Cheesy Turkey Quesadillas with Cranberry Salsa
It is all about options… and saving time, and saving money, and having delicious food with optimal nutrition… with options.
What could be more simple, or option-friendly, than quesadillas?
Oh how we love to wrap our foods! You can wrap up just about everything but soup. Wraps not only make our food easy to eat, and portable, but they add another layer of texture and flavor that compliments the filling. Because of this love of wraps, you can now find a version of a tortilla for pretty much any diet… vegetarian, gluten-free, grains-free… whatever you like!
They are pricey, but you can even purchase Paleo wraps – gluten-free, raw, vegan, low-carb and made from only coconut meat and coconut water.
You can make these turkey quesadillas with any of those wraps for a great way to use up leftover turkey. But here is one more option to throw into the ring. Yuca Root works for almost all diets, from vegan to paleo, and offers a little variety for your sandwich/wrap dining experience.
Yuca has very little flavor on its own. It is slightly nutty, and starchy like a potato. If you do not cook it thoroughly, it can become a little gummy, so I roll it out as thin as I can and cook it until it looks almost overdone. At that point, it becomes crispy golden brown, holds its filling and its shape, and makes for a tasty little lunch.
Important! Never eat Yuca raw! It is toxic, especially bitter yuca (aka cassava, manioc). It is rendered safe through removal of its juices (or gasses in the juice), by soaking, fermenting, thoroughly cooking, and/or drying. When you buy tapioca flours, or African products such as garri, fufu, apu, and pupuru, this has been done for you.
For quesadillas, you will need:
- tortilla wraps or yuca (cassava) dough – get easy make-ahead instruction here!
- leftover turkey
- leftover turkey gravy
- cheese – virtually any cheese you like
- Cranberry Salsa – find the easy recipe here (other options here and here)
- optional: diced jalapeno
- optional: anything else you want to add, sauteed onion and peppers would be good
Now you are ready to assemble your quesadillas.
You can portion your yuca dough any way you like, I like to use a 2 1/2 oz portion scoop.
Place yuca onto parchment paper. I lightly oil the parchment for easy rolling and removal. Add another piece of parchment over the dough and flatten and roll the dough until it is about the size of a corn tortilla.
Smaller tortillas are easier to mange in a skillet.
Remove the top layer of parchment and build your flavors, one layer at a time, on half of the yuca wrap.
Cheese and jalapeno…
Salt and pepper, if needed. Then use the parchment to fold the yuca tortilla in half over your filling.
Gently pull back parchment.
Use a nonstick skillet, or a heated and oiled skillet, to pan sear your quesadilla. Use the parchment to carefully transfer it to the pan in tact.
When the first side in browned, flip it over to brown the second side.
Notice the white fold… that is underdone and doughy. I press this down to get it more thouroughly cooked. And I do cook yuca a little longer than it seems one should. Flat yuca is good! Undercooked yuca is just gummy. In fact, if you want to be really sure that you don’t get gumminess, consider making two rounds, browning them both, then filling them, and browning them a little further to let the cheese melt. Mmmmmm
The fold method is the quick one. 🙂
When your quesadilla is sufficiently browned and crisp, serve immediately. But, if they have to sit, you can throw them back in the pan to re-crisp them.
Cut them into triangles.
Get your cranberry salsa out of the fridge. It is time for it to join those cheesy quesadillas.