Friday, December 9, 2011

Food Fridays: Beef Quesadilla

First of all, don't worry; Fiscal Fridays isn't going anywhere. The series is more popular than I ever anticipated, so I'm keeping it around. But I don't always have a financial topic to talk about, and I love alliteration, so I decided to introduce Food Fridays as another Friday series. Hooray for variety!

Second, a big huge thanks to everyone who gave some feedback on whether to post financial advice or a recipe today. I love knowing what you guys want to see! So yeah, feedback is sweet :)

So. Quesadillas. They're easy and delicious and one of my go-tos on nights that I don't really feel like cooking. Sometimes I make them with just cheese (and dip them in Italian dressing, haha, I'm a strange one), but for this recipe, I added some leftover beef we had in the freezer. Because I was feeding Matt, too, and he's a hungry dude who simply cannot survive on cheese alone ;) Unfortunately, this is one of the recipes where I just kind of winged it. It turned out wonderfully, but I didn't write anything down because I thought I'd remember it. Now here it is, three weeks later, and I'm kind of guessing what I did. But I'm a pretty good guesser, so I'm going to say with some confidence that the recipe below is pretty close to what I actually made :)

You will need:
- about 1/3 pound stew beef, chopped into small pieces
- tomato juice
- Jameson or another decent whiskey
- spices (I'm pretty sure I used ancho chili powder, cumin and regular chili powder)
- hot sauce (optional)
- salt and pepper
- tortilla shells
- cheese (I used a mix of cheddar, mozzarella and Colby Jack)
- cilantro (optional)

Start by pouring about a cup (give or take, this isn't an exact science here) of tomato juice into a medium-sized skillet. Heat until simmering, then add a healthy splash (no more than 1/8 cup) of the whiskey and a good dash of your spices, as well as the hot sauce if using.

Increase the heat to a strong simmer and cook until the alcohol evaporates, about five minutes. If you sniff the pan and still get a strong whiff of alcohol fumes, let it keep simmering. Once the alcohol's mostly burned off, taste the mixture, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Add in the chopped-up beef, then cover and let simmer. Stir occasionally until all the meat is cooked through. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes, depending on how small you chopped it. Reduce heat to low to keep it warm.

While the beef is cooking, heat up another skillet large enough to hold a tortilla. (Griddles work really well for this too, if you have one.) Lay the tortilla flat on the skillet and let it toast a bit.

Flip the tortilla over and add cheese to half of it. (This helps the cheese melt faster and more fully!) Sprinkle with cilantro, if using.

Add the beef on top and fold the tortilla in half. Flip when the underside gets a little brown and crispy. Cook on the other side to the same level of doneness.

And there you have it! A toasty, crunchy tortilla shell wrapped around cheesy and tomato-y beef goodness. Yum. Serve with salsa and sour cream, or just be a lame-o like me and eat it as is ;)


  1. ohhh myy goodddd yum. I have to do this sometime.

  2. mmmmm that looks DELISH (although I would subsitute the beef with veggies since I am a vegetarian myself but I appreciate the carnivores out there and that looks PHENOM)


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