell on top. Carefully slide off the plate and onto the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. To prevent losing ingredients when flipping, I press the spatula down around the edges to “seal” everything in with the melted cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Use the spatula to cut quesadilla into fourths and serve with a side of sour cream, Mango Salsa, or the Grilled Chipotle Guacamole that I shared yesterday!