Quesadillas de Camarones

After my first success, I went back to The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier this week for another new recipe.  This one grabbed my attention right off the bat.  I’m with PW — pretty much anything would be delicious in a quesadilla.  Husband, however, did not agree.  Cue series of text messages involving bargaining and several ridiculous emojis, finally convincing him to give the recipe a try since he likes all the ingredients anyway.

Had I not been in a Sudafed-induced haze when I went to the grocery store, I might have been smart enough to request my shrimp peeled and deveined.  Cold & flu season is the pits, and so is deveining shrimp.

Substitutions: I made a 1/3 recipe, kinda.  The original recipe is for six quesadillas, but we just needed two.  After using up some items in the fridge, I ended up with 1/2 pound of shrimp, 4 oz. Ortega Medium Taco Sauce (Husband’s favorite), 1/2 large onion, 1/2 large red bell pepper, 1/2 large green bell pepper, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, and 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese.  I diced the veggies because I like smaller pieces.

Husband’s verdict: surprisingly delicious.  My verdict: delicious, but I totally expected it!  I wondered if they would be too spicy with all the taco sauce, but they turned out perfectly even for my more sensitive palate.  And who knew butter was the trick for perfectly gorgeous quesadillas?  My only complaint is that I dirtied three different pans in the process, as I was cooking the shrimp and the veggies simultaneously to speed things along.  What can I say — Momma was hungry!  Good thing, too, because these shrimp quesadillas were so filling that I didn’t even miss the rice I got too distracted to prepare.  Medicine head, you win again…

Here is the recipe from PW:

Quesadillas de Camarones

Flour Tortillas
12 whole Large Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined
8 ounces, fluid Mexican Red Sauce
1 whole Large Onion
1 whole Red Bell Pepper
1 whole Green Bell Pepper
2 cups Cheese, Grated (Monterey Jack Is Best)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt To Taste
Butter for the pan

Preparation Instructions

Pour red sauce over shrimp. Set aside. Chop vegetables into large pieces. Heat skillet over high heat and add olive oil. Cook vegetables over high heat until they start to get brown/black. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Return skillet to high heat, then dump in the shrimp with the sauce. Cook, stirring only occasionally, until shrimp is opaque. Add in a little water if the sauce gets dry. Remove from skillet and chop into bite-size pieces.
In a separate skillet, sizzle approx. 1/2 tbsp. of butter. Place a tortilla in the skillet, then layer on ingredients: cheese, vegetables, and shrimp. Top with a little more cheese and a second tortilla. Cook on both sides, adding another 1/2 tbsp. of butter before flipping to the other side so the tortilla isn’t overly dry.
Remove from skillet and slice into wedges. Serve with rice, beans, salsa, sour cream, guacamole—whatever you’d like!

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