Rock Shrimp & Bacon Quesadilla

Served at Chef Sandoval's restaurants  Maya  in New York &  Tamayo  in Denver

Served at Chef Sandoval's restaurants Maya in New York & Tamayo in Denver

Rock Shrimp & Bacon Quesadilla

Serves: 4


  • 3 slices bacon
  • 12 oz. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 scallions (white and green parts) thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pickled jalapeños or store-bought jalapeños en escabeche 
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 12 6-inch flour tortillas


1. Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until it is crisp and browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Let it cool. Clean the pan and set it aside.

2. Toss together the shrimp, chili powder, oil, and salt in a medium bowl. Heat the skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring them occasionally, just until they turn opaque, about 3 minutes. Do not overcook. Spread the shrimp on a plate and put them in the freezer to quickly cool them, about 15 minutes.

3. Coarsely chop the bacon and shrimp and transfer them to a bowl. Mix in the cheese, scallions, jalapeños, mayonnaise, cilantro, lemon juice, and sesame seeds, if using. (The filling can be covered and refrigerated for up 12 hours.)

4. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 200ºF (90ºC).

5. Heat the skillet over medium heat. For each quesadilla, put a tortilla in the skillet and heat until the underside is hot, about 30 seconds. Flip the tortilla over. Spoon about ⅓ cup (75 g) of the filling on the bottom half of the tortilla and fold it in half to cover the filling. Continue cooking, turning once, until the tortilla is lightly browned on both sides, about 1 minute. Transfer it to a baking sheet to keep warm in the oven while cooking the remaining quesadillas.

6. To serve, cut each quesadilla into four wedges. Serve them immediately.