Making Leftovers, Large Families, and The Quesadilla

I was going through some of the pictures I had in my camera just now and chuckled when I got to this picture. I made these last week but now it seems like so long ago. You see, we had two huge buffet feasts over the weekend…

When I roasted these chickens, things were still peaceful. Things were going according to plan and I was doing all my prep work for our birthday celebration. I was feeding 18 or so on Friday and quesadillas were on the menu and they had to be filled with something. While others I know rely on pasta for receiving their leftovers and assorted odd ingredients, it is the quesadilla in our house that typically gets this responsibility. This time around, however, I had to make the leftovers the night before.

These chicken breasts were to be cooled, skinned, boned, shredded, seasoned, mixed with onions, garlic, cheese, green chillies, red peppers and a few other things before being cooked on a grill pan and put out on a platter for a roomful of birthday party guests. I would encourage you not to look at it the recipe when I get around to putting it up. Quesdadillas, you see, should know no boundaries. At their very best, they are more “art” than “science”. Get creative with whatever you have. No rules, just tortillas and whatever cheese you have on hand. Goat cheese? Fine. Perfect even. Mix it with leftover turkey, leeks, and some of that tomato about ready to go bad. Brie? Yum. Try this with a that piece of steak you brought home from the restaurant and some cilantro or mushrooms. Believe it or not, I have actually turned soup into a quesadilla! (It was lentil in case you are curious.)

We had a second, quite unplanned feast on Sunday. Our “quiet dinner” with my uncle-in-law and his wife quickly turned into a full-on feast requiring multiple menu items and extra chairs from the garage. I’m not from a large family so the “large family dynamic” always catches me off guard. It went down like this:

“Baby, my uncle and his wife are coming for dinner on Sunday.”

“OK, great!” I said, “I’ll think of something nice to make.” I can do dinner for 4 without breaking a sweat (usually) and its a chance for me to try out a new dessert too.

A few hours later: “Baby, my aunt heard that Paul was coming for dinner and she has been wanting to see us so I invited her and Larry.” Six people. Still, easy! I could go to the gym and pick up two extra pieces of salmon on the way home.

When I got home from the gym (and market) the note on the counter read: “Baby, my mother is coming too. I asked my brother and his family to bring her.” 10 adults, 2 children!
The “quiet dinner” is now a distant memory and we were now way larger than my dining room table can accommodate so we have entered buffet territory. In a large family when you want to have a quiet dinner with a relative you do it in secret. Back to the store for more salmon. And some chicken too because the kids don’t likes salmon. And more vegables. And I needed to make a larger salad too… Sigh.

So that is why despite making a ton of quesadillas this weekend the house is still loaded with leftovers. (How do salmon, roasted red pepper, and Gruyere quesadillas sound?)

Oh, and the roasted chicken? If you ever do find yourself without leftovers and need to make something up special for quesadillas then just get some chicken breasts on the bone and skin on. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 350 for 35 minutes. Let cool and do with it what you will. This chicken will be flavorful, moist and just great for whipping up into chicken salad, making sandwiches, etc.

I won’t be making it for awhile. I have tons of leftovers to use already.

About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don't know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]" means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small 'boom' in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a "food blog" or even myself a "food blogger".

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