I confess, I have had a love affair with Mexican food and flavours for a very long time. My sister introduced me to nachos one time when we were visiting her. I had never tasted anything Mexican before. She layered tortilla chips onto baking sheets and topped them with oodles of cheese, and peppers, spring onions, jalapenos, olives, etc. before baking them in the oven. It was love at first bite!
Ever since then I have totally embraced Mexican flavours . . . tacos, nachos, enchiladas, etc. I just love them all. Most people will do a turkey curry or pot pie after Christmas, and I do that sometimes too, but more often than not I will make turkey enchiladas. Its a family tradition that we love and embrace down through the generations.
I remember one time I had made a huge batch of Turkey Enchiladas and froze a pan of them for supper at a future date. My oldest boy had a friend to stay overnight, and I found the empty pan under the sofa bed the next morning. They had indulged in them as a midnight snack, and I dare say they ate them frozen. Yes, they are that good. But I digress . . . Another thing we really like in this house are Quesadillas. They make for great appetisers, snacks and light lunches.
Essentially they are tortillas that are filled with whatever is going, folded over and then grilled or baked to heat up the insides and crisp up the tortillas. You cut them into wedges to serve and usually serve them with a dip of some sort.
Quesadillas are a great way to use up bits and bobs of things you have that, on their own, are not really enough to feed a family, but when you throw them all together, and then pop them into a quesadilla, well . . . you have something really tasty on in your hands that can feed a few more people than just one (unless you are a greedy gus)!!!
I had some leftover chicken from the weekend, but it wasn't enough to really feed both of us as a meal, it was only one grilled chicken breast. I put my thinking cap on and came up with these.
We both really love Artichoke Dip, and we both love Quesadillas and so I combined the two loves and came up with these easy, tasty bites of deliciousness! I chopped the chicken up and combined it with chopped tomatoes, spring onions, marinated artichokes and lime juice. I layered this mixture on some corn and flour soft tortillas that I had spread first with some herbed garlic cream cheese. The cream cheese held everything in place, I sprinkled some pepper jack on top, folded the tortillas over and then baked them in a hot oven, until the cheese melted all scrummy yummy and everything was piping hot! Alternately you could fry them in a skillet, lightly brushed with oil.
*Artichoke Chicken Quesadillas*
Makes 16 wedges
Whether you serve these as an appetizer or a light lunch, these always go down a real treat!
60g garlic and herb cream cheese (1/4 cup)
4 (9-inch) corn and wheat soft tortillas
250g finely chopped cooked chicken (1 cup)
2 TBS fresh lime juice
salt to taste
1 medium tomato, trimmed, seeded and finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
170g of marinated artichoke hearts, drained well, patted dry and chopped (6 ounces)
250g grated pepper jack cheese (1 cup)
Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. Butter a baking sheet. Set aside.
Spread the herbed cream cheese evenly onto each tortilla, almost to the edges. Mix together the chopped chicken, lime juice, salt, tomato, spring onion and chopped artichokes to combine well. Spread this onto half of each tortilla over the cream cheese. Sprinkle an equal amount of pepper jack cheese over each and fold the other half of the tortilla over top to cover completely, pressing down lightly to adhere. Place onto the buttered baking sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the cheese has melted, the filling has heated through and the tortillas are turning golden at the edges. remove from the oven and cut each tortilla into 4 wedges. Serve hot with your favourite accompaniments. We like salsa and sour cream with ours.
These went down a real treat as a light lunch with some sour cream and salsa on the side. They also make great (but messy) appetizers! Some good! Buen Provecho!