Quesadillas de Camarones

If you are looking for good ethnic food when dining out, it makes sense to go a restaurant where the help is familiar with the cuisine. At least that’s been my experience.

That premise held true today when a friend and I went for authentic Mexican food at a restaurant called San Pedro in Scottsbluff, Neb.

As soon as we entered the establishment, I knew we were in for a treat after we were greeted by a friendly hostess who was Hispanic as were two other employees I observed. And when our wonderfully looking food was brought to us by a young Hispanic waiter, I knew we were in for something special.

My order of a shrimp quesadilla (Quesadillas de Camarones) was some of the best Mexican food entrees that I’ve ever eaten. And my friend, Al Gunderson, was equally impressed with his dish (chicken quesadilla). And did I forget to mention the chips and tasty chili that served as an appetizer?

Quesadillas, in case you don’t know, are hot flour tortilla sandwiches, Tex-Mex style. They most often are filled with seafood or meat, melted cheese and spicy salsa.

Here is a recipe for a shrimp quesadillas that I found online that could easily be made at home and looks as if it could be as delicious as the entree I had at San Pedro.

Quesadillas de Camarones
Flour tortillas
12 whole large shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces, fluid Mexican red sauce
1 whole large onion
1 whole red bell pepper
1 whole green bell pepper
2 cups cheese, grated such as Monterey Jack
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
Pour red sauce over shrimp. Set aside.
Chop vegetables into large pieces. Heat skillet over high heat and add olive oil. Cook vegetables over high heat until they start to get brown/black. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Return skillet to high heat, then dump in the shrimp with the sauce. Cook, stirring only occasionally, until shrimp is opaque. Add in a little water if the sauce gets dry. Remove from skillet and chop into bite-size pieces.
In a separate skillet, heat butter. Place a tortilla in the skillet, then layer on ingredients: cheese, vegetables and shrimp. Top with a little more cheese and a second tortilla. Cook on both sides, adding butter before flipping to the other side so the tortilla isn’t overly dry.
Remove from skillet and slice into wedges. Serve with rice, beans, salsa, sour cream, guacamole — whatever you’d like!
Yield: Serves 6.