We're getting ready for the showdown between the New England Patriots and New York Giants by cooking up some crowd pleasing football party foods in our Super Bowl Recipe Challenge. Each day we'll be pitting two delicious recipes against each other and declaring one a winner. Join us today as we make quesadillas.
Every Super Bowl Sunday, there's no doubt in any of our friends' or family members' minds that whatever Maressa brings will be Tex-Mex. Not only do I love Tex-Mex, but I feel like dishes like burritos, nachos, and quesadillas are the perfect party foods. Not only can you eat them with your hands, but they can be full of lean protein and veggies -- OR you can go the indulgent direction and pack 'em with spicy meat and ooey-gooey cheese. Mmmm!
But before deciding on THE dish for the big game, I test-drove two recipes: Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas (from Food.com) vs. Tequila Chicken Quesadillas (from FoodNetwork.com).
I changed the recipes up slightly for quicker prep (which I'm sure you'll appreciate, too!) by getting a pre-made wing sauce (which is basically like a premade mix of Frank's hot sauce + butter) for the Buffalo quesadillas, and by buying some pre-made flatbreads for the Tequila Chicken ones. Then, we threw both versions together in a flash, and a winner was declared ...
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But before I reveal the Big Winner of this tough contest, let's check out the recipes!
Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas from Food.com
- 2 cups finely diced cooked chicken
- 1/3 cup hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
- 8 8-inch flour tortillas
- Mix hot pepper sauce with melted butter and toss with chicken. (Or just use prepared wing sauce to coat chicken.)
- Layer chicken mixture and cheese on 4 tortillas, dividing evenly.
- Cover with a top tortilla.
- In a grill pan or non stick skillet, cook each one for 3 to 5 minutes until toasted and cheese melts.
- Cut into quarters to serve.
- Serve with blue cheese dressing, if desired.
Tequila Chicken Quesadillas from FoodNetwork.com
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, julienned
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 dashes cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1 green bell pepper, julienned
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 ounce tequila
- 8 ounces Colby Jack cheese, Monterey jack, or Cheddar, shredded
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons sliced scallions
- Homemade or store-bought flatbread or tortillas
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- In a large saute pan or wok, heat oil over high heat. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, and garlic, and add to the hot oil. Next add the peppers and onions, and remove pan from the heat and add tequila. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly. Keep warm.
- Cut 1 flat bread into 4 pieces. On 2 pieces, layer cheese, cooked chicken mixture, and more cheese, and cover with the other 2 pieces.
- Lastly, melt butter until very hot in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add quesadillas and cook for about 2 minutes on each side until toasty and the cheese is melted.
- Cut quesadillas into 3 pieces each and serve. Garnish with cilantro and scallions, and serve with salsa picante, guacamole, and sour cream, if desired.
Although it was a very close call, the judges (aka my boyfriend and our two good friends) agreed the Tequila Chicken seemed more panini-like -- especially with the peppers and the flatbread. And everyone loved how the Buffalo Chicken one turned out crispier and super-spicy ... which made it even more delicious when dipped in the blue cheese dressing. Muy satisfying!! And obviously, anything buffalo chicken-flavored is destined to be a winner on Super Bowl Sunday. Can't wait to make 'em for the big game!
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What's your favorite kind of quesadilla?
Images by Maressa Brown