Sunday, February 17, 2013

Not Just Cheese, if You Please

Most nights I love to come home and cook a great meal for my family. But, every now and then, after a long day, I don't feel like going through a huge production.  It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.  Usually the thing I want on those long days is a quesadilla.  A quesadilla is cheese in a tortilla, kind of like queso de tortilla.  I like them because they are quick and filling and crowd-pleasing.

But sometimes, when it hasn't been a long day, I still want quesadillas, except I want to do something bigger than just cheese quesadillas (is it redundant to say "cheese quesadillas?")  So last night I created these Ranch Chicken & Bean Quesadillas.  Filled with shredded chicken, homemade refried beans, green chilies, and shredded cheese, these quesadillas were a big hit and sure to please anyone.  It took a little longer than a regular quesadilla, but the result was well worth the effort.

2 C cooked, shredded chicken
2/3 C water
2 C refried beans
1 4-ounce can of green chilies
1/2 to 1 whole packet Ranch dip mix
1/2 to 1 whole packet Taco seasoning
1 1/2 C shredded cheese, like Cheddar or Pepper Jack
Olive oil
8 tortillas
Butter, softened
Sour cream
Cadillac Queso

Over medium high heat, preheat the olive oil in a large skillet and add in the chicken.  Add in the half packet of Ranch and half packet of Taco seasoning.  Add in the water and stir until most of the water is cooked out.  Stir in the beans and green chilies and cook until heated through. Taste to see if you need more Ranch and Taco seasoning.  Remove from heat.

Preheat a grill pan or a large skillet with a wide bottom to medium high heat.  Butter one side of a tortilla.  Put the tortilla butter side down. Spoon some of the chicken and bean mixture onto the tortilla, coming close to the edges. Sprinkle some cheese over the chicken and bean mixture. Top with another buttered tortilla, butter side up.  Cook until browned on the bottom side, flip it over, and cook until it's browned on the other side.  Repeat for the other three quesadillas.  Garnish as desired.

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