With the frequent get-togethers we have been enjoying with friends watching the weekend football games, I often find myself preparing some fun snacks. Usually, it's food that can be prepped ahead of time and served easily. Instead of the usual filling for quesadillas, such as chicken, I decided to prepare cheese quesadillas that would actually taste good even at room temperature.
This combination of cream cheese, broccoli, bacon and jack cheese with the sautéed onions and peppers makes for a tasty appetizer for any occasion. If you're looking for something different, or just a new way to add vegetables to your meal, this recipe is a must-try. Take out the spicy chile peppers and it's is a kid-friendly meal for any night of the week. You can also use the filling for taquitos, tacos and other finger-friendly foods.
Add the trimmed broccoli to the food processor and pulse to chop into a fine finish. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, jalapeño and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 6 to 8 minutes.
Add in the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and pepper and cook for 1 more minute. Add in all of the broccoli from food processor with a little splash of water. Season to taste with salt, stir well to combine, cover and cook until broccoli becomes very soft. Remove from heat and let cool.
Once cooled, mix the broccoli with soft cream cheese, 1 cup pepper jack, 1 cup colby jack, bacon and hot sauce. Stir well to combine, set aside.
Preheat a large griddle pan to medium heat for 5 minutes. Brush tortillas on one side with oil and stack onto plate. Spread evenly some broccoli/cheese mixture onto one tortilla half, add some extra cheese and cilantro. Stack another tortilla (oil side up) on top. Press gently so it sticks a little better. Cook on hot griddle for a few minutes per side or until desired crispiness. remove from heat and let sit for 1 minute before slicing with sharp knife. Serve with your favorite salsa, sour cream and avocado slices.
Instead of cooking my bacon in a pan on the stove top, I prefer cooking it in the oven. Place bacon on wire rack with baking sheet underneath and cook in a 400-degree preheated oven for 25 to 28 minutes or until crisp.