Key West Quesadillas


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So many things have an impact on what we eat. Music and warm sunny weather are always a huge influence. With this week being beautiful in Virginia – reaching into the eighties and sunny kind of beautiful – I felt very inspired by Jimmy Buffet. Not only his music, but his lager and food. On a side note, if you ever get the chance to visit his Margaritaville restaurant in Myrtle Beach…do it! The best fish tacos and margarita-beer combined while getting a wonderful hug by the ocean side breeze. Ahhh day dreaming. Anyways……It all started with a LandShark. Doesn’t it always?

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So….the big reveal: The secret to the crispiest quesadilla is…drum roll… the shell type. Skip right over the traditional flour tortillas and head straight for the brown rice burrito shells. No wheat, no gluten, just straight up brown rice flour which yields some serious crispiness. I mean serious. I find it totally awesome that people with true Celiac disease or gluten intolerance can still enjoy an amazing quesadilla. The ingredients in the brown rice tortilla shells are: brown rice flour, filtered water, tapioca flour, safflower oil, rice bran, vegetable gum and sea salt. Nice! Thank you Trader Joe’s for a great product.

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If you want to treat your friends or family to a little luau…give these quesadillas a go. The ingredients are simple and together will pack in some serious island flavor with just the right amount of heat.  Here is what you will need:

Ingredients: Makes 2 large quesadillas cut into 4 triangles each, Serves 2-3

  • 4 brown rice burrito shells
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sweet bell peppers and one jalapeno (optional)
  • one large sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup LandShark lager or any beer
  • 1 fresh squeezed lime and zest
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 4 tbsp barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • sour cream or Greek yogurt, your favorite salsa, fresh guacamole
  • Additional options: shrimp, flank steak, black beans, chicken, shredded pork

Easy Instructions:

  1. In a large saute pan – saute peppers and onions in olive oil on medium high heat until soft and the onions are caramelized.  With the pan still hot, add beer, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, cumin, BBQ sauce, paprika and sea salt and let it sizzle with steam for a few seconds. Also add any cooked meat, seafood or beans at this time. Mix well and turn heat to low and let simmer for five minutes.
  2. In a separate skillet or large fry pan over medium high heat, spray pan with olive oil and lay one tortilla flat. Add half of the mixture from above as well as half of the shredded cheese and half of the black olives. Cover with another tortilla and carefully flip one time with a large spatula cooking both sides until a brown, golden crispy color appears. Repeat this process for the second quesadilla.
  3. Cut quesadillas into four triangles and serve with guacamole, salsa, shredded romaine, sour cream and of course your favorite lager. Cheers! 

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Flavorful.Fragrant.Fun.

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