Quesadilla Double Take

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January 31, 2014 by caitlinvaclark

I am feeling very sad about not hosting a Super Bowl party this year. Putting out a tailgating spread, watching football, and drinking beer on a Sunday is the best kind of party. Last year we were on a train back from Paris so that was a pretty glamorous excuse. This year it’s just that we are old and don’t want to stay up. So lame, I know. But here in London, it just doesn’t seem to be worth it to start a party at 11pm to watch two teams that we are not really invested in. (I do have lots of friends and family in Seattle, so I guess go Seahawks!) Plus from what I hear, they don’t play the same commercials here so really half the excitement goes out the window. Speaking of, have you guys seen the Budweiser ad this year with the puppy and clydesdale BFFs? If that doesn’t pull at your heartstrings, then I don’t know what.

But if I were hosting a Super Bowl party, here are my tips to putting out a perfect spread.

  • Start with chips and dip, something that can sit out and is easy to pick at. I like to do two different kinds like potato chips with baked potato dip and tortilla chips with either Enchilada Suiza Dip or Goat Cheese & Chorizo Dip. Or to save yourself time, just serve the tortilla chips with traditional salsa, queso, and guac.
  • I think a big pot of chili is perfect for a Super Bowl party. It can be made a few days in advance and is actually better that way. Plus it’s a great way to provide something hot for your guests without the fuss. You can keep it warm in a crockpot or just on the stove and then people can serve themselves when they are ready for something substantial. Be sure to put out a topping bar too!
  • Subs are always a crowd favorite. One year we did a big spread of sandwiches,  saving money by roasting up my own meat, rather than using store bought cold cuts. I made mexican spiced pork tenderloin with avocado and a greek chicken with feta, tomatoes, and cucumber slices. Not your traditional subs but hearty and delicious.
  • Chicken wings are a deal breaker for a lot of people, so you probably want to have them, but this is one area where I think it’s best to outsource. Who wants to deal with deep frying while the game is on. And I don’t care what people say, baked isn’t the same. So order a platter from your local pizza shop. Even better have one of your guests pick them up on their way over. Definitely don’t rely on delivery.
  • Stick to one type of dessert and make sure it’s hand held. I personally love doing brownies or blondies (Bobby Flay’s recipe is one of my all-time favorites).
  • Simplify by choosing one snack and make a few versions of it. Similar to when I did the subs, I would recommend doing this duo of quesadillas: Hawaiian Pizza Quesadillas and Cheeseburger Quesadillas.

I don’t know which of these quesadillas is my favorite. They are both cheesy and meaty with crisp bright toppings.

Hawaiian Pizza Quesadilla with Pineapple Salsa: A Broad Cooking

I’ve never been a big fan of pineapple on my pizza, but I do think that it goes great with salty ham. Making pineapple salsa to top a ham and mozzarella filled quesadilla is the perfect way to deliver these flavors.

Hawaiian Pizza Quesadilla with Pineapple Salsa: A Broad Cooking

The salsa is a mixture of small diced pineapple, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and 1-2 jalapeños depending on how spicy you want it.

Pineapple Salsa: A Broad Cooking

To make the ground beef filling for the cheeseburger quesadillas, I add tomato paste, mustard, and worcestershire sauce to sautéed ground beef.

IMG_1483

Then fill tortillas with lots of cheddar cheese and ground beef. You could always add extra of your favorite burger toppings like bacon or mushrooms too!

Cheeseburger Quesadillas: A Broad Cooking

Top the cheeseburger quesadillas with a crisp lettuce and tomato salad with a simple ketchup vinaigrette for the true taste of a cheeseburger.

Cheeseburger Quesadillas: A Broad Cooking

And serve with fries of course.

Cheeseburger Quesadillas: A Broad Cooking

Both of these quesadillas can be made in advance and kept warm in the oven. Alternatively, you could assemble them and actually cook them in the oven. Just heat the oven to 400˚F with the baking sheets in the oven, place quesadillas on the baking sheets, cook for about 6 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 4 minutes until they are crisp on both sides.They may puff up a bit doing it this way.

Hawaiian Pizza Quesadilla with Pineapple Salsa: A Broad Cooking

Whether you decide to make the cheeseburger or the Hawaiian ones or both, quesadillas are always crowd pleasers for your Super Bowl party!

Cheeseburger Quesadillas

Serves 4

1 lb ground beef

3 Tbs tomato paste

1 Tbs mustard

1 tsp worcestershire sauce

8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

8 large flour tortillas

1 head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/3 cup ketchup

2 Tbs white vinegar

2 ½ Tbs olive oil, divided

Vegetable oil for grilling, about 2 tablespoons

Heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and brown for 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and mustard. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook until the beef is cooked through. Reserve.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place one oiled tortilla oil-side down into the skillet. Spread ¼ of the cheese and beef evenly over the tortilla. Top with the remaining tortillas. Cook until the bottom tortilla is lightly browned, about 3 minutes, flip and continue to cook for 2 additional minutes. Keep warm and repeat with the remaining quesadillas.

In a large bowl, whisk together the ketchup, vinegar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add lettuce and tomatoes and toss to coat. Serve the quesadillas topped with the salad mixture.

Hawaiian Pizza Quesadillas

Serves 4

4 oz. sliced ham

8 oz. shredded mozzarella

8 large flour tortillas

Vegetable oil for grilling, about 2 tablespoons

1 cup fresh pineapple, small diced

1-2 jalapeños

¼ cup red onion, diced

2 Tbs cilantro, roughly chopped

Juice of one lime

Cut ham into ribbons.

Brush tortillas on one side with a light coating of vegetable oil.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place one oiled tortilla oil-side down into the skillet. Spread ¼ of the cheese and ham evenly over the tortilla. Top with the remaining tortillas. Cook until the bottom tortilla is lightly browned, about 3 minutes, flip and continue to cook for 2 additional minutes. Keep warm and repeat with the remaining quesadillas.

To make the salsa, mix together the pineapple, jalapeños, onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt to taste and serve with quesadillas.

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