Did you know there was a day set aside JUST for us Cheeseheads? (And I am NOT talking Green Bay Packer fans) January 20th is National Cheese Lover’s Day! So I’ve created this special recipe that mimics one you may have had in a drive-thru, but is actually far better! Imagine garlicky seasoned grilled steak, freshly shredded cheese, and a buttery pan-fried tortilla wrap with a crunchy surprise inside. Crunchy Quesadilla Wraps would make a simple and delicious weeknight meal, or would be fun to serve up at your next football party! (Bonus if you’re a Packer fan!)
One thing I love about this recipe is, much like a quesadilla, it can be made to order with a lot less mess. You can use any leftover meat- chicken, ground beef, pulled pork- and can include any vegetables that you’d like. All of it fits into your ten-inch tortilla and then seals up with your cheesy “glue” for a tasty, crunchy, meal. As always, I recommend shredding your cheese off the block for the best results, rather than buying a bag of pre-shredded. It only takes a minute and makes ALL the difference!
Crunchy Quesadilla Wraps
3 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. oregano flakes
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 lb. beef sirloin or flatiron
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
10″ flour Tortillas
chopped green chiles
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I love Alma Creamery sharp cheddar by the block, shredded fresh, as needed)
Red enchilada sauce
Garnishments: Sour cream, cheese, green chilies, salsa, chopped fresh cilantro
In a small bowl, combine garlic and spices with butter to form a paste; reserve.
Season beef with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, place a grill pan over medium high heat. When grill pan is nicely hot, add seasoned beef to pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn beef over and smear with prepared garlic mixture, continuing to cook to desired doneness. (We like medium rare, 145 degrees F internal temperature.) Remove beef from grill pan, then cover and let rest for a few minutes, Thinly slice beef on the bias, across the grain into thin strips; reserve and keep warm.
To assemble packets, place a flour tortilla onto a clean work surface; spread with sour cream, then sprinkle with green chilies and top with a tostada shell (see video for example). Place a few steak strips across tostada shell, add a drizzle of enchilada sauce and then a generous sprinkle of cheese. Bring sides of tortilla to the middle, folding tortilla over ingredients to form a hexagon shape (see photo above). Repeat with remaining ingredients to make more packets.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat; add a bit of melted butter to skillet, then place packet seam-side down into skillet. When golden brown on the first side, turn packet to cook on the other side until golden brown and cheese inside is melted. Repeat with remaining quesadilla packets. Serve garnished with more sour cream, green chilies, cheese, salsa, and cilantro, as desired.
Now You’re Cookin’,
**This recipe was featured as part of Chef Alli’s Farm Fresh Kitchen on WIBW 13 News, January 2017. Special thanks to the farmers and ranchers of the Kansas Farm Bureau for making this segment possible! For more information on the events shared in this segment, visit www.kfb.org!
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