One of the easiest ways to keep leftover meals interesting is to change up the cuisine. By adding herbs and spices to a meal it is easy to have dinner in Italy on Monday and in Mexico on Wednesday. This quesadilla (literally translated, means ‘cheesy little thing’) recipe uses up the leftover meat from the pulled pork ragu I made earlier in the week, transforming it from a rich traditional Italian dish to a smoky, spicy delight.
Now considered a staple of Mexican street food, the quesadilla is in fact a Spanish-Mexican hybrid, with cheese only arriving in Mexico with the conquistadors in the early sixteenth century. Of course, today, with the albeit less conquer-y movement of people, there are countless additions to this non-traditional food – my inclusion of barbeque sauce is typically Texan, making this dish Tex-Mex I suppose. Quesadillas being the multi-cuisine, multicultural food that they are, makes them the perfect food to experiment with flavours and go wild – nothing’s out of bounds!
This easy, versatile recipe allows you to use up whatever leftovers you have – giving you the scope to hide vegetables in the cheesy centre if you are feeding a fussy eater. Have as a quick midweek supper or pre-make and take for a packed lunch.
Prep time: 20 minutes
CLICK HERE to see this recipe as part of a meal plan.
For the Quesadilla:
175g leftover pulled pork
4 soft wraps
100g grated cheddar cheese
1 clove garlic
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tbsp bbq sauce
olive oil for frying
For the Salsa:
1 tin red kidney beans (400g)
1 large tomato
1 red chili
1 green chili
A handful of coriander leaves and stalks
salt and pepper
To begin with, make the salsa by finely dicing the tomato, chillies and coriander. Place in a large bowl with the kidney beans and squeeze over the lime. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Next, take half an avocado and smash it in a bowl with the back of a fork until all the lumps are removed. Add a small squeeze of lime and a pinch of salt.
To make the quesadillas, first finely chop the garlic and fry over a low-medium heat with a little olive oil, the smoked paprika and cumin. Once the spices have become fragrant (about 1-2 minutes) remove from heat and add the bbq sauce. Once you’ve done this, take the pork and tear it apart into relatively small pieces and stir through the bbq sauce until it’s completely coated.
Finally, take a large, dry frying pan and heat it over a medium heat. Assemble the quesadillas by placing one wrap on the bottom and layering on the pork mixture, followed by the grated cheese, and finally another wrap. Carefully place it in the frying pan and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes, or until the quesadillas are crispy on both sides.
Serve with the salsa and avocado.
A mix of diced capsicum and cucumber in the salsa
A cooling dollop of sour cream
Bump up the meal by having corn on the cob on the side