Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Turkey, Asparagus, Corn and Onion Quesadillas

When I took the package of turkey breast fillets out of the freezer, I didn't pay attention to how small they were; when it was time to make dinner I had to try and figure out how to make two small pieces of turkey (about 12 ounces) into a meal for four people.

Pasta was out of the question, as I had none in the house. I had some asparagus that I wanted to use, as well as a piece of white cheddar. The last few tortillas in the package made the decision for me...quesadillas it was! The perfectly ripe avocados could also be used, as well as the grape tomatoes. This was working out really well.

Marinating the turkey in some buttermilk and sriracha added flavour; I also added some sriracha to the onions once they were cooked. I added some corn, and we ended up with a tasty dinner...not bad for making it up as I went!

In a shallow dish, combine:

1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon sriracha
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch of salt and pepper

Make 3 diagonal slashes across the skin side of the turkey breast fillets, about 1/4" deep.

Place the turkey into the buttermilk marinade, and leave for at least 30 minutes.

 Heat the oven to 350F.

Toss together:

1 cup frozen corn
18 asparagus spears, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon avocado oil

Roast until the corn and asparagus start to colour slightly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Thinly slice:

1 medium onion

Cook over medium low heat, with a drizzle of avocado oil, until the onion is softened and caramelized.

Remove the onion from the heat and stir in:

1 teaspoon sriracha

Set aside until needed.

Using a bit of avocado oil, cook the turkey breast over a medium high heat.

When the turkey is fully cooked, remove it from the heat and allow it to rest for 10 minutes, before thinly slicing.

Turn the oven on to 325F. Have a couple of baking sheets ready. Time to assemble the quesadillas:

Spread a layer of onions over the bottom of 3 tortillas.

Top with asparagus and corn.

Next divide the turkey between the 3 tortillas.

Finish the quesadillas off with a layer of grated white cheddar.

Place a second tortilla on top, and carefully lift the quesadillas onto the baking sheets. Place into the oven to bake. You want the filling to be hot, with melted cheese, and the tortillas to be soft with a slight crisp to the edges.

Remove the quesadillas from the oven and cut into six pieces. I served them with a grape tomato salsa, and some fresh guacamole.

  • I used 10" flour tortillas, as I have these in the house to make wraps for lunches, and my daughters like to make breakfast burritos with them too. Any size or type of tortillas will work.
  • Marinating the turkey in buttermilk helps to tenderize it, as well as add an extra layer of flavour. It is not an essential step. If you are short of time, rub some ground cumin and sriracha onto the turkey and cook it.
  • Turkey breast fillets are about the same size as chicken breasts, and have a similar tenderness, so this gives an easy substitution.
  • Cooked and shredded or diced turkey or chicken can be used as well. If you prefer, use pork, beef or fish.
  • When fresh corn on the cob is in season, grill some and then cut the kernels off and use those in your quesadilla. The asparagus spears can also be grilled, and then cut into smaller lengths. The reason I cut them into smaller pieces is that it makes eating the quesadilla easier.
  • Once the onions are caramelized they become soft and sweet, which contrasts nicely with the spicy sriracha. The amount of sriracha can be increased or decreased. Chipotle chilies in adobo sauce would make a nice addition to the quesadillas.
  • The choice of cheese depends on what you have available, as well as what you like. I had a piece of white cheddar that was perfect for grating and using up in this recipe. Other cheeses that would work well are yellow cheddar or pepper Jack.
  • Cream cheese can be mixed with all of the other ingredients to make a rich creamy filling, which you can spread over the tortillas, instead of adding each item as a separate layer.
  • To make the guacamole cut an avocado in half, remove the pit and scoop out the flesh. Mash it with lime juice, salt, pepper and chopped cilantro. Purchased guacamole can also be used; you can also just dice the avocado and serve that on the side.

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