Southwestern Quesadilla

Recipe courtesy Preston Cox
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 25 min
Prep: 45 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 40 min
 
YIELD: 6 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 12 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 2 pounds turkey sausage, recipe follows
  • 1 1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded
  • 3/4 cup roasted red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch long strips
  • 1 cup basil pesto, recipe follows
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      Directions

      Arrange flour tortillas on a table. Six of the tortillas will be sandwich tops and 6 will be bottoms. Sprinkle the turkey sausage evenly on 6 bottom tortillas. Next, sprinkle 4 to 5 ounces of mozzarella cheese over the turkey sausage. (As the quesadillas cook, the cheese will melt and act as glue to hold the quesadilla together.) Add 5 or 6 strips of red bell pepper over the mozzarella and turkey sausage. Finally, spread a thin layer of basil pesto on each of the remaining 6 flour tortilla tops and press it firmly on top of the bottom tortilla section.

      Preheat your grill to low heat. Place the quesadillas on the grill and cook until grill marks are present and the quesadilla turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. The inside should be warm and the cheese should be melted. Once finished cooking, remove the quesadilla from the grill, cut into 6 wedges, and serve with your favorite salsa.

      Turkey Sausage:
      2/3 cup chicken broth
      2 ounces chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
      2 pounds ground turkey
      1 tablespoon ground sage
      1 tablespoon dried oregano
      1 tablespoon ground cumin
      3 tablespoons salt
      2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
      Place the chicken broth and chipotle chiles with adobo sauce in a blender, and puree until smooth, about 1 minute. In a large skillet over medium high heat, begin cooking the turkey sausage. Then add in the chipotle chile mixture and cook until the meat is crumbly and well done, about 10 to 15 minutes. Toward the end of the cooking, add in your sage, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cool the sausage mixture before spooning it onto the tortillas.
      Basil Pesto:
      1 cup fresh basil leaves, firmly packed
      1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
      1/2 cup pecans or pine nuts
      1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
      1 tablespoon salt
      Put the basil and olive oil into a food processor and blend until smooth. Next, add the pecans, Parmesan, and salt. Continue to blend until smooth, adding more olive oil, if necessary, to achieve a smooth consistency.

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