22 April 2014

Two excellent excuses to eat quesadillas

Oh man, I'm sooo busy and it's time for another post.  I am just doing so many important things every day, and I find it difficult to remember to eat while maintaining such an awe-inspiring schedule.  Are you all busy out there, too?  No you're not, shut up about it.

But seriously folks, quesadillas.  They are basically grilled cheese sandwiches without so much bread in the way, and more inherent permission to add extra stuff to them.  I like them all the time, but there's no denying that they are particularly handy when you are pressed for time (or don't have a very coherent set of ingredients in your fridge).  You can always keep some tortillas and shredded cheese in the freezer, so if you've just got some odds and ends for flavoring, you are ready to make one of the world's best sandwiches ever.

The world is your oyster, quesadilla-making friends, but here are two I particularly like.

(PS--If you, like me, are surrounded by busyness martyrs at every turn. read that link to Brigid Schulte's article to blow off some steam.)

Stolen from culinary douche bag of the moment Roy Choi (why? why do I have to do that?), this one is decadent, delicious, and a welcome to change to merely grazing right out of the kimchi jar...

Fried Kimchi Quesadillas

Serves 2

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup cabbage kimchi, drained and chopped
4 fresh shiso leaves (optional)
2 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1 cup grated Sharp Cheddar
1 cup grated Monterey Jack
1 tablespoon Canola oil

Add the butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When melted, and the kimchi. Cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the edges of the kimchi start to turn a little golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and let cool for a few minutes.

Divide the kimchi, cheese, sesame seeds, and shiso leaves (optional) between the two tortillas. Fold each tortilla in half.

Pour the oil into a large skillet set over medium heat. Add both folded tortilla to the skillet, cover, and cook for about 2 minutes per-side, or until they are golden browned and the cheese has melted.

Slice into serving portions, and serve.

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This one is a little hand held version of spanikopita, which I love. I am the only one in my house, however, who loves spanikopita, so this recipe is for one lonely diner.

Greek Spinach Quesadillas

Serves 1

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 small onion, finely diced
2 scallions, sliced (white and light green parts)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
Pinch each of thyme, oregano, and cayenne
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
1 small wrap or flour tortilla, 8-inch in diameter
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, divided

In a small nonstick pan, heat the oil. Add the onion and scallions and cook until soft, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cooking a minute or two more until soft. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the spices.

Mix in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove to a bowl and cool slightly. Use a wooden spoon to press out some of the liquid from the cooked spinach and drain.

In another small bowl, whisk together the egg white, yogurt, and 1 tablespoon of feta. Add to the cooled spinach and mix until combined.

Wipe out the pan, then brush it with about 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon olive oil or cooking spray. Over low heat, put the wrap or tortilla in the pan and sprinkle the remaining feta over one side of the wrap and get it to soften slightly. Turn the heat to medium and pour the egg-spinach mixture over the same half of the wrap, fold the other half over and cook on one side until the egg begins to firm up, 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve immediately.