I stumbled upon a yummy fast dinner tonight in a desperate attempt to get dinner on the table quickly. This was my Plan B, and really wasn't a plan until about 20 minutes before we ate. My husband made a comment when he left for work this morning that perhaps he'd pick up pizza on his way home, provided he got home in time to eat before the girls went to bed. I knew that wasn't likely, but pretended it would happen in avoidance of planning anything to cook at the end of this busy week with an even busier weekend ahead. So when the call came at 5 p.m. ("I am going to be very, very late, this is a horrible day"), I was ill-prepared and had some hungry kids. Now, I know what you are thinking--just have something delivered--but that isn't an option when you live out in "the country" as we now do. No one delivers to us. So, after careful examination of my pantry and fridge, my version of fajita quesadillas were born.
I discovered a lone orange pepper from the farmer's market that needed to be used, so quickly sauteed it with a red onion I had in the pantry. I sprinkled in some adobo seasoning to give it a bit of Mexican flavor. I love this one from Penzey's, but use any brand. If you don't have any adobo seasoning, don't go out and buy it--just toss in some chili powder and cumin and a little salt/pepper and that will be close enough. Grab yourself a can of refried beans and heat them up in the microwave (not in the can, I hope that goes without saying). I happen to like Rosarita the best. Maybe it's because it's the brand my mom always bought when we were young and lived in Phoenix. Or maybe it's because I just like them best. In any case, I like the vegetarian refried beans because they do not contain lard as most non-vegetarian varieties do. I don't know about you, but I don't really need lard in my refried beans. To assemble the quesadillas, spread some refried beans on a tortilla (any size, any variety--I had some soft-taco sized whole wheat tortillas), top with some sauteed peppers/onions and some shredded cheese (the cheese du jour happened to be sharp cheddar, but use anything you like--pepper jack would be awesome). Fold the tortilla over and grill in a non-stick skillet sprayed with a bit of cooking spray (flip when golden and crisp). Cut into wedges (pizza cutters are especially handy for this task), serve with sour cream and salsa....and voila! Dinner, start to finish, in less than 20 min. These really hit the spot for me, which is no surprise since I love any combination of meatless Mexican comfort food. I assembled a couple for my husband and then just popped them in the pan when he finally called to say he was on his way home so that they were hot and crisp for him, too. Reheated quesadillas are gross, so don't even think about it.
Go ahead and customize these any way you like....with chicken, taco meat, leftover steak or brisket, shredded pork...whatever floats your boat.