Steak Quesadillas


There is something so satisfying about warm, cheesy quesadillas. What’s even better, is a mouthwatering steak quesadilla. It’s hard to resist a warm, crisp tortilla filled with melted cheese and tender, marinated steak. Not only are these delicious, but they are also great for lunch, dinner or even if you’re feeding a few extra people while watching those Saturday or Sunday football games.

The star of these delectable quesadillas is the steak. For these I used a skirt steak cut into thin strips, but you can also use flank steak. The strips of steak are marinated for a few hours or over night. I do have to point out that I used fish sauce in the marinade. You can skip it, but I really think it adds so much flavor. I know, some of you are like I was at first….fish sauce? It doesn’t sound appetizing. I don’t even like anchovies. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned that my favorite salad, a Caesar salad had anchovies in the dressing. They do, however, melt away adding a salty, nice flavor. The same goes for the fish sauce. I finally broke down and bought a small bottle and was really pleasantly surprised how much flavor it does add. I use it in a lot of my stir fry sauces and marinades. If you’re willing to try it, I recommend the brand Red Boat . I bought mine at Trader Joe’s but Amazon sells it also.

Now for the good part, how to make your own Steak Quesadillas.

Here’s what you need:

*1 TBS. canola or olive oil for searing the steak

*1 lb skirt or flank steak

*Sliced or shredded cheese Colby Jack cheese

*8 inch flour tortillas

For The Marinade:

*1/2 cup soy sauce

*1 TBS mirin or Shaoxing cooking wine

*1/8 tsp. sesame oil

*1 TBS olive oil

*splash of fish sauce

*juice of 1/2 of a lime

*1 TBS. green onions or scallions

*1 tsp garlic powder

*1 tsp onion powder

*1/4 tsp or more Chipotle powder

In a small bowl, mix all of the marinade ingredients together.

Taste and add any more of the ingredients to your liking; set aside.

Cut the steak into strips and place in a zip top bag.

Pour the marinade over the steak and gently squeeze all of the air out of the bag and seal.

Gently shake the bag to make sure all of the marinade coats all of the steak pieces. Refrigerate for 3 hours or over night.

Drain off all of the liquid.

Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium high heat and add in the canola oil.

Add the steak strips to the skillet in a single layer. It’s ok if some overlap.

Cook for about 1 minute and stir and cook for about 1 minute more; remove from the skillet.

Preheat oven to 400°

Place some of the steak on one half of a tortilla and top with cheese.

Fold the tortilla over the steak and cheese and press down to flatten.

Place quesadillas on a baking sheet in a single layer and heat in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the tortilla is crispy and the cheese is melted.

Serve warm with sour cream, guacamole or salsa.

Enjoy!

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Garlic Chili Spiced Cheese Fries

These Garlic Chili Spiced Cheese Fries are so easy to make. They are crispy and packed full of flavor. They are tossed in garlic and chili powder then smothered with cheese. They defiantly take your ordinary fries to a whole new level.

This is a great way to use up any leftover fries that you might have stashed away in the fridge from last night’s take out. These can make a great snack, appetizer or you can do like I did, just grab a fork and huddle down for a cheat day lunch. What can I say, it had been a stressful week and I needed some indulgence. The only thing that I would have added is bacon, but I didn’t have any on hand…shocking I know. Who lets themselves run out of bacon?! Anyway, feel free to add this as well.

So if you are craving fries with a bit of a kick and smothered in glorious cheese, grab some of those tasty potatoes and lets get started,

Here’s what you need:

*Cooked or frozen French fries, any cut will do

*non stick spray or canola oil

*garlic powder to taste

*chili powder to taste

*salt to taste (if the fries are already salted you might want to skip this)

*shredded cheese to taste; I used a blend of cheddar and Monterey Jack

*chives or scallions (optional)

If fries are the frozen variety, cook according to package directions.

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 375°

Place the fries on a baking sheet.

Spray with non stick spray or drizzle with canola oil very lightly.

Sprinkle the garlic, chili powder and salt over the fries; toss to coat

Cook for about 5 minutes.

Take out of the oven and layer on the cheese.

Place back in the oven and cook until cheese is melted.

Sprinkle chives or scallions, to taste, over the top.

Serve with a ranch dipping sauce or any of your favorite fry sauces.

Enjoy!

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Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese

Sloppy Joes were a childhood favorite that my mom used to make on weeknights. But what happens when you combine sloppy joes and grilled cheese? The ultimate comfort food. This sandwich takes the saucy sloppy joe and tops it with gooey, melted cheese all nestled between two pieces of crispy buttery bread.

These are a great way to add a new spin to the traditional kind. You can use your favorite recipe as I did from one that I posted a while back for my Sloppy Joes. You can even use a pre made sauce that comes in a can if you’d like. Either way, these will make a great lunch or dinner for the whole family.

Here’s what you need:

*pre made sloppy joes; make sure it is warm and not too hot or it seems to melt the cheese too quickly.

*2 slices of bread per sandwich; I used sandwich bread but Texas style bread works well also

*sliced cheddar cheese

*2 TBS butter divided

Spread the sloppy Joe mixture onto one side of the sliced bread.

Place a slice of the cheese on top of the sloppy joe mixture.

Top with the remaining slice of bread. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.

Heat a non stick skillet or griddle to medium heat and add 1 TBS of the butter.

When the butter melts, place the sandwiches on the griddle, gently moving it around a little to make sure all of that side of the bread is coated in the butter.

Remove the sandwiches and add the rest of the butter. I know this seems like a lot of work and I’m sure that you are thinking, why not just butter the bread? I have done this both ways and putting the sandwiches in the melted butter seemed to make a more crispy, flavorful coating.

Cook for about 3 minutes or until the bread begins to turn golden. Gently turn the sandwiches over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and that side is golden brown.

Serve and Enjoy!

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Hot Dog Quesadillas

These hot dog quesadillas are not only a great way to use up any leftover hot dogs, but they are pretty darn tasty as well. Just cook your hot dogs the way you like them, grilled, pan fried, in the oven or in the air fryer. Hubby and I really prefer ours cooked in the air fryer. It really tastes the closest to grilling them in my opinion. If you haven’t tried them this way, check out my post on Air Fryer Hot Dogs. Any which way you decide to cook them, they will taste delicious smothered in cheese and wrapped in a warm tortilla.

Here’s what you need:

*Cooked hot dogs

*flour tortillas any size; I used the 8 inch size

*shredded cheese; I used a Monterrey Jack cheddar blend

*oil for the griddle or pan

Slice the hot dogs length wise then cut into pieces.

Place a flour tortilla on a flat surface and add a desired amount of shredded cheese to one side of the tortilla.

Add the sliced hot dogs over the cheese.

Then sprinkle on more cheese on top of the hot dogs. You can never have too much cheese in my opinion. Fold in half.

Heat a griddle or pan on medium heat. Brush the griddle or pan with a little oil. Place the quesadillas on the griddle.


Let them cook for about 3 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt and the underside turns golden.

Carefully flip them over and cook another 2 minutes.

If you are making several batches at a time, preheat the oven to 250° and place the quesadillas that are done in the oven to keep warm.

Transfer to a cutting board and cut in half.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole or salsa.

Enjoy!

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Baked Cheesy Chicken Empanadas

These little pockets of delight are filled with chicken cooked with adobo seasoning, chilies and garlic then smothered in Monterey Jack cheese. It’s all packed inside a homemade tortilla and baked until they are crispy on the outside, but soft and cheesy on the inside. Don’t fret if you don’t want to make your own tortillas. You can use pie dough or even pizza dough. I’ve used both of these several times and they all turn out great.

These half moon goodies can be filled with more than just chicken. You can fill them with beef, pork, vegetables or even eggs. These can be baked or fried, whichever you prefer. I like to brush them with oil and bake them instead of frying because it’s easier to just throw them into the oven and even easier to clean up, which I’m always for.

Most countries have their own versions of empanadas. In Colombia the dough is made with ground corn or with wheat or corn flour. Some are filled with mashed potatoes with ground meats, peanuts and cheese or even stews of meat or chicken with rice and vegetables. In Indonesia the thick crust is made from fried bread filled with spicy fish and chili, curry, potatoes or quail eggs. In some regions of Venezuela the fillings consist of shredded beef, chicken, cheese, black beans and fried plantains. So let your imagination and taste buds go a little wild and see what you might come up with, but first try these cheesy chicken empanadas. Not only do they make a great meal, but they can make a tasty snack as well.

Here’s what you need to make your own:

*Chicken thighs; you can use chicken breasts if you prefer

*1 1/2 TBS. adobo seasoning or more to taste; you can usually find this at the grocery store or at any Latin market or you can make your own: *2 tsp. salt *1 TBS. paprika *2 tsp. ground black pepper *1 1/2 tsp. onion powder *1 tsp. garlic powder *1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano *1 1/2 tsp. cumin *1 tsp. chili powder

*1 dried or fresh chili pepper any kind you prefer, seeds and stems removed; I used dried Mexican Puya chili.

*2 clove of garlic, smashed

*canola oil for frying + to brush the empanadas

*shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

*homemade tortilla dough or pie crust dough

Preheat the oven to 400°

If using dried chili peppers, place in a glass bowl. Cover the pepper with boiling water and let it sit about 20 minutes or until it is soft. Take it out of the water and coarsely chop; set aside.

Dry chicken with paper towels and sprinkle with the adobo seasoning.

Heat a skillet to medium high heat and add in a thin layer of oil, the chili peppers and the garlic. As the oil heats up, stir the chopped chilis and garlic around in the oil. This helps the oil to infuse with all of those great flavors. When the oil is hot add the chicken.

If the oil is getting too hot, turn the heat down to medium.

Cook 5 minutes and turn the chicken over and cook another 5 to 6 minutes or until the chicken is done. If the garlic starts to burn, remove it from the pan. Remove the chicken and drain on paper towels.

Let the chicken cool then chop into small pieces.

Make the tortillas and form into a 7″ thin circle.

Place some of the chicken and the shredded cheese onto one side of the dough.

Fold the dough over and using a fork, firmly press the edges together.

To seal the edges using a rope like method, I find it easier to fill the dough with the chicken and cheese while holding it in one hand.

Fold the dough over to form almost like a taco.

Starting a one end, pull some of the dough to overlap the edge and slightly pinch and twist to seal it closed. Repeat all the way around the opening until the edges are completely sealed.

Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect. It took me several tries before I got the hang of it. Some of mine still look a bit “rustic”.

Fill the rest of the empanadas and seal.

Spray a baking sheet with no stick spray or use parchment paper and place the empanadas onto the baking sheet.

Lightly brush each empanada with a little of the canola oil.

As you can see, not all of mine turn out pretty, but that’s when we use the word rustic. It sounds so much better doesn’t it.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the outside turns golden brown and the inside is hot.

Serve and Enjoy!

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Chicken Parmigiana

One of my favorite Italian dishes is chicken parmigiana. Ok, so it’s not true Italian, but rather American Italian, but it’s still delicious. The original dish originated in Southern Italy, but eggplant was used rather than chicken. It wasn’t until Italian immigrants here in the U.S. found that chicken was more affordable here than back in Italy so it was used in place of the eggplant. The dish became quite popular. It was later found in many restaurants and then in 1962 it was featured as a recipe in the New York Times. It was and still is one of the most popular American Italian dishes around.

It can seem a little intimidating at first to make, but it is really quite easy. I find that using a good quality jar of marinara sauce makes it even easier to prepare. You can use your favorite homemade marinara recipe if you prefer. I also like to use chicken thighs because it has more flavor and it can be a little cheaper than the traditional chicken breast that is usually used in this dish, but it is definitely not cheap on taste. I do still use chicken breasts at times so feel free to use either. Either way, the end result is still delicious. The chicken thighs are breaded and lightly fried until nice and crispy and topped with fresh basil leaves (I like to add this for a little more layered flavor). A tasty marinara sauce is gently spooned over the chicken like a hug followed by a nice, healthy mound of fontina (or mozzarella if you like) and parmesan cheese that’s melted on top. All of that tasty goodness is then nestled on a bed of spaghetti to complete a comforting, satisfying meal.

Here’s what you need:

*4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or boneless, skinless chicken breasts; pounded thin if desired.

*canola oil

*3/4 cups flour

*2 eggs, beaten

*1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

*1 TBS Italian seasoning or more to taste + more for the chicken

*1 tsp salt + more for the chicken

*1/2 tsp. or less to taste cracked pepper +more for the chicken

*1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese for the bread coating; for this I like to use the kind that comes in shakable containers that are sand like in texture. It seems to blend and stick better to the chicken.

*fresh basil leaves

*shredded fontina cheese to taste

*shredded parmesan

*jar of good quality marinara sauce + more for the spaghetti if desired

*spaghetti

Preheat oven to 400°

Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.

In a shallow dish combine flour, salt and pepper.

Pour the whisked eggs into another shallow bowl.

Mix together the bread crumbs, Italian seasoning and the grated parmesan cheese (the one that is sand like in texture) and place into another shallow dish.

Press both sides of the chicken into the flour, then shake off any excess.

Coat the floured chicken on both sides in the egg.

Place the chicken into the bread crumb mixture pressing down slightly to make sure the breading adheres to the chicken.

Transfer to a plate or baking rack and repeat with the remaining chicken.

In a large skillet, add enough canola oil to cover the bottom in a thin layer and heat to medium high heat. Place chicken in the skillet making sure not to over crown the pan. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the chicken is golden and crispy, turn the chicken over and cook for another 2 minutes.

If the chicken is not cooked through, that is ok because it will finish cooking in the oven.

Spray a baking dish or tray with no stick spray and place the chicken onto the dish.

Place basil leaves on top of each piece of chicken.

Spoon the marinara sauce over the chicken but not entirely covering the whole chicken.

This helps keep some of the edges crispy.

Pile on the fontina and freshly shredded parmesan cheese on top.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through.

If the chicken is not pounded thin and is a little on the thicket side, cook for about 20 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the spaghetti according to the package directions.

Heat up any additional marinara sauce as well.

Remove the chicken from the dish and serve with spaghetti.

Enjoy!

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Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Original Post Date: January 13, 2020

This is a throw back to one of my first few posts on what was then my shiny new blog. Whenever hubby and I crave a really cheesy, meaty burger this is still one of our favorites.

If you are craving a really cheesy, simple burger, then this is the one to go to. I made this a few weeks ago and it is rather messy, and definitely for a cheat day, but it is oh so good. I’m mean how can it not be….look at all that cheesy goodness. So here’s how you can make it.

Cheese Stuffed Burgers

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • onion powder to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire or more
  • sliced cheddar cheese (or any other cheese you prefer
  • desired toppings and condiments
  • hamburger buns

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, onion powder, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Form into patties.

Place one or two slices of cheese on top of one of the patties. Place another patty on top of the cheese and seal the edges of beef around the cheese. This prevents the cheese of oozing out of the patties while cooking, all though, some of the cheese does seem to make an escape. Continue this with the rest of the patties.

In a large skillet,( I prefer to use a cast iron skillet, but that’s just my preference.) heat until pan is hot, add patties and cook about 5 to 10 minutes on each side. Take patties out of pan and cover loosely with foil and let them rest for about 5 minutes.

Place on desired hamburger buns and top with your favorite toppings.

Enjoy!

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Sheet Pan Ultimate Cheese Quesadillas

These quesadillas are stuffed with two different kinds of cheeses that will satisfy all of your cheese filled cravings. These are so fast and easy to make. They’re baked on a baking sheet so you can make more if you’re feeding a crowd, or if you’re in the middle of binge watching your favorite streaming shows and you’ve got the munchies.

Remember the Ultimate Grilled Cheese I posted not too long ago? It was such a hit and we had some of the cheese left that I had used in making the grilled cheese, that I wanted to try it in quesadillas. Let’s talk about the cheese for a minute. I discovered some really tasty cheese at Trader Joe’s (I am not in any way affiliated with them, I just love a lot of their stuff….maybe a bit too much). I used the sliced Colby Jack cheese

and sliced cheddar cheese.

These melt beautifully and taste soooo good.

You don’t have to use this brand, but I do suggest getting a nice quality, but doesn’t have to be expensive, cheese. I will warn you that the cheese, once melted, will most likely ooze out of the sides, but fear not, once cooled a bit, these are delectable. I brushed on a little melted butter on both sides of the tortilla, baked them on a baking sheet until they are a little crispy around the edges, but sinfully soft and cheesy in the middle. Let’s just say hubby and I were eating these way past dinner time because we couldn’t stop ourselves.

Here’s what you need to make your own:

*8 inch flour tortillas; or larger if you prefer

*1 TBS melted butter

*sliced Colby Jack cheese; I used Trader Joe’s brand

*sliced cheddar cheese; I used Trader Joe’s New Zealand organic

Preheat oven to 425°.

Brush one side of the tortillas with the melted butter than lay the tortillas butter side down onto the baking sheet in a single layer. Make sure you save enough tortillas to go over the top of the quesadillas.

Place one slice of the cheddar cheese over each tortilla.

Place a slice of the Colby Jack cheese over the cheddar.

Lay another tortilla over the cheese and brush with melted butter.

Bake for about 5 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden and the cheese is melted.

Cool slightly if the cheese has ran out of the sides and serve.

Enjoy!

Cheesy Egg In A Hole With Bacon

Egg in a hole. For some, including me, this brings back memories of childhood morning breakfasts. When I was a kid I would often spend some weekends at my grandmother house. She would always cook something mouthwatering for dinner and we’d have something tasty for dessert…something that she made more than likely, but in the morning my uncle Mac would make breakfast. It was never anything fancy, usually eggs, home fries…not the frozen kind (not that I don’t love the frozen kind.) and bacon. But sometimes he would make eggs in a hole. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a hole cut out of buttered bread then placed in a pan. You crack an egg right into the hole where it cooks until the white of the egg is set, but the yolk is still runny. I remember thinking how did that egg stay in the hole? I was young back then mind you. There was something satisfying about cutting into that toasted bread and watching all of that yolky goodness spread like sunshine over the plate.

My hubby recently asked what an egg in a hole was, so of course I made him one. I decided to revamp it a bit later on. This version was definitely a hit. The bread is nicely buttered with the egg all nestled in it’s hole seasoned with salt and pepper, then crumbled crisp bacon and cheese is layered around the egg. It’s baked in the oven until the egg is cooked, but the yolk still spreads like sunshine and the cheese is melted in a cheesy layer with the crispy bacon waiting to make the taste buds swoon. Don’t your taste buds swoon with delight over bacon and cheese too?

Here’s what you need:

* sliced bread, any kind you prefer

*butter

*eggs; 1 egg per toast

*salt and pepper to taste

*bacon cooked and crumbled; I used 2 pieces per toast

*shredded cheese, any kind that you prefer; I used a cheddar and Monterey blend

*parsley or chives for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 °

Lightly spray a baking sheet with no stick spray.

Butter the bread. With a small drinking glass or a biscuit cutter, make a hole in the center of each bread slice.

Don’t toss out the circle that is cut from the hole, it makes great mini toast.

Crack an egg into the hole and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the bacon crumbles around the bread.

Then sprinkle the cheese over the bacon, but not covering the egg completely.

The first time I tried this, I covered the bread and the egg in cheese. The cheese was melted and everything looked great, but underneath the egg was still raw. Yes, It was not a pleasant experience since I had taken a big bite out of it. The cheese did not allow the egg to cook, but yet if I had cooked it longer, the cheese would have been too hard to eat, so I found that leaving the middle of the egg uncovered it cooked beautifully.

Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted, the whites of the egg is, set but the yolk is still runny.

If you prefer the yolk not so runny, cook a little longer.

Garnish with parsley or chives.

Serve while hot.

Enjoy!

Beef and Cheese Quesadillas

Don’t you just love warm, toasted quesadillas. They are so versatile. They can be made with beef, chicken, pork or even with some really good veggies. These beauties are stuffed with gooey cheese and seasoned beef so they are packed with flavor with each bite.

I like to make several at a time because they freeze so well and also, they make great leftovers the next day. Instead of heating a few of these at a time in a skillet, I started placing mine in the oven once they have been filled. It’s great for when you want to cook more than just a few. The key to making these in the oven instead of a skillet is to cool down the filling a bit before placing them into the tortillas.

Serve them with sour cream, Salsa or guacamole. You can even pair them with rice or refried beans to make a satisfying meal.

Here’s what you need:

For The Seasoned Beef:

*1 LB. ground beef

*1 onion, chopped

*2 garlic cloves, minced

*2 TBS. tomato paste

*1/4 cup water

*1/2 TBS. chili powder or more to taste

* 1 1/2 tsp. cumin, or more to taste

*2 tsp. coriander, or more to taste

*1 tsp. dried oregano, or more to taste

*cilantro, chopped

*salt and pepper to taste

*a splash of lime juice.

*flour tortillas; I like using a bigger size rather than the standard 8 inch size but it’s really your preference.

*shredded cheese: I used Monterey and Colby Jack blend

Preheat oven to 400°.

Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it up as you go; drain if need then add back to the skillet. Add in the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions begin to get tender.

Add the tomato paste, water and all of the spices for the beef except for the lime juice.

stir to combine and simmer for 5 minutes.

squeeze in the lime juice, stir and continue to cook for 1 more minute.

Take the skillet off of the heat and let cool just until warm.

Spray a baking sheet with no stick spray.

Once the beef mixture has cooled down, place a tortilla on a flat surface and sprinkle with cheese.

Spoon some of the beef mixture over the cheese.

Then add more cheese on top of the beef mixture.

Fold in half and place on to the baking sheet; repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Bake for about 6 to 8 minutes, then turn them over and bake for another 5 to 6 minutes or until they start to turn a little brown and are toasted.

Serve while warm.

To freeze:

Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze for about 1 to 2 hours or until they start to become firm. I like to wrap each one in waxed paper then place in a zip top freezer bag. These can be stored up to 2 months.

To reheat place frozen quesadillas in a skillet and heat on medium heat until warmed through. Turn them over during the reheating time. They can also be placed frozen in a 400° until warm.

Enjoy!