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Crabmeat-Avocado Quesadillas

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Yields sixty 2-inch quesadillas.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 14

This recipe makes individual two-bite hors d’oeuvres, but you can make a full-sized quesadilla and simply cut it into wedges after frying—not as pretty, but quicker. Also, if you have a portable burner, consider setting up a station to cook these little guys during the party. Guests love to gather round and eat the food right as it comes out of the pan, and the action of the cooking can make the party feel that much more lively.

For the mango salsa:
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 large ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the quesadillas:
  • Twelve 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked crabmeat, picked over to remove any bits of shell
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, pitted, peeled, and mashed
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped scallion
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed, finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Grapeseed or canola oil for frying
Make the salsa:

Combine all of the salsa ingredients and let stand at least an hour at room temperature so the flavors can develop. Chill until ready to serve.

Make the quesadillas:

With a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out 120 circles from the tortillas (you’ll get about 10 per tortilla).

In a large bowl, gently mix the crab, cheese, avocados, scallion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Spread the crab mixture onto 60 of the tortillas (about 1 Tbs. each) and top with the other tortillas.

To cook, heat a little oil in a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat and cook the quesadillas in batches until lightly browned and the cheese is melting, about 2 minutes per side. Serve warm with a bit of salsa on top.

Make Ahead Tips

You can assemble these quesadillas a couple of hours ahead; refrigerate them until ready to fry.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per piece; Calories (kcal): 50; Fat (g): fat g 3.5; Fat Calories (kcal): 28; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 1.5; Protein (g): protein g 2; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 4; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 85; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 5; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

SUCH A HIT!!! We even made these for a Thanksgiving appetizer at a friend's house - none were left. Every ingredient came together perfectly. Followed the recipe to a "T" and is one of the best appetizers I've ever made. My fiance has even eaten them for breakfast (when there are some left over).

These are so good. When I make them for a crowd, people go crazy for them.

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