I love quesadillas — typically once a week or so I will chop up some veggies, cook them in a pan, add some seasonings and make them into a quick homemade quesadilla. Of course I add cheese and sometimes chicken to the mix. Quesadillas are a fast and easy way to make something full of flavor and the best part is you can also use up the rest of your veggies before things go bad.
Instead of using quesadilla cooking as a way to get rid of veggies, I cooked up more of a gourmet version of the dish for me and my friend Kelly this weekend. Inspired by Ree Drummond, also known as The Pioneer Woman, I used her recipe as a base and altered the amount of ingredients to cater to me. For one thing, I like to use very little butter in my cooking — don’t get me wrong, butter is incredible and it tastes great, but I prefer to make some healthier choices when it comes to cooking. Although when I made Ree’s Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas I used less butter than what her recipe called for when cooking the mushrooms and instead of using butter when cooking the spinach, I swapped the ingredient with olive oil.
So here’s how I made this delectable plate:
Ingredients: butter, white mushrooms sliced, wine (for cooking), salt, pepper, baby spinach, flour tortillas, fontina cheese, and goat cheese.
I started by cooking my sliced white mushrooms — I put in a skillet 1.5-2 tablespoons of butter and once the butter melted I added my mushrooms (I sliced about 7 large white mushrooms — they weren’t exceptionally large, but I grabbed the bigger option at the grocery store). I cooked these mushrooms for about 3 minutes and then added 1.5 tablespoons of red wine. Note: Ree’s recipe calls for sherry but I didn’t have this ingredient in my kitchen. So instead of going to the store and spending more money, I substituted the sherry for wine and it turned out fabulous! After I added the wine I seasoned the mushrooms with a bit of salt and fresh ground pepper, I let the mushrooms cook for another 6-7 minutes and then I removed the mushrooms from the skillet once the wine completely evaporated. I placed the mushrooms on a plate and then used the same skillet to cook my spinach in. This time, instead of adding butter I used a couple tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of red wine to cook the spinach in — I only let the spinach cook for a couple of minutes and then removed the spinach from the skillet and placed it on another plate. At this point I have two ingredients (mushrooms and spinach) and they are both cooling on a plate. Then, I used my stove top griddle to finish off the quesadillas. I used a small amount of butter to butter the surface of the grill side of the griddle (this helped give those gorgeous looking grill marks on the flour tortillas). Then I placed a flour tortilla on the grill, followed by a very light layer of freshly grated fontina cheese, then I put a small amount of spinach over top of the cheese, then the mushrooms. I let this cook for a few minutes on medium heat (until the tortillas had those perfect grill marks on them and the cheese melted). At the same time I put another tortilla on the griddle and put some goat cheese crumbled on top. Goat cheese is so potent, I prefer to use small amounts of this type of cheese so those eating the dish aren’t too overwhelmed by the flavor. Once both tortillas had the grill marks on them, I placed the goat cheese tortilla on top of the other half, removed them from the griddle, sliced and then served.
The tortillas came out perfectly crispy and I was so proud of the end result. Using wine rather than sherry was the perfect call, and the mushrooms and spinach combined together was perfection. I am also excited to say that I know a very tasty dish to cook up for vegetarian friends! (Sorry to all the vegans out there, I just don’t know how to cook anything without a little bit of cheese!)
There were a few pieces left over, so I wrapped them up in Saran Wrap and ate them the next day. The left overs held up beautifully and the tortillas were still crispy even after I reheated them!