Sometimes simplicity is best: flour tortillas, cooked shrimp, good Mexican melting cheese, salt and a bit of oil. That’s all you need for this recipe.
Yes, you could dress up the shrimp with a marinade and add in some chopped green onion, Serrano or jalapeno pepper and some cilantro. You could add some diced tomato, onion or avocado. But I didn’t this time. Why? Because 1) I didn’t have these ingredients on hand and 2) there is something really perfect about the taste of the melted cheese laced with little bites of delicious shrimp. I will say this though about simple recipes: you better make sure the few ingredients that you do use are excellent! The shrimp I used were referenced in my Surf and Turf and Biscuits recipe, so you can read more about my love for them there. This cheese is something that I adore and rarely pass by when I come upon it in a grocery store: queso quesadilla. It is a Mexican melting cheese and lends an absolutely luscious texture to quesadillas. I suppose they named it aptly (or the other way around, I’m not sure which came first: the quesadilla or the cheese…). This cheese does not separate into oils and solids when heated and it is mild which is perfect in this application. This cheese would also be killer on a grilled cheese sandwich, on a burger or in an omelette. Because it is so mild I do make sure to salt it when I use it. Give it a try it you haven’t had it. If you can’t find it use a very good quality monterey jack instead. I try to buy unshredded cheese and shred it myself because I feel it has a fresher taste and better texture (this time I cheated because all the store I was shopping at had was shredded, so what’s a girl to do?).
And talk about fast- you can have this out for dinner or as an appetizer in minutes! Love it!
- 8 flour tortilla shells
- ½ lb. medium or large cooked, shelled and deveined shrimp
- 2 cups queso quesadilla cheese
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Canola Oil (vegetable oil or even butter would work here as well) for frying
- Salsa or guacamole to serve with, if desired
- Lemon or Lime wedges as garnish
- Cut your shrimp into halves or thirds, according to their size
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat
- Heat 1 tbsp. oil in the skillet
- Place one tortilla in the skillet, top with ¼ of the cheese, ¼ of the shrimp and a sprinkle of salt. Cover with the second tortilla shell
- Cook for 2 to 3 minutes
- Flip and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the opposite side
- Remove from heat and sprinkle a pinch of salt over the top
- Allow to rest a few minutes before cutting into 6 wedges (use a sharp knife or pizza cutter)
- Serve with salsa or guacamole if desired, and lemon or lime wedges to squeeze over the top
*substitute cooked shredded chicken, pork or beef for the shrimp if desired
*add other filling ingredients if desired such as: chopped tomato, onion, Serrano or jalapeno peppers, cilantro or avocado
*also delicious with just cheese as the filling!
*You could use butter instead of the oil if you prefer it works as well, just be careful not to burn the butter! I use oil because it a has a more neutral taste and I don’t need to worry about the oil burning.