3-Cheese Turkey Quesadillas

I’m not a big fan of turkey with anything other than mashed potatoes and stuffing. Chicken is a very versatile meat, whereas turkey has a distinctive flavor that I associate with Thanksgiving. It’s just not something I cook often. However, the 6 pounds of frozen turkey in my freezer are beckoning and calling my name. “You have to use us. Uuuuuse usss!”

I’m glad I did. Hot damn if I didn’t hit a perfect recipe. Most things I make come together slowly. I’ve got a few standard recipes that always get little modifications with each new incarnation, but this one will be documented, chiseled in stone, and preserved for posterity. It was good.

1/4 lb cooked turkey, diced
1/2 onion, diced - preferably sweet onions
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup salsa
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 cups shredded cheese (asadero, cheddar, and monterey jack)
8-10 soft flour tortillas, preferably 8"
fresh parsley to taste

Sautee the onions in vegetable oil until slightly translucent. You want to keep them firm. Next add the diced turkey and kosher salt to taste. (Most of it will be in the sauce mixture. This is personal preference.) While the onions are cooking, mix the salsa, sour cream, and spices together in a small bowl. On a clean surface, lay out the tortillas. By hand, rub 2-3 drops of vegetable oil into one side of each tortilla. Flip the tortillas over, and they’re ready to be filled. After the onions and turkey have cooked together for 2-3 minutes, transfer this filling into the same bowl with the sour cream mixture. Blend well.

Spread 1-2 spoonfuls of the filling mixture over (dry) half of a tortilla. Top with shredded cheese. Place tortilla in pan oil-side down and crisp over medium heat for 5-10 seconds. “Close” the tortilla by flipping the unfilled half over. Let it sit for approximately 1 minute, then flip and cook for an additional minute. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat this process with each tortilla. It’s very important to have the pan preheated. If the pan isn’t hot enough, you won’t get the right crisp, browned texture into the tortilla. Let the pan heat up again between quesadillas, or use cast iron.

This recipe makes 8-10 quesadillas. It’s important to limit the amount of filling in each one. It shouldn’t ooze when you cut or bite into it. Oozing means it’s overstuffed. They can be served whole for dinner or as party snacks, quartered and arranged on a tray around sour cream and guacamole.