Grilled Shrimp Quesadillas
Dad shared this recipe with me back in May, but, well, we put them on a wicked hot fire and stepped away to grab an adult beverage. It took just that long for them to burn. The flavor was still fantastic with this odd combination of flavors, but they looked terrible. So later on when he says to pay attention when grilling the tortillas, he means it. We learned the lesson first hand by leaving the grilled shrimp quesadillas unchecked for maybe a minute. I urge you to give this a shot and when you do, to keep close when you put the tortillas on the grill. Now I’ll hand it over to him to give you the step by step. picture by picture, instructions…
On our yearly trip to Dauphin Island, Alabama, we stay at a condo on the beach and wake up everyday to surf pounding the beach, salt in the air, and seagulls cawing in the sky, all things we are not used to having in abundance being from the Midwest. We are also inundated with fresh seafood that we can’t find in St. Louis outside of Bob’s Seafood, but that’s a hike for us since we live on the other side of town from Bob’s. With so many seafood options, we’re always trying to find new ways to cook it. Earlier this year I tried my hand at these grilled shrimp quesadillas. They were a huge hit so I felt it worthy to share with you. There are several layers of flavor to tickle your taste buds in this grilling recipe.
Grilled Shrimp Quesadillas Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, chopped
6 tbsp apricot preserves, divided six times
1 bunch of scallions/green onions chopped (option: substitute chives)
6 (10 inch) flour tortillas
6 slices of Jalapeno Havarti (substitute regular Harvarti if you would like)
18 large Gulf shrimp peeled, deveined, and grilled
2 oz of Cajun blackened seasoning
2 tbsp butter, melted and divided
Let’s take a closer look at the gulf shrimp next to my Crackberry for size reference:
These beauties were obtained from Skinner’s Seafood Shop on Dauphin Island during our annual visit. I typically bring back a couple of coolers of fresh gulf shrimp that the lovely staff, Gloria and Kelly, at Skinner’s have headed for me. I then return to the seaside condo and place shrimp into freezer bags, fill with water, seal, and stash them in the freezer to prepare for the trip home. Shrimp frozen with this method, essentially in a block of ice, will keep up to 2 years and be fresh when thawed.
Now the gulf shrimp are peeled and are ready to become part of this grilled shrimp recipe:
Mushrooms are an integral part of this grilling recipe so I will take the opportunity to share my obsession with preparing mushrooms. Take a look at the two ‘shrooms shown below:
The one on the right looks like it just came out of the package while the one on the left appears pristine. To achieve that pure-as-driven-snow appearance I’ve simply peeled the outer layer of skin. My elder sister illustrated this technique for me years ago and it’s become standard operating procedure in my kitchen. No brushing, no washing, just skin the ‘shrooms!
First pull the stem to get to the edge of the skin:
Next reach under the crown and carefully begin to remove the outer skin:
Peel a layer then another and notice how beautiful the cap is becoming:
Continue around the cap until all the outer skin is removed:
Finished! Now the ‘shrooms match in all their beauty:
And it doesn’t really take that long, maybe 3 seconds a mushrooms. So…next time you dine out ask the kitchen staff if they peel their mushrooms. It should evoke an interesting response.
Now back to the recipe. My Shun (pronounced shoon) chef’s knife makes short work of slicing the gorgeous mushrooms:
Then a rough chop:
Next, scallions chopped, green stalks only:
***Editor’s Note ~ Now if you’re thinking that knife looks pretty slick, it is. It might the coolest knife on the planet. It is ridiculously ergonomic and comes with this uber cool stand. It feels like an extension of your hand. I have some serious knife envy:
You can buy one of these amazing blades by clicking here: Ken Onion by Shun DM0500 8-Inch Chef’s Knife. Back to your regularly scheduled grilling recipe***
Add a tablespoonful of apricot preserves to each flour tortilla for this grilled shrimp quesadilla recipe and spread it on half:
Distribute scallions evenly over the preserves:
Now a layer of cheese, I used jalapeno Havarti to contrast with the sweetness of the preserves. A little sweet and a little heat!
The tortillas are properly staged and I’ll move to the grill for the next steps.
Pour a bit of olive oil into a hot cast iron skillet that was placed over the hot coals to begin:
Add mushrooms and butter to the heat, cook, and reserve off the heat to add to the tortillas later:
If you don’t have a cast iron pan, you are missing out. Nothing cooks better than cast iron. You can get one here Lodge Cast Iron Logic American Made Grill Pan – 10.25″
Dust the gulf shrimp with Cajun blackened seasoning, in this case Crawdad’s Classics.
Toss ‘em on the grill, brush with melted butter and let the fireworks begin!
These beauties appear to be perfectly done!
The mushrooms are carefully spooned onto each tortilla:
The grilled shrimp are gathered into the mushroom skillet to bathe in the remaining butter for a short while:
Three large grilled shrimp are added to each tortilla then folded over to prepare for a trip to the grill. If you only have small shrimp simply add more onto each tortilla:
The grilled shrimp quesadillas are basted with melted butter on one side then placed over the coals while the opposite side is coated:
Monitor the grilled shrimp quesadillas closely while over direct fire as they will burn quickly. Once grill marks are achieved, turn, and repeat till both sides are so marked then they are ready to be removed from the grill:
Grilled shrimp quesadillas plated and ready to serve:
I prefer to cut the Grilled Shrimp Quesadillas into smaller triangles which would also be a perfect appetizer size. Don’t forget the appropriate beverage like this Duckhorn Sauv Blanc!
This recipe contains a variety of flavors from the savory grilled shrimp, sweet preserves, and spicy rub, as well as many textures from the gooey cheese, the spongy mushrooms, and crispy tortillas that is a must add to any grill repertoire.
If you would like to see other grilled seafood recipes, click here.
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- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ lb fresh mushrooms, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 tbsp apricot preserves, divided six times
- 1 bunch of scallions/green onions chopped (option: substitute chives)
- 6 (10 inch) flour tortillas
- 6 slices of Jalapeno Havarti (substitute regular Harvarti if you would like)
- 18 large Gulf shrimp peeled, deveined, and grilled
- 2 oz of Cajun blackened seasoning
- 2 tbsp butter, melted and divided
- Space the tortillas around a cutting board
- Spread 1 tbsp of the apricot preserves onto one half of one side of each tortilla
- Sprinkle the chopped green onions on the preserves
- Place a half slice of cheese on top of the preserves and scallions
- Place an oven safe pan (preferably a cast iron pan) on the fire and add a tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of butter
- Put the mushrooms in the pan and sauté till soft and brown
- Dust the shrimp with your favorite rub
- Place the shrimp on the grill and brush with the remaining melted butter
- When the shrimp has firmed up and become opaque, add three to each quesadilla as well as some of the mushrooms
- Place the other half of the cheese on top of the shrimp and mushrooms and fold the tortilla over to make the quesadilla
- Brush the top of the quesadilla with melted butter
- Place the quesadillas on the grill, butter side down and then brush the other side
- Pay close attention, the shells will cook quickly
- Flip over when the tortilla is browned and repeat
- Remove from the heat when both sides are browned