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Cali Club Quesadillas

Kind: Lunch

Serves: 4 Serving size: 1 quesadilla


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 4 slices of meaty bacon, finely chopped

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 1 large jalapeño chile, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 tablespoon (about a palmful) chili powder (I like Gebhardt)

  • 1 ½ tsp. (about 1/2 palmful) ground coriander

  • 1 ½ teaspoon (about 1/2 palmful) ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon (about 1/3 palmful) dried oregano (preferably Mexican)

  • 1 ½ cups grated pepper Jack

  • 1 ½ cups grated yellow cheddar

  • 1 cup Mexican crema or sour cream

  • 4 large flour tortillas (11 to 12 inches) or 6 medium flour tortillas (8 to 10 inches)

  • Cooking spray

  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced

  • 1 large heirloom tomato or beefsteak tomato, seeded and chopped

  • Pickled jalapeño slices, fresh cilantro leaves, and lime wedges for serving


  1. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the oil, one turn of the pan, over medium-high. Add the bacon. Cook, stirring often until the fat begins to render, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion, chile, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the onion softens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the turkey; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat with a spoon until the turkey is browned, about 5 minutes. Season with chili powder, coriander, cumin, and dried oregano. Add 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring often until the water is absorbed, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix both kinds of cheese with the crema.

  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium to medium-high. Spray 1 tortilla lightly with cooking spray and add to the skillet. Cook the tortilla until blistered in spots, about 1 minute. Flip the tortilla over. The top half of the tortilla with a quarter of the turkey filling, a few slices of avocado, some chopped tomato, and a quarter of the cheeses. Fold the tortilla over the fillings and cook, turning a few times, until the cheeses melt, about 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and fillings.

  4. Cut the quesadillas into wedges. Top with pickled jalapeño slices and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

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