Sunday, June 10, 2012

Buffalo Burger Quesadillas

For my second recipe, it is going to be a two-fer. I am going to share my deliciously simple pico de gallo (perfect to put together for a last minute guest or pre-planned BBQ) and a wonderful recipe I found on for buffalo burger quesadillas. Buffalo is a great substitute for beef because of its health qualities (it is much leaner than beef!). However, it can be more expansive than beef, so another healthy alternative to beef is ground turkey.

So let's get started on the pico de gallo...

Recipe yields about 2 cups

4 medium vine-ripe tomatoes
2 green chile peppers (about 3 inches long)
1/3 cup white onion
2 tbsp red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1 lime, juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

Mince chile peppers, white onion, bell pepper, garlic and cilantro leaves. Chop tomatoes. Add all ingredients to mixing bowl. Add the juice from one lime. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients together. Cover with cellophane wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour for flavors to really develop.

Although I made the pico de gallo for my burgers, it also goes great with chips as a salsa dip or atop grilled chicken.

Now for the burger quesadillas:

Recipe yields 6 burgers (1/4 lb. each)
Note: This recipe was adapted from

1 1/2 lbs lean ground buffalo 
2 cups pico de gallo
1 1/2 cups low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
12 small whole wheat flour tortillas (flour tortillas get nice and crispy, I prefer them over the corn tortillas)
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper

Form six evenly sized patties, as flat as you can. (Even when you think they are flat enough, make them flatter! It will make everything easier later on.) Season burgers with salt and black pepper. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and lightly coat with cooking spray. When pan is hot, add burgers. Cook burgers 2-3 minutes on each side if you like your meat medium. (Cook longer or shorter based on your preferences.)

Once burgers are cooked to your liking, remove from the pan. Clean the pan and re-coat with cooking spray. Place a tortilla in the middle of the pan. (If your pan is big enough, you can do more than one at a time.) As noted above, I prefer whole wheat flour tortillas. I tried this recipe with both whole wheat flour tortillas and corn tortillas and the flour tortillas became crispy and had a much better flavor.

Spoon on 2-3 tbsp of pico de gallo and then sprinkle with cheese. (Helpful Hint: Put the pico de gallo down first and put the cheese on top, when the cheese melts it will hold the pico de gallo in place and avoid it from spilling out of your quesadilla later on!) Place the burger on top of the cheese. Add another helping of pico de gallo and another sprinkle of cheese prior to placing the second tortilla on top. Cook for 2 minutes and then gently flip the quesadilla. Cook for an additional 2 minutes or until all cheese is melted.

I hope you enjoy my first two recipes!