Roasted Corn, Black Bean, and Chicken Quesadillas

July 21, 2009 · 16 comments

in chicken/poultry,healthy,mexican/tex-mex

Ever since I was little, I have loved grilled and roasted corn.  I love the spots of black char marks that make the corn not only look delicious, but taste even better. I never even knew people grilled their corn with the husks on until semi-recently. My family and my husband have always plopped the naked corn straight on the grill (maybe rubbed with a little oil), and it’s always been one of my favorite components of a grilled meal.

Roasting corn gives it so much more flavor, and I try to do it whenever possible. I’ve used it in corn soups and salads, and of course it’s great to eat as-is.

Now, quesadillas, I don’t eat all that often – at least, not the way I think of them, which is on a flour tortilla.  I actually like corn tortillas better than flour and the added bonus is they are usually healthier. I have a hard time finding flour tortillas that don’t have HFCS in them, even the whole wheat ones. Plus, 3 corn tortillas is usually the same amount of calories as 1 flour.   I like to eat more whenever possible. :)

Sometimes, you just really want something and in this case I really, really wanted a traditional (to me) quesadilla.  Being that corn is great right now, we did something I tend to do all too often – overbuy it.  So, when I looked in the fridge to figure out my quesadilla filling and I saw the corn, it was a no brainer. Add to that some leftover cream cheese, chicken, and black beans (always at least 3 cans in my pantry) and this meal was good to go.

This was delicious. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with the ingredients, and cooking it up to crispy perfection doesn’t hurt, either. I was a little worried about the leftovers and, while they weren’t crispy (can I petition to get a toaster oven at my office?), they were possibly more delicious the next day.  My husband agreed. You gotta love good leftovers.

Roasted Corn, Black Bean, and Chicken Quesadillas

Makes 2 large quesadillas (Serves 4)
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2 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
1 small onion, diced (about 1/3 cup
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, diced (remove seeds/ribs to your spice preference)
1 medium to large chicken breast (8-10 oz.), cooked and shredded or cubed
1/4 cup water or broth
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 cup black beans
2 small-medium ears (about 1 cup) roasted corn, cut off the cob*
2 Tbsp. cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
4 large (burrito sized) flour tortillas

Heat 1 Tbsp. of the canola oil in a large skillet and once it’s hot, add the onion to saute. As the onion becomes translucent, stir in the garlic and jalapeno, until the garlic is fragrant.  Add the next 6 ingredients, bring to a light boil, and then simmer for 5-10 minutes to combine the flavors.  Off the heat, stir in the corn and cream cheese.

Heat another large pan or a cast iron skillet (which you know I used) over medium-high, and add 1/2 Tbsp. oil.  Build a quesadilla by layering half the mixture and half the shredded cheese onto a flour tortilla. Top with a second tortilla, and then add to the hot pan. Heat until browned on one side, and then flip and cook until browned on other and cheese has melted. Repeat with second quesadilla.

*You can do this on the grill, in a hot oven, or under your broiler. Either way, I rub with just a little bit of canola oil before making it. Grill/roast until black in spots, flipping occasionally to cook evenly.

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