Random Recipe: Crispy Black Bean Quesadillas

This is a dish Brendan and I have served up dozens, if not hundreds, of times. It’s delicious, healthy, addictive and easy to make. And to give credit where credit is due, this  is Brendan’s creation…

– 6-8 tortillas (smaller size recommended)
– one can black beans, drained and rinsed w/ water
– about 1/4 to 1/2 of one bell pepper, chopped
– 1/2 of one onion, red or yellow, chopped
– 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
– olive oil or other cooking oil
– 1 package shredded yellow cheese or yellow-white cheese (cheddar works fine)
– spices: cumin, chili powder, pepper, salt
– optional: one jalepeno, chopped and diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice onion into small slices. Put 2-3 tbs oil into a skillet, heat to medium-high and add onion. Let onion cook a few minutes until it turns clear. Add bell pepper, and cook 3-4 more minutes. Add garlic and jalepeno (use fewer seeds from jalepeno if spiciness is a concern), mix well. Add black beans, and let cook a couple of minutes. Then add spices to taste. (Personally, I like a lot of cumin, like 2 tsps). Stir well, turn off heat.
Get out one large baking sheet. Place a tortilla down flat on the baking sheet, and spread out about one spatula of bean/veggies over one-half of the tortilla. Sprinkle desired amount of cheese over beans, then fold tortilla over, and gently squeeze shut, forming a half-circle. Repeat. You’ll probably have enough for about 6-8 quesadillas. Make sure that none of the quesadillas are stacked on each other on the baking sheet, and you may want to lightly spray the baking sheet with Pam. Then, place quesadillas in the oven, and let bake for about 15 minutes, taking out when crisp and starting to brown on the edges. Serve with salsa, and if desired, sour cream and lime slices. And of course, cold beer. 😀

(The key here is to make relatively flat quesadillas, by not adding too much bean mixture. That helps the tortillas get really good and crispy.)

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