For me quesadillas are the perfect food. This classic Mexican dish has changed and evolved over many years, as it’s experimented with different variations. There's definitely more to a quesadilla than just plain cheese and tortilla. Here’s my favourite quesadilla recipe — with a twist!
This pan-grilled chicken and pineapple variation is a mouth-watering combination of flavour explosions. The ooey gooey goodness of melted cheese, the heat from the jalapenos and Cajun seasoning adds kick, while the sweetness of the pineapple balances everything out.
— 6 whole flour tortillas
— 300g of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
— 1 cup fresh sweet pineapple, cut into wedges
— 1/2 cup of red bell pepper, chopped finely
— 2 jalapenos, deseeded and chopped finely
— 1 cup Monterey jack or cheddar cheese, grated
— Cajun seasoning and salt, to taste
— Cilantro, chopped finely
— Tbsp butter or margarine
Start with the filling.
— Cut the chicken breast into bite-size pieces, add Cajun seasoning (cumin, garlic powder, paprika, ground black pepper) and mix well.
— Sizzle 1 tbsp butter in a non-stick grilling pan, add the seasoned chicken and grill on a medium-high flame until the meat is half-cooked.
— Next add bell pepper, jalapenos, pineapple and salt. Grill for another seven to eight minutes until the water from the pineapple is dried (leave it uncovered).
— Now place it all together in a bowl.
To assemble, take one tortilla at a time.
— Grease the tortilla with melted butter or margarine.
— Layer half the tortilla with the grated cheese, chicken and vegetable mixture. Only use about two heaping tablespoons of filling per large tortilla.
— The half-moon technique is easier to flip than a quesadilla made with two tortillas. Just spread your filling over half of the tortilla, then fold the other half over the filling.
— Now heat the nonstick grilling pan and lay down the filled quesadilla, flipping it with a spatula under the open side.
— Once the cheese is perfectly melted you’ll know it’s ready.
Repeat the assembling procedure with each quesadilla — stopping when it’s hot, crunchy and gooey. Dip it in your favorite salsa or sour cream.
Riccha Arora runs the Facebook page Sassy Kitchen — facebook.com/pages/Sassy-Kitchen/514471675341572