What The Dish | Chicken Quesadilla

Photo by Geraud pfeiffer on Pexels.com

While we always have quite the delectable spread at the Academy of Occult Arts, our selection of foods was absolutely fantastic for the start of June. What makes it more unique is the ability to create a new dish from the foods given. AOA doesn’t choose your lunch for you, but rather rotates the foods presented in a buffet style, so you actually have various options at your disposal.

This week, I found myself leaning toward grilled poultry, fresh vegetables, and white rice with black beans. I experimented around with different dishes, but this week’s Middy highlight has got to be the chicken quesadilla I made.

How I Did It

First, I served myself white rice, black beans, grilled chicken breasts, sour cream, and two tortillas. Everything but the latter went into its own small bowl for the sake of portion management–plus, that’s all I could fit on my first tray. Then I grabbed a tray with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, chopped onions, shredded cheese, an avocado, two whole limes, a few salt and pepper packets, an extra bowl, my utensils and a drink. Once I was seated with both trays, I broke out the utensils and went to work.

  1. Shredded the grilled chicken as best I could with the utensils given.
  2. Used the extra bowl to mix the beans and rice together, and set those aside for a later step.
  3. Folded both tortillas in half and lined each with a thin layer of cheese. I opted for Monterey Jack, but feel free to use your favorite. If you’re vegan or lactose-intolerant, feel free to skip this step.
  4. Filled each tortilla one-quarter of the way with the mixture of rice and beans. It’s crucial that your layer look like a semi-circle, allowing even portions later on.
  5. Then I added a layer of the shredded chicken to take up another quarter of the quesadilla. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, feel free to skip this step.
  6. The next layer is a mixture of shredded lettuce and tomatoes. How much depends on you; I personally prefer more tomatoes in my Mexican-inspired dishes than lettuce.
  7. Then I added about half of the chopped onions (about half a cup each) and set aside the rest for a later step.
  8. Set one quesadilla to toast in a panini press* while we move onto the next step: the guacamole.
  9. Once I had the avocado open, pit out, and skin off, I mashed the avocado in a spare bowl (I actually used the same bowl that I had the tomatoes in; it’s cool if you have some tomatoes left in there.)
  10. Cut one lime in half and the other into quarters.
  11. I stopped everything and swapped the toasted quesadilla out with the second.
  12. Back to the guac: squeezed both halves of lime, making sure the juice is collected into the mashed avocado. (Watch out for seeds!)
  13. Added the rest of the onions, two packets of salt, and one packet of pepper into the mixture. It’s important that you taste it to make sure you’re satisfied with the results.

The second quesadilla had finished toasting by the time my guacamole was finished, so I sliced both up into even portions and offered them to my judges: the Journalism Club!

There were happy sounds all around when the first bites were had. Melusine was so excited that she bit her tongue, and Fiona’s eyes were wide with amazement. Arion seemed to match her enthusiasm, but added an, “Ohmigosh!” with a mouth full of quesadilla. Virgil and Feliks certainly seemed impressed with my creation.

“The guacamole would benefit from some garlic and coriander–but considering that the school didn’t give you those ingredients, it turned out well.”

– Feliks Kotov, my foodie buddy

And that, readers, is my dish of the week. Tune in next Friday to find out what my favorite thing on the menu is, whether it’s as is or altered for my taste buds! Until then leave a like on this post, and I’ll see you at Middy.

Aspen Lawrence

News Reporter & Foodie

*The panini press and other electric cooking tools are available upon request from the café staff. We’re not exactly a big school and half the staff eats in the room with us. If you’re a guardian reading this who have safety concerns, please know that the staff wouldn’t lend us anything unless they thought we were trustworthy. Have a little more faith in your heirs.


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