Fourth of July

Smoked Chicken or Roasted Salmon Quesadilla Wedges with Chipotle Sour Cream

February 27, 2012
Author Notes

I am a big fan of smoked foods and Southwestern flavors. Lately I have been delving deep into books on Food History. I get the biggest kick out of the fact that beans and corn , tomatoes and chiles , all of which have changed the course of world food history, are native to the Americas! I wanted to create a dish to celebrate that, and this contest inspired me to do so. With salmon also common off both the east and west coast of North America,this dish could really be a centerpiece for a Fourth of July celebration! For a non-seafood version, use smoked chicken or smoked turkey, shredded with your fingers.For a vegetarian version, replace the animal/fish protein with drained cooked black beans, or refried beans, sliced hearts of palm , and corn, or tempeh, cooked and mashed dried soybeans, or cooked and mashed edamame. —LE BEC FIN

  • Serves 24 wedges
  • Salmon or Smoked Chicken Quesadilla Wedges
  • 10-12 ounces fresh roasted salmon, flaked, or smoked chicken, skinned and shredded
  • 12 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated OR mix of pepper jack and smoked jack cheese(or x sharp cheddar), grated
  • 1/2 ounce scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes,quartered and chopped
  • 10 ounces Red salsa with black beans and corn(if this is thick, draining is not really needed, but if it looks thin, drain in a sieve for 1 hour or overnight)
  • 6 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro(stems and leaves soaked, drained, dried)
  • 4 8" chile flavor flour tortillas( I use Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2-1 teaspoons bacon fat or canola oil
  • Chipotle Sour Cream
  • 3/4 Sour cream (no liquid)
  • 1/4 Plain Yoghurt (not 'No Fat')
  • 2+ teaspoons pureed Chipotles in Adobo (without seeds;San Marcos brand recommended, not La Morena which needs seeding -ugh)
  • 2 teaspoons Orange Juice concentrate
  • 1/4- 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch of kosher salt
In This Recipe
  1. Salmon or Smoked Chicken Quesadilla Wedges
  2. Lay out the tortillas. Spread the smoked jack on the top half of each. Press down with your flattened hand, to bond the cheese with the tortilla. Spread salmon or chicken on the top half and press down to secure the protein. On the salmon, sprinkle the scallions, then the grape tomatoes. Top with an even spread of salsa , then cilantro, then pepper jack cheese.Fold bottom half up and over top half, pressing firmly.
  3. Heat ½- 1 tsp.fat in a non stick skillet. Heat to hot, but not smoking. Lay down 2 quesadillas , curved side out, and press down firmly to sear. When browned and crisp, turn over and cook til brown and crisp. If service is delayed, keep cooking on low heat and turning over every few minutes- or the quesadillas will get soft (and they are SO much better crispy!)
  4. Remove from pan.With a sharp knife, cut each into 6 pie wedges. Serve with Chipotle Sour Cream. In their uncooked state, these can be well wrapped and frozen, to later be defrosted and cooked.
  1. Chipotle Sour Cream
  2. Mix all together except chipotles. Add them a bit at a time to make sure the mixture is not too hot for you. Adjust ingredients to taste. Flavors meld best if the sauce is made ahead. Note: I puree a can of chipotles with its adobo and keep in a small container, frozen. With a fork, I easily scrape off what I need each time.

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I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom. I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??! While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines. Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!) I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me. I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.