Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Keeper of a Recipe

I tried a new recipe the other night and it was a real hit at our house so I'm sharing it here.

Easy Baked Beef, Bean and Corn Quesadillas

1 pound ground beef
1 cup prepared (home or bought) salsa
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted & drained well (I used canned successfully)
8 small flour tortillas 6-7" diameter (I used corn tortillas, which I like better)
3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend or Cheddar cheese (I think I used more than this, I didn't measure)

1. Heat oven to 400 F. Heat large nonstick skillet (I used my cast iron) over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4 inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings; season with salt and pepper as desired.
2. Stir in salsa, beans, and corn; cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until thickened and heated through.
3. Spray baking sheet (I used my biggest which measures about 12x17) with cooking spray. Arrange 4 tortillas (6 fit on mine) on baking sheet. Sprinkle 1/2 of cheese evenly over tortillas. (Here I just used my hands to grab some from the bag and sprinkle it.) Spoon beef mixture evenly over cheese (this made enough for six, plus left overs, probably enough for 2 or 3 more); top with remaining cheese and cover with another tortilla. Spray top tortillas with cooking spray.
4. Bake in 400 oven 11-13 minutes or until quesadillas are lightly browned and edges are crisp. Cut into wedges and serve. We had them with sour cream.

I've had enough cooking experience to read a recipe and adapt it to what I have on hand, hence all the parenthetical instructions. Everybody liked this; and with a green salad or a veggie tray this makes a great supper. Next time I make them I'm going to reduce the meat, increase the beans, and add some onions.

Just for those of you who don't know, quesadillas is a combination of the Spanish words queso (cheese) and tortilla (flat corn or flour bread product). When I was growing up I made quesadillas with just corn tortillas and cheese melted in a skillet--I called them cheese tacos. Then sometime in my twenties restaurants began serving a product called quesadillas, large flour tortillas with melted cheese; from there chefs got creative and added all sorts of ingredients. They are sort of like sandwiches, you can put whatever you want in them.

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