15 July 2008

Danger Dinner!

Last Friday, we were trying to find a creative use for some left-over rotisserie chicken. We had invited a couple of friends over for dinner and told them that it was going to be a very casual affair. (That's a euphemistic way of lowering expectations.) We decided to throw together some quesadillas. We asked one of our guests to bring some of her famous borracho beans and pico de gallo, and another was bringing dessert.

Tom and I stopped by our favorite Mexican grocery, the Fiesta (in Dallas, we always prefix the name of any store with "the", like the Kroger, the Walgreens, etc.), to pick up as many salmonella-enhanced fresh vegetables as possible -- tomotoes, cilantro, jalapeños, and onions. (As of this writing, we have failed in our quest.)

The quesadillas were a gastronomic AND social hit. We hand-pulled the left-over chicken from the bones and warmed it over very low heat with a can of chopped green chilis to give it a little punch. While the chicken and chilis warmed, I sliced some yellow onions and sauteed them almost to carmelization.

Then we formed an assembly line down the galley we call our kitchen, everyone contributing one ingredient to one side of the 8-inch flour tortillas, being careful not to over-fill them. (Otherwise, it makes a big mess on the griddle when half the stuff falls out.) My assignment in the process was the griddle, so when they reached the end of the assembly line, I folded the tortillas in half and let the heat do its magic.

As goes the cliché, a good time was had by all.

MontiConcho Chicken Quesadillas

1 1/2 - 2 cups rotisserie chicken pulled off the bones
1 small can chopped green chilis (do not drain)
8 eight-inch flour tortillas
1 large yellow onion, sliced into rings
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 1/2 cups quesadilla cheese, shredded
pico de gallo
Mexican cream (or substitute sour cream or plain yogurt)

Warm chicken and chopped chilis (with liquid) in a small sauce pan. It just needs to be warm, not hot.
Sauté onion until very soft and almost carmelized.
On one half of each tortilla, spread chicken, onion, cilantro, and cheese. Sprinkle with jalapeno pieces to desired level of spiciness. Fold tortillas over and place on a medium-hot griddle. The objective is to melt the cheese so that everything inside sticks together and to give the outside of the tortillas a nice brown color. Turn once, flipping "across the fold" so that all the good stuff doesn't fall out. Depending on your heat, it will take about 2 minutes on each side.

Slice each in half, and garnish wedges with cream, pico de gallo, and more cilantro.

Left-overs store well in the refrigerator and reheat nicely in the microwave or on the griddle the next day.


Anonymous said...

mmmmm........sounds goooooood..... I will try them!

SP said...

I'm lovin' all over that dish.


Anonymous said...

Hey Greg, it's nice to see you blogging! I'm a fellow food enthusiast and that recipe looks yummy. I've subscribed to your RSS feed and look forward to your posts!

dallas cookie said...

Greg,thank you for sharing your enthusiasm for cooking. I need all the help I can get. Keep em coming.