I think it was back when I was first entering college that everybody was clamoring for the George Foreman grill. Here are a few important facts:
1- George Foreman named all of his five sons “George Foreman,” which should be an immediate qualifier for getting punched in the face. I don’t even feel comfortable when people name ONE child after themselves. I think it’s weird and egotistical and not very original. Name a kid after a Grandpa? Sure. But after yourself? Isn’t it enough that you’ve already contributed 50% of their genetic makeup? You have to name brand them as well? No. Just no. I spent four years with a guy (we’ll call him by his initials, for privacy) who was “K.L.M. III” or “the third.” He used to insist, not joking, that our firstborn son would be named the same thing, only “K.L.M. IV” or “the fourth.” This assertion was always met with derision. Also, and I’m not naming names, but potentially someone you and I know would always refer to her period as “K.L.M IV” just to be awful.
2- If you have ever, while sober, made a quesadilla for personal consumption using a microwave, then you are a lazy bad person.
3- George Foreman grills are shoddy. There are much better versions of panini-style griddles out there these days, none of which include brightly colored “bun warmers” on top. I mean, COME ON. If you’re throwing a pre-made burger patty on a grill that is going to smash out all of the juices and flavor, collecting it in a reservoir tip at the bottom to be discarded, then you have terrible taste and probably don’t care one iota if your bun is warm.
4- My car has heated seats. Those should be re-named “bun warmers.”
5- Quesadillas are a delicious, fast, easy, and potentially nutritious food. But do not try to eat them when they’re hot and melty and you’re driving after having a few beers, because you will get a DWAI. At least…that’s how I got mine. I was 21, and the quesadilla man in Fort Collins parked his delicious quesadilla cart *right* by my car. I’m only human.
6- I don’t drink and drive ever, now. Even if it means napping it off and coming home at 4:30 in the morning and having Chris look at me disapprovingly like I’ve spent the night carousing naked with the cast of Magic Mike, when in fact what I was doing was having arguments about the subjunctive and watching movies starring Will Farrell. I know how to party, baby.
Okay, I’m bored with list format. Now I will show you a magic trick involving quesadillas, my Breville panini press, protein, vegetables, super awesome tortillas that are infinitely preferable to the nasty-ass white monstrosities you get at your local grocery store for $1.99 a package (clearly overpriced because they taste like used dishcloths), and about 15 minutes from start to finish. I’ll use picture format. It’s like lists for people who can’t read. I won’t insult you by including a recipe, since it’s more a method than anything else.
See, step one involves putting chicken pieces (I used boneless, skinless thighs), whole peppers, and onion slices on a griddle. This cannot possibly be as difficult as you want it to be. Just throw some taco seasoning on the chicken, and some salt and pepper on the onion. Whammy. Cook until everything has nice char marks. When it’s cooked through and charred nicely, cover the pepper in plastic wrap for a few minutes, then peel it. The plastic wrap helps stem collect and separate the charred skin from the tasty pepper-flesh underneath.
Use these tortillas or something like them. They’re partially cooked, but not all the way. This means that you need to cook them on a hot griddle for a few minutes before serving. This makes a HUGE difference. I’m all about making tortillas from scratch using lard. I actually do it sometimes, even. But I don’t have TIME for that shizz always, and these are infinitely better than the tortillas that come fully cooked and taste like preservatives and the tears of Mexican immigrants. Please, please do their culture a favor and don’t use those shitty tortillas. Or name them something different. Romneys, maybe? Nomenclature matters. So find some par-cooked tortillas and get ready to roll.
Okay, now cut all of your veggies and chickens into small, quesadilla-appropriate bites. This mixture is delicious, and wants to be in your mouth right now. But I cannot emphasize how much more delicious it is once it gets sandwiched between grilled tortillas and melty cheese.
Layers. One tortilla, a layer of shredded cheese, then some chunks of your chicken mixture, then more cheese, then another tortilla. You see how easy this is? Then put down the lid of the griddle and let it griddle for a minute or so until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crisped up on the outsides.