Grilled Shrimp, Scallion, and Bacon Quesadillas with Smoky Guacamole
Published by Knopf
Gina: Just a few minutes on a hot grill will give shrimp and scallions a wonderful charred, smoky flavor, making an incredible filling for crisp and gooey quesadillas. The smoky flavor is echoed in the guacamole, which is made with chipotle peppers in adobo.
Cooking MethodGrilling, Pan-frying
Recipe CourseMain Course
EquipmentGrill, Grill Pan
Taste and TextureCheesy, Smoky
Type of DishGrilled Sandwich
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for frying tortillas
- 4 strips thick-sliced bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 garlic dove, minced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 scallions
- Four 12-inch flour tortillas
- 8 ounces (about 2 cups) shredded Jack cheese
- 1 recipe Smoky Guacamole (recipe follows), for serving
- 2 large ripe avocados
- ½ medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Kosher salt
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the bacon and fry until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.
Heat the grill (or a grill pan) to a medium-high setting. Place the shrimp, garlic, remaining tablespoon of oil, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl, and toss to combine. When the grill is hot, use tongs to place the shrimp and scallions across the grates. Cook until the shrimp are pink and firm (2 to 3 minutes on each side), and the scallions are charred and softened (turning them as necessary for even cooking). Transfer the shrimp and scallions to a plate to cool briefly, then coarsely chop both ingredients, toss them together in a clean bowl, and cover to keep warm.
Preheat the oven to 200°F.
Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel, return it to the heat, and add another drizzle of oil and a tortilla. Cook the tortilla for 30 seconds, then flip it. Cover half of the tortilla with a couple of spoonfuls of cheese. Arrange a quarter of the shrimp-and-garlic mixture and a quarter of the bacon over the cheese, and fold the tortilla over. Press down gently with a spatula and cook the tortilla for a minute or so on each side, to melt cheese and crisp, Transfer the cooked quesadilla to a baking sheet and hold in the oven while you repeat the process with the remaining ingredients. Cut each quesadilla into five wedges, and transfer to plates with your spatula.
For the Smoky Guacamole: Peel and pit the avocados, and place them in a medium bowl. Add the onion, chipotle pepper, lime juice, and cilantro, and mash together with a fork until combined but still chunky. Season to taste with salt.
Top the quesadilla wedges with liberal amounts of Smoky Guacamole.
If you don’t feel like firing up the grill, you can simply sauté coarsely chopped shrimp (or diced chicken breasts, for that matter), scallions, and garlic ina little olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes, until the shrimp (or chicken) are cooked through.
Canned chipotle peppers in adobo are available in the Mexican section of most supermarkets.
2009 Patrick Neely and Gina Neely