So as it turns out, it’s your week to host game night at your place. That one house last Tuesday had pizza and the other apartment ordered a thousand wings to feed the masses. Now what? Should you do the same? Make your usual signature green bean casserole? Sure, you could go that route. Nothing wrong with that at all.
But here’s another suggestion that may take the fuss out of feeding a large, diverse crowd: Take a few staple ingredients then prep and separate them into their own serving bowls. Serve these with a choice of whole wheat, flour, and/or spinach tortillas and the possibilities are endless. Almost.
p.s. This is by no means a Mexican recipe; I just borrowed the concept, ya hear!
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 lb ground beef, cooked and sauteed with garlic and onions
1 package polksa keilbasa, sliced and cooked until browned
5 cups arugula
1 bunch cilantro
5 tomatoes, diced
4 cups sauteed mushrooms, green peppers, onions
2 packages of flour tortillas
The pairings below are some of my favorites, but feel free to mix it up on your own and use whatever you have on hand.
Pairing 1: Ground beef, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Gruyere and Cheddar
I love cilantro..and I get a little heavy handed with this guy whenever I make my quesadillas. Yumm. A friend of mine, who can’t stand the stuff, likens the taste to soap. Tragic! I say. ‘Tis a wonderful flavor to be likening it to dove.
Pairing 2: Ground beef, Arugula, Tomatoes, Gruyere and Cheddar
Growing up, I didn’t like Arugula. I tried it for the first time when I was 10 years old at a fancy wedding, eating salad comprised of leaves that could have been pulled from my backyard. My suspicions were confirmed when the menu read, Dandelion Salad.
I admit, this first experience deterred me a bit from foraying into different salad greens aside from my beloved hearts of romaine, iceberg and butter lettuce. But I gradually developed a penchant for Arugula’s peppery, spicy taste after having incorporated it into a number of non-salad adventures. That’s another story.
Pairing 3: Polska Keilbasa, Sauteed Mushroom, Green Pepper and Onion, Arugula, Gruyere and Cheddar
Enjoying food is also about enjoying the texture. And I love a bit of crunch in my quesadilla. The green peppers do for me, what pickles do to my sandwich. You see what I just did there?
Use red, green, or yellow peppers. Use turkey sausage or brats. Whatever floats your boat, whatever makes your mouth water…
Pairing 4: Polska Keilbasa, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Gruyere and Cheddar
Here, I like tomatoes because of their acidity. For me, it helps to balance out the smokey, rich flavors of the cheeses and sausage. The cilantro.. we’ve been through this before. We’re in a long-term relationship.
Pairing 5: Polska Keilbasa, Sauteed Mushroom and Green Peppers, Ground Beef, Tomatoes, Gruyere, and Cheddar
See a trend here yet? Pick what you like, assemble, and you’re one step closer to a quesadilla catered to your taste. This could easily be vegetarian friendly if you added a few more ingredients to your options: roasted squash and eggplants, avocado, etc. Slurp.
Pairing 6: Tomatoes, Sauteed Mushrooms and Green Peppers, Ground Beef, Gruyere, and Cheddar
You know what else you can make out of these? Omelets. Yes. I just breakfasted this idea. Seems like I’m always finding ways to make more breakfast food. Including words that don’t exist. Like breakfasted.
Once you’ve made your way down the assembly line, the next step is to arrange your pickins on your tortilla of choice. Use a frying pan large enough to fit the tortilla with extra room to flip.
Keep the heat on medium to medium-low. It will be hot enough to melt the cheese, without burning the tortilla. Depending on how stuffed you make yours, cook time could vary from 3-4 minutes on each side. All ingredients here were cooked beforehand, so browning the tortilla and melting the cheese into stringy goodness is all that is left to achieve.
Guess which pairing I chose to use here…
Obviously, you’ll place the top half of the other tortilla on top, but for picture’s sake, I decided to leave it off. I’m all about color.
I make my quesadillas in halves because it makes flipping that much easier and less prone to stuffing spillage. Again, your preference. I’m no expert at quesadilla flipping, so these are tricks that make it work for me.
What’s great about this concept is that aside from the cooking and prep work, all these steps can be achieved by your hungry guests. They get an opportunity to be creative and make something unique for themselves while you make sure your green bean casserole will live up to its known standards.
Clearly, it’s a win-win situation.