Quesadillas are a quick fix supper after a day spent doing errands all over town. We’d stopped for a quick lunch somewhere in there as well and wanted a light supper. Quesadillas can be light when you have the right ingredients on hand. I almost always have frozen pulled pork frozen in the freezer for fast meals on busy days.
My last brick happened to be a BBQ flavored pulled pork, so we were going more southern than Mexican. I thawed our pulled pork in a dish on the counter top for about an hour, then heated it in a nonstick skillet. I found a delicious looking quesadilla idea on the Montana Pork website and decided to follow their ideas. They gave some further ideas to use to tweak the quesadillas and I was on them. Sliced black olives, a jar of already roasted red peppers, chopped tomato, diced green onions and chopped cilantro were all things I had on hand as well.
Actually I had fresh red peppers but with several jars of already roasted peppers in the cupboard to use courtesy of my P.S. (Personal Shopper/hubby) I’d go the fast route on those. I had regular tomatoes as well but the handful of grape tomatoes were older and would be cute just cut in half and placed on the quesadillas.
The tortillas were a gluten free product I’d never used before. I hadn’t realized they were gluten free when I purchased them, but I was looking for corn tortillas and that was what I picked up. I like the corn tortillas over the flour for making tacos, burritos and enchiladas. The corn ones have such a lovely flavor after toasting or baking. Flour tortillas are sometimes just kind of boring.
I heated a nonstick skillet with a drizzle of oil and fried the peppers for a minute or two then added the pulled pork. I stirred it often until it was all sizzling and hot and ready to spread on the tortillas.
I’d halved the grape tomatoes, drained the sliced black olives, chopped the green onions and opened the bag of shredded Monterey Jack. After spreading a layer of pork on a small corn tortilla I sprinkled and light layer of cheese, the rest of the ingredients, and another light layer of cheese on top. I placed the second corn tortilla on top and it was ready to grill.
I made several quesadillas as my Panini grill heated. When it was ready I placed two quesadillas at a time on the grill then closed the cover to fry both sides at once.
Of course they got oozy messy as they grilled but it wasn’t a problem. I used a silicone scraper to press the ooze back inside and they stayed nicely.
When the quesadillas were browned I slid them into the oven I’d preheated to 200°F and put two more quesadillas on the Panini grill. I made 6 quesadillas in all, not knowing how much we’d eat for supper. They were fairly small but they are also great leftover, cold. Nothing would go to waste!
I loved how the BBQ pulled pork fit in with the rest of the extras so well. It was almost like eating a true Mexican quesadilla, until you were reminded of the BBQ sauce flavor in another bite.
It was a great dinner made fairly fast after a busy day getting things done! I need to be serious about making quesadillas more often with the Panini griddle. There is such a wide variety of meats, veg and even fruit that are so good when mixed and matched together with cheese.
2 cups pulled pork with BBQ sauce
1 jar of roasted red bell peppers; chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes; halved or quartered depending on size (optional)
½ cup green onions; chopped (optional)
1 small can sliced black olives (optional)
¼ cup cilantro; chopped (optional
2 cups Monterey Jack; shredded
12 small corn tortillas
Salsa and sour cream for dipping if desired
Preheat the oven to 200°F. Heat the Panini grill or a nonstick skillet.
In a nonstick skillet, heat a drizzle of oil and sauté the peppers for two or three minutes. Add pulled pork and sauté until heated through and bubbly.
On 6 small corn tortillas spread a layer of pulled pork and a layer of shredded cheese.
Layer on the remaining ingredients and top with another layer of cheese and the second tortilla.
Place in Panini press or hot nonstick skillet and fry on both sides until browned. Remove from heat and place on a baking sheet in the oven to stay warm. Fry remaining quesadillas.
Slice into wedges and serve hot with salsa and sour cream if desired.
Yield: 6 small quesadillas
Adapted from Montana Pork Producers Council