Who doesn't love a delicious quesadilla? I mean, it's basically cheese and a tortilla filled with any delicious combination of veggies/meats/whatever you can dream up?! Any food that derives from the word "cheese" is automatically awesome, right? Some of my favorite combos are chorizo and jalapeno, and chicken and peppers. I've actually never made one containing shrimp before, but this one is delicious. The shrimp are so flavorful on their own, especially with the addition of the smoked paprika (my new favorite spice), but the combination of them with the cheese, scallions, cilantro, and tomatoes make them even better.... and it's such an easy meal which makes it perfect for a weeknight.
Paprika Shrimp Quesadillas
Serves 4 to 6
1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper
1 lime, juiced
A small handful of cilantro, finely chopped
8 large tortillas
2 plum or vine tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 1/2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
Guacamole and/or sour cream for serving
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, or a grill, griddle or grill pan to medium-high.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Toss shrimp with a drizzle of olive oil, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the shrimp to the pan, and cook until done, about 4-6 minutes. When done, add lime juice, toss, and remove from heat.
3. Remove the shrimp from the pan, and chop into smallish pieces. Place in a bowl, add cilantro, and toss together.
4. To assemble the quesadillas, place half of the tortillas on foil-lined baking sheet(s) (you will need 2 baking sheets, or you can do this in 2 batches). Sprinkle cheese onto each. Then sprinkle on shrimp, tomatoes and scallions. Top each with another tortilla.
5. Pop into the oven and bake 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted.
6. Cut into wedges and serve.
- Alternately, you can do this all on a grill, as the original recipe calls for. (If you are lucky and it's not raining when you are making these!) For grilling, preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Once you toss the shrimp with the spices, thread them onto a skewer and grill for about 2 minutes per side. Pour the lime juice over them before removing from the grill. Then chop and sprinkle with cilantro. To make the quesadillas on the grill, it's easier if you place the ingredients on half of each tortillas and fold over, so that only one side is open. Spray with cooking spray, and place on grill for about 5 minutes, turning once.
- Even without the extra-smokiness that grilling these would have given the quesadillas, they were still awesome! I used hot smoked paprika, rather than sweet smoked paprika. Feel free to use either, just make sure it's the fancy smoked stuff!
- The original recipe calls for avocado to be inside of the quesadilla as well, but I decided to make guacamole instead. It's totally up to you.