Beef and Cheese Quesadillas
Taco seasoning mix
Shredded fiesta cheese blend
Start by browning the ground beef and breaking it up into small bits as you cook it. Drain the grease and add a small amount of water (2-3 tablespoons for a pound of beef) to moisten it. Add taco seasoning and chili powder. I usually use about 2-3 tablespoons of taco seasoning and 1-2 tablespoons of chili powder per pound of meat, but you can adjust it to your taste. Stir the meat well until all the seasoning is thoroughly distributed.
Note: I use this same seasoned meat for tacos, tostadas, taco salad, and enchiladas. It's very versatile and stores well in the fridge for 5 days or so to make easy leftovers.
To make the quesadillas, lightly butter a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. You should need about a teaspoon of butter per quesadilla.
Let the cheese melt slightly, then fold in half. Allow the bottom side of the tortilla to brown, then flip to brown the other side as well. You want the outside to be golden brown and slightly crispy and the cheese inside to be hot and melted.
Ok, that's the basic way to make a quesadilla. It only takes 2-3 minutes once you have the meat cooked and everything laid out. If you want to make several at a time, just use a large griddle.
But this recipe is just the beginning. There are so many variations. Here are some to try:
Beef, Bean, and Cheese Quesadillas
Just add a spoonful or two of cooked black beans to the beef and cheese. This is actually my favorite variation. It's a little heartier.
Leave out the meat and just use fiesta cheese or shredded cheddar or whatever cheese version you prefer. You can also add a little chopped onion if you wish. Making them cheese only is popular with kids.
Instead of seasoned beef, use cooked, shredded chicken. Toss the chicken with a little taco seasoning for Mexican flavor. You can keep the fiesta cheese or use cheddar or monterrey jack. I often mix fiesta cheese and monterrey jack or mozarella for a milder taste.
Spread the tortilla with a small amount of spaghetti sauce (just 1-2 tablespoons or it will get messy), sprinkle with italian seasoning, then layer on mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. I usually put the pepperoni on just one half so they don't slide out when I fold the tortilla in half.
Use mozarella cheese, a little parmesan, and sprinkle with italian seasoning. Then add some cooked, shredded chicken. Serve plain or dip in marinara sauce or alfredo sauce. For an italian cheese version, leave out the chicken.
Hopefully, that gives you some ideas. There are so many other variations that could be mentioned, but I'll leave that to your creativity. Enjoy!