I believe that everybody has at least one dish in their culinary repertoire that they make exceptionally well – something they’re known for whipping up better than anyone else.
Even you folks who think you can’t cook! Why, I bet you can slice cheese in such a way that the ratio of cheese to cracker when paired together is absolutely sublime.
Within my immediate family, my Dad is the gumbo boss, my Mom is an AWESOME dessert artist, I fancy myself as somewhat of a grilled chicken expert, and Ben’s Beefy Mansagna is always a hit.
That’s right, Ben’s Beefy Mansagna is the HUGE ground beef and mozzarella cheese-packed lasagna Ben is known for making the minute he finds out a friend or family member is in need – from being sick, having a baby, or just going through some hard times – which he then delivers straight to their door.
It is, the best. (So is he.)
Just this week I recruited him to make a mansagna for a friend who had a health scare in her family, and it was gratefully received. That’s the thing about lasagnas – who wouldn’t want a big, bubbling casserole delivered to their doorstep?!
Anyways, after assembling the aforementioned mansagna earlier this week, he found himself with about a cup of ground beef leftover at the end. Now, Ben and I are great at eating leftovers, but we’re terrible at using leftover ingredients, do you know what I mean? I knew that if we put the ground beef in the fridge by itself, it wouldn’t surface again for another week (minimum) absolutely untouched.
So, instead of tossing it in to no man’s land, I decided to use the already cooked and seasoned ground beef up on the spot, and made Cheeseburger Quesadillas for dinner. It’s no mansagna, but holy cow I freaking loved these!
Seasoned ground beef is enveloped in a yummy sauce of ketuchup, mustard (directions for a mustard-free version are below!) and worcestershire sauce, layered in a flour tortilla with chopped tomatoes, pickles, onions, and cheese, then crisped to a golden brown in a hot skillet.
This was a perfect way to use up the extra ground beef that would have undoubtedly gone to waste, AND get the flavor of a classic cheeseburger without all the fuss. YUM.
Start the Cheeseburger Quesadillas by browning 1lb ground beef lightly seasoned with salt & pepper in a hot skillet. Drain the beef then return it to the skillet and turn off the heat.
Next mix in the goodies that will make the quesadillas taste just like a juicy cheeseburger – ketchup, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. I find some people loathe mustard while others love it, so you can use all ketchup and Worcestershire if you like. (Just go easy on the Worcestershire because it’s very salty.)
A good ratio to follow if you’re using everything is 3 parts ketchup, to 2 parts mustard, and 1 part Worcestershire sauce.
Next layout 4 large flour tortillas and place 1/4 of the seasoned ground beef on one half of each tortilla. Then add on the toppings that you would normally include on a cheeseburger! For me that includes chopped tomatoes,
minced white onion, chopped pickles (could use relish too – for some reason all we had in the fridge was sweet relish though – no thanks,)
and CHEESE! Shredded sharp cheddar cheese works best if you’re going the classic cheeseburger route like me, but honestly just use whatever you’ve got on hand. This here is white Vermont sharp cheddar.
Fold the other half of the tortilla over, then cook on a large flat top or regular skillet low and slow over medium heat (that’s the secret to getting SUPER crispy quesadillas!) with a little non-stick spray until golden brown on one side. Flip then cook until golden brown on the other, then place onto a cutting board to cool for 5 minutes.
Use a pizza cutter to cut the quesadillas into wedges, then enjoy!
Makes 4 quesadillas
1lb ground beef
salt & pepper
4 large flour tortillas
Tomatoes, onions, chopped pickles/relish, shredded cheddar cheese
- Add ground beef to a large skillet over medium-high heat then lightly season with salt and pepper, and cook until no longer pink. Drain then return to the skillet off the heat and stir in in ketchup, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce to taste.* (A good ratio to follow is 3 parts ketchup, to 2 parts mustard, and 1 part Worcestershire sauce.)
- Lay tortillas out then spread 1/4 of the seasoned ground beef on one half of each tortilla. Top with toppings of choice then fold over tortilla. Cook in a large skillet over medium heat sprayed with non-stick spray until golden brown on one side, then flip and cook until golden brown on the other side. Remove to a cutting board to cool for 5 minutes, then slice into wedges with a pizza cutter.
*I find people’s tolerance for mustard to vary (Ben won’t touch the stuff, while I love it,) which is why I didn’t include measurements for the sauce. Just add to your liking!
Cheesy, satisfying, and filling – just like a regular cheeseburger! Just no muss and fuss with shaping patties, busting out the grill, etc. These were easy, and oh-so delicious.
Quick, too! The Cheeseburger Quesadillas took less than 20 minutes to assemble and eat. How bad could that be?
Ok I know some of you are wondering about Ben’s mansagna recipe, but the beauty of the recipe is that there is no recipe! Here’s an outline of what he does:
Brown 1lb ground beef with garlic salt & pepper then drain slightly. Meanwhile, cook 1 box lasagna noodles in salted, boiling water then drain and rinse under cold water. Spread a bit of REALLY good marinara sauce (locals – Gino’s is the way to go) in the bottom of a 9×13 pan then layer in the noodles, more sauce, ground beef, and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers until you run out of ingredients.
So simple, but people RAVE.
What are you really good at making really well?