Smoky Shrimp Quesadillas

I was inspired to create a version of Rick Bayless’s shrimp tacos after a friend made them for our Cookbook Club. Somewhere, deep inside my psyche, I have the notion that seafood and cheese must not go together (thanks, Italy). But this isn’t the case at all – Sweet, briny shrimp cooked up with tomatoes and spices is amazing against a creamy and smoky cheese. Tuck it all into tortillas, crisp them in a hot skillet and enjoy.

Smoky Shrimp Quesadillas

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Adapted from Rick Bayless
I was inspired to create a version of Rick Bayless's shrimp tacos after a friend made them for our Cookbook Club. Somewhere, deep inside my psyche, I have the notion that seafood and cheese must not go together (thanks, Italy). But this isn't the case at all – Sweet, briny shrimp cooked up with tomatoes and spices is amazing against a creamy and smoky cheese. Tuck it all into tortillas, crisp them in a hot skillet and enjoy.
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Course Appetizer, Snack
Servings 4 as entree, more as an appetizer

Ingredients
 

  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1 serrano chili, seeded and chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 ounces shredded smoked cheese, such as cheddar or mozzarella
  • 10-12 small flour tortillas

Instructions
 

  • Warm the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Cook the onions until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, chili, cilantro, and cumin. Cook until the tomatoes are thickened, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in the lime juice, salt, and shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are done, about 5 minutes.
  • Warm a skillet or cast iron skillet over medium low heat. Add a little oil on the bottom, then place a tortilla in the pan. Sprinkle some cheese over half, then about ¼ cup of the shrimp mixture and top with another sprinkle of cheese. Fold over and cook a minute or two, then flip over and cook on the other side another 2 minutes until the cheese is melty.
  • Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling until they are all used. You can keep the cooked quesadillas in a warm oven, covered so they don’t dry out, until you finish cooking all of them. Serve one or two per person, or cut in half and serve as appetizers.
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