What seems like forever ago, but in reality was about 3 months ago, my spatular took me to Baltimore to meet some of his friends from college. The weekend was pretty dreamy, offering up an absurd amount of sunshine, given that it was still February, and an incredible amount of fun considering I’d never met any of these people before. I left town feeling like I had adopted a whole new group of friends, and almost as importantly with a new appreciation for quesadillas and margaritas.
His friends live in Canton, a cute little neighborhood in walking distance to the harbor. We were totally unaware, but aparently it was National Margarita Day, so the wait at the local Nacho Mama’s was three hours. We stuck it out though and it was totally worth it… especially when our hubcab margaritas [we’re talking the size of my head!] were delivered to the table!
Despite the name, Nacho Mama’s signature dish is not nachos, but instead quesadillas! But not just any old quesadilla, but tortillas filled with all sorts of goodness like crab meat, buffalo chicken, and the real standout of the night, an ultimate barbecue quesadilla. I could give you a long winded description about why this bad boy is so awesome, but I think a quick ingredients list will do: Saucy BBQ Chicken. Spicy Creamy Mac N Cheese. Red onions. Sharp Cheddar. Need I say more?
- 2, 10 inch tortillas or wraps
- 1 1/3 cup diced or shredded chicken (about 1/2 lb)
- 1/3 cup BBQ sauce
- 1/2 cup dried macaroni noodles
- 1/2 Tbs butter
- 1 Tbs flour
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 oz pepper jack cheese, cut into small cubes
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
I start with shredded rotisserary chicken, but last nights left overs or a couple breasts on the grill will work just fine. Shred the chicken and mix it with your favorite BBQ sauce.
To prep the mac n cheese, boil a small pot of water and add the macaroni, cooking until tender. While the mac is cooking, melt a 1/2 Tbs of butter in a nonstick pan on the stove top over medium heat. Add the Tbs of flour and whisk for one minute. Pour in the milk and continue whisking for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Add the cubed pepper jack cheese and stir until melted. Add the cooked macaroni noodles to the cheese sauce and gently mix until evenly coated.
This recipe makes 2 quesadillas. To assemble the quesadillas, lay 2 large tortillas flat on the counter. Spread 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar on the lower half of each tortilla. Top each with half the chicken, half the mac n cheese, and half the sliced onion. Finish each quesadilla off with another 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar. Fold the tortillas in half to cover all of the fillings. Gently slide them onto a hot panini press, one at a time. Close the press and cook for 7 minutes, or until the outside is golden and the inside is melted. Slice and serve immediately.
Nacho Mama’s in Baltimore.
Check back later this week for more wacky quesadilla ideas!