Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Shrimp, Corn and Avocado Quesadillas and Ina Garten's recipe for Roasted Shrimp

         I got a big kick out of this recipe when I initially made it.  It calls for ‘leftover shrimp’.  Does anyone actually ever have leftover shrimp? If anything, when you serve these addictive little two-bite appetizers, you are more likely to have anything other than a tail leftover.  Then I proved myself wrong because I did in fact have some beautiful roasted shrimp left over.  I made them using Ina Garten’s superb recipe.  Roasting shrimp makes infinite good sense.  When you boil shrimp, you’re basically boiling out the flavor, all of which will be absorbed by the water they’re boiled in.  Roast shrimp and you’re roasting the flavor into the shrimp.  I can almost guarantee you will never boil another shrimp once you’ve tried Ina’s recipe which comes right after the one for Quesadillas. 
         My leftover shrimp reminded me of the excellent quesadillas we used to love at a local restaurant called Citrus (Citrus Bar and Grill, 320 Amsterdam Avenue (75th-76th St.) New York City, (212-595-0500 Citrus is a bit of a strange place food-wise since there’s a full-on sushi bar and then there’s a whole Latina cocina among whose specialties is a Chile Lime Shrimp quesadilla with corn and cheese.  I had both shrimp and corn on hand and the market is full of the season’s first avocados, well-priced at 2 for $4.  They were even ripe which is always a plus.   Since I value my Panini maker and haven’t used it in a while, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to use it to make lunch.  If you do not have a Panini maker, you can use a non-stick sauté pan.  Simply put the tortilla in the pan, cover one side with the shrimp, corn and cheese mixture.  Then gently fold the other half over and press it down lightly. You’ll achieve the same end as the Panini maker does.  These turned out very well and Andrew gave it the thumbs up over the Citrus version. A great compliment indeed! Here’s the recipe:

Recipe for Shrimp and Corn and Queso Quesadillas
Serves 2. Easily doubled or tripled.

Soft Flour Tortillas
1 ½ cups cooked shrimp, shelled, tail removed, cut into half inch pieces.
1 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup cooked corn – mine was leftover confetti corn with red onion and orange
Peppers, but if you need corn, I’d recommend a can of Niblets goosed up with some onion, hot sauce and a spritz of fresh lime juice.
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 ripe avocado, halved and sliced on the bias.

Some Salsa Verde will give
your Quesadillas a kick
1. Brush one side of a flour tortilla with olive oil.
2. Place tortilla, olive oil side down on a Panini maker.
3. Put a layer of grated Monterrey jack on one half of the tortilla leaving the other half to fold over when cooked..
4. Sprinkle shrimp pieces over the cheese.
5. Spoon corn over shrimp and cheese.
6. Fold tortilla over to cover shrimp, cheese and corn mixture.
7. Cook until grill is sizzling and grill marks show on tortilla.
8. Remove from heat, top quesadilla with avocado slices drizzled with olive oil.

Another hint for the day. If you have no shrimp on hand and want to. make this dish for two, you should cook about 8 shrimp. Since discovering Ina GartenDescription:’s roasted shrimp cocktail, I use it every chance I get. It gives you shrimp that are truly the best I’ve ever had. And it’s very simple. Here’s her recipe:

Ina Garten’s Recipe for Oven-Roasted Shrimp

2 pounds (12 to 15-count) shrimp (24 to 30 Shrimp)
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
(If just cooking the shrimp for quesadillas, adjust volumes accordingly)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place them on a sheet pan with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread them in 1 layer. Roast for 8 to10 minutes, just until pink and firm and cooked through.
3. Set aside to cool.

“Now how easy was that?” as Ina would say.


  1. Love mexican food. Love this recipe. Love Cilantro. Adding it to this, OK?

  2. Oh this is so perfect int this 100 degree heat! Quesadillas and Tecate. AND leftover shrimp is about as probable as leftover Tecate.. Just not gonna happen. Thank Monte!

    1. Always so much fun to hear from you Ana! And this is so funny! XOXO Monte