Shrimp Quesadillas with Avocado Citrus Crema

Some things are just self explanatory.  I mean, you put shrimp and avocado together and it’s gonna be good, right?   But I’ll just say it anyway… these are some of the best things I’ve eaten in a very long time.  They’re filled with some of my all-time favorite flavors ever… chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, cilantro, green onions, melting cheese, shrimp, avocados; and then there’s the avocado citrus crema to dip them in… seriously good stuff.

I’ll take a quesadilla in any form or configuration, so it was pretty much a given that I was going to like these.  But don’t you just love it when you bite into something and the flavors are so bright and so perfectly balanced, and the textures work so well with the flavors, and the whole moment is just so lovely, that all your expectations are just blown away by reality?  I do.

I served these at a little quesadilla party I threw for our cousin and her beautiful teenage kids.  After taking a bite she looked up and said “that’s the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth”.   Now, that’s pretty much what you’re going for when you cook for someone, you know?  But it’s hard to really take credit for something that was meant to be in the first place.

Shrimp Quesadillas with Avocado Citrus Crema

Click here for a printable recipe

1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large avocados, sliced
3 large or 4 small green onions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

1/3 cup chopped cilantro
3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced (use more or fewer chiles depending on your tastes)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (or 1 1 /2 cups grated panela cheese and 1/2 cup grated cotija cheese)
4 flour tortillas (10-inch in diameter)
1 1/2 large, ripe fresh avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
Avocado Citrus Crema (recipe below)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the minced garlic and shrimp.  Saute over medium heat until the shrimp are just barely pink (4-5 minutes).  Do not overcook.

Combine the shrimp, green onions, cilantro, chiles, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.  Let stand 20 minutes to blend the flavors.

Mix cheeses together in a bowl.

Place a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray.  Place a tortilla into the skillet and place a portion of the cheese over the entire tortilla.  Place a portion of the shrimp mixture over half of the tortilla, leaving the other half empty.  Cover the shrimp  mixture with a portion of avocado slices.  Cook until cheese begins to melt, about two to three minutes.

Fold tortilla in half, over the avocado and shrimp mixture.  Continue cooking until the tortilla is lightly golden on both sides and the cheese begins to ooze.  Repeat with remaining quesadillas. 

Cut quesadillas into wedges and serve with Avocado Citrus Crema.

Avocado Citrus Crema

1 large, ripe avocado, seeded, peeled and quartered
1/3 cup light sour cream
3 tablespoons of fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/2 orange, juiced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.