Quesadillas-a No-fuss Satisfying Snack

Sampling different kinds of quesadillas is always fun in Mexican restaurants and surprisingly simple to do at home. These toasted tortilla foldovers are speedy to put together and cook in minutes-perfect when you're looking for a no-fuss satisfying snack-and there's no limit to the fillings that can go inside. Following this master recipe for easy-baked Chicken and Avocado Quesadillas, you can make other varieties by substituting shrimp or pork for the chicken and add sliced tomatoes, sautéed onions, sliced olives and roasted red peppers.

Some ingredients are basic to a good quesadilla. Flour tortillas are essential, of course, and Hass avocados from Mexico have a creamy, rich flavor that enhances just about any quesadilla, plus a soft texture that helps hold the filling together. For immediate use, choose ripe avocados that yield to the touch and have turned dark green to black. Firm, medium-green avocados will ripen in a few days when stored at room temperature. Each Mexican avocado carries a sticker identifying its place of origin, and here's some good news for quesadilla makers: Luscious avocados from Mexico are available all year long throughout the country.

Chicken And Avocado


2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 cups cooked, diced chicken

1 fully ripened Mexican Hass avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes

4 flour tortillas (7 to 8 inches each)

1/4 cup shredded Jack or Pepper Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 450°F. In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the oil, lime juice and cumin. Add chicken and avocado; toss gently. Lay tortillas on a baking sheet; brush both sides with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Spoon chicken and avocado mixture on one side of each tortilla, dividing evenly; top with cheese. Fold tortillas in half to cover filling. Bake until crisp, about 8 minutes. Serve with salsa.

Yield: 4 quesadillas

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About The Author, Stacey Moore
For a free recipe leaflet, "Great Starters with Hass Avocados from Mexico," that includes avocado ripening information, fax request to (212) 254-2452 or e-mail info@mexicanavocados.com. Visit www.avocadosfrommexico.com for more information and recipes.It's easy to serve quesadillas on short notice because they're so simple to make, like this no-fuss baked chicken and avocado quesadilla.