Friday, May 22, 2009

Grilled Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas

Being from Texas, alot of our dishes have a Mexican influence;  Growing up I remember eating tacos of all sorts (puffy, crispy, soft) well as, chalupas, flautas, chimichangas, gorditas, and pretty much any other variety of "a tortilla wrapped around something"    Inspired by a childhood favorite coupled with the start of some summertime grilling, I thought I would take a stab at these spinach quesadillas.  They're fun to make, and of course you can add the fillings that you desire.  I don't really like mushrooms or tomatoes, so I didn't use them but by all means modify the ingredients as you wish.

Here in Texas we absolutely love HEB supermarkets.  They have fresh produce and meats, and their prices are fair.  They carry a variety of pre-seasoned chicken breasts for convenience.  I chose the ones seasoned for fajitas (of course :)  

If you purchase fresh chicken breasts that are not pre-seasoned, I suggest just seasoning them with fajita seasoning or ground cumin, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.

I also picked up some flour tortillas, which are made fresh daily in my HEB.  You may also used the packaged ones, usually sold on the bread aisle.  Local restaruants in your area may sell fresh tortillas for as little as $.15 cents each.  Taco Cabana is a local Mexican fast food chain that sells them here in Texas, and they are very good.  

Tortillas come in so many varieties.  I've seen spinach, tomato, wheat, and even pesto. You can most definately use these flavors as well.  I went the traditional route with this dish.

Fillings:  This is what I used, but as I stated earlier you may use any fillings that you wish. 

1 white onion 
1 green or red bell pepper
2 1/2 cups of shredded colby or monterray jack (or mixed) cheese 
1 bunch of fresh spinach leaves (or the ones in the bag can be used as well)
1 pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Other popular options for fillings:  mushrooms, jalapenos, pico de gallo, tomatoes, beans (black, pinto, kiney, etc.), 

Cheeses: smoked gouda, swiss, jalapeno jack
Meats:  ground beef (with taco seasonings or groud cumin), meatballs, diced ham, shredded chicken.

Sooo let's get started!

1.  Chop bellpepper and onion corsely.  Place in a 'bundle' of foil paper for easy grilling.  Spray foil paper  with non-stick spray or olive oil to prevent sticking.

2.  Prepare charcoal or gas grill cooking (375 degrees F.) 

3.  Place bundle of onion and bellpepper on grill, as well as seasoned chicken breasts.
Note:  I placed my chicken breasts on foil paper because it makes for easier clean up.  You don't have to do this;  You may place chicken on grill grates if preferred.

4.  Grill chicken for about 6-8 minutes on each side.  In the meantime, while chicken is grilling, prepare your sauteed spinach (or whatever other veggies you have chosen).  I sauteed spinach in a small skillet on the stove with a tiny bit of olive oil and pinch of pepper.

5.  Set oven to broil. 

6.  Once chicken is grlled an ready, remove from grill and place on a place or cutting board for slicing.

7.  Also remove bellpepper and onion from grill at this time.  Sprinkle with pinch of salt/pepper.

8.  Slice chicken and set aside. 

9,  Take out tortillas and brush with a little butter or butter subsitute of your choice.
10.  Place vegetables on top of tortillas as shown.

11.  Top off with cheese. 

12.  Place a second tortilla on top, and place in oven for a minute or two (until cheese melts.) Then flip the quesadilla on the other side and repeat.  This step can be done on the grill as well, if you choose to use it instead of a conventional oven.  The nice thing about the grill is that you get the infamous "grill marks" on your tortillas...  which makes them look extra 'special'... hee hee.

13,  Cut finished quesadilla in fourths.

And Voila!  you're done!   

You know the drill.....Drumroll please!  

He likes it!  He likes it!  (Mr. Sherry Berry poses for the camera in his 'Turkey Day' shirt we got at a Thanksgiving volunteer function.  Yes, it's May and he's still wearing that tshirt.)

I liked the quesadillas too.. they were really a good snack.. I even had one for breakfast the next day. 

- Oh and in case you're wonding what refreshing beverage that is sitting next to his plate.. that was a glass of peppermint green tea I made.  Follow the link for instructions on making the tea.




Alisa@Foodista said...

Hi Sherry, I followed you from the foodieblogroll and I love your site.Love your blog and that quesadilla sure makes me hungry! Hope you wont mind,I'd love to guide our readers to your site, just add this foodista widget to this post and it's all set to go, Thanks!

Sherry said...

Thanks Alisa! I've added the widget :)