Taco Quesadillas by Ree

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There are as many variations of quesadillas on this website as there are grains of sand in all the beaches of the world.

Not really. There are seven.

The point is, quesadillas are one of my favorite things to eat on earth, and I never get tired of them! Lately, even though flour tortillas are the usual choice, I happen to be a sucker for quesadillas made with corn tortillas because you get that lovely texture and flavor of a corn tortilla and it just puts a nice little crazy spin on things.
DSC_4219I made these babies yesterday. We gobbled ’em down!
DSC_4144Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle in a little (just a little) vegetable oil. Throw in some ground beef (don’t pay attention to my amount—I made extra meat mixture for later ’cause that’s how I roll)…

DSC_4147Cook it and crumble it until it’s totally browned.

DSC_4149Then, because you want to get on your cardiologist’s good side, drain off a good amount of the fat.

DSC_4150This was fatty beef! It just kept going…and going…and going…

DSC_4152Once the fat is drained, add some chili powder, cumin, cayenne, oregano, tomato paste, and salt.

DSC_4153Pour in some hot water…

DSC_4158And stir it until it’s all combined. Simmer it on low for a few minutes while you get everything else ready.

DSC_4159And by everything else, I mean cheese! Lots of it! Monterey Jack!

Or any ol’ cheese you want.

(But Monterey Jack is the best for quesadillas.)

(But use any ol’ cheese you want.)

(As long as it’s Monterey Jack.)

DSC_4160I also made some pico de gallo! Finely diced jalapenos…

DSC_4162Diced tomato…

DSC_4164Diced onion…

DSC_4165Chopped cilantro…

DSC_4166And a lime!

DSC_4168Stir it all together with a little salt…and you’ve got the best condiment known to man.

DSC_4172Now it’s quesadilla time! Heat a separate skillet over medium heat and smear butter around the bottom.

DSC_4174Throw in a tortilla. This is a corn tortilla because as I stated above, I’m obsessed with corn tortilla quesadillas.

Obsessed, I tell you.

CONSUMED!

Okay, so that’s a bit of an overstatement.

DSC_4176Cover the tortilla with cheese, because I’m obsessed with cheese.

Obsessed, I tell you.

CONSUMED!

And that isn’t even close to being an overstatement.

DSC_4177Spoon a generous amount of the taco meat on top of the cheese…

DSC_4182Top it with a little more cheese…

DSC_4184Top it with another tortilla, then carefully flip it over with a spatula.

DSC_4187Let it sit until the cheese is totally melted/sizzly and the tortilla has soaked up all the wonderfulness of the cheese. Note that the corn tortillas won’t get crisp during this process as they would if you were to fry them in oil. But they get nice and soft and slightly crisp around the edges…and oh, that corn tortilla flavor. Love it!

DSC_4193Yum! Now, you can grab a fork and cut into it right here and now, or you can treat it a little more like a taco…

DSC_4199By shredding some lettuce…

DSC_4207And sprinkling it on top with a little pico de gallo.

DSC_4210These are actually three halves of a quesadilla arranged together on the plate.

Another approach you could take is to pile the lettuce and pico de gallo on one whole quesadilla, then fold it as if it were a real taco! You need to lean over your plate in this case as it would be a very messy proposition…

DSC_4219Either way you eat ’em, this is a nice variation of a regular quesadilla.

DSC_4222(But you can use a flour tortilla if you prefer. Still scrumptious! All the flavor of a taco, but with melted cheese. Mmmm!)

Here’s the handy dandy printable.