Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spinach and Goat Cheese Quesadilla

This will be tonight's dinner.  I found this recipe on Pinterest a while back, and I've liked it so much that I have made it 3 times already.  I found some tortillas at Coop that aren't actually tortillas.  They're thicker.  I think you are supposed to use them for a pizza or a pizza wrap instead. (I know this sounds thick, but they are about half the thickness of pita bread).  Now, for Mexican food, I obviously want a thin tortilla - easier to stuff things in and then roll or fold up, right?!  This isn't what I would consider Mexican, even though it's a quesadilla. It's nice though because you do kind of get the feel that you're eating it, and hubby is happy because I'm not making him eat some form of tacos yet again. Don't get me wrong, he loves Mexican food as well, but I could eat tacos every day (probably - haven't actually tried yet), he would prefer once every 2-3 weeks.

Another benefit to this recipe, is that the ingredients are readily available and aren't going to cost you an arm and a leg like making authentic Tex-Mex would.

Here is the original recipe.

What you need for the dipping sauce:
Lime Juice or 1 lime
Sour Cream, 1 container (1/2 cup)
Mayonnaise, 1 Tbls
Onion Powder, 1/4 tsp

If you want, you can just mix the sour cream and avocado together as well - it is still tasty, but I'd definitely suggest trying the full dip recipe at least once.

For the Quesadilla:
2-4 Tortillas
Goat Cheesee
1-2 bags fresh baby Spinach
1-2 cloves minced Garlic
1-2 chicken breasts (or leave out to make it vegetarian.  Just add more veggies)
Optional: bell pepper

You can make the dip ahead of time and put it in the fridge until you are ready.
Put the avocado in a bowl and mash it up. Add the sour cream and mix well.  I use the entire tub.  Add 1 Tbls of mayonnaise, 1 Tbls of lime juice (or squeeze the juice from a fresh lime) and 1/4 tsp of the onion powder. Mine was a bit chunky, which I liked.  You could always puree it for a smoother look.

If you have leftover chicken, you can shred or dice it.  If not, just cook some up with a bit of olive oil.  Make sure your chicken is ready before you start cooking with the spinach.

I suggest having everything ready to go at this point.  Dice or shred your chicken, slice your goat cheese if you have the kind with the rind on it, or spread some of the smooth goat cheese across half of a tortilla.  Dice up 1 tsp (1-2 cloves) of garlic.  If you have a jar of minced, that is fine as well.

Over medium  heat, add the garlic and spinach with a little olive oil and cook until the spinach is just starting to wilt.  If you cook it for too long, what once looked like more spinach than you could possibly eat, will turn into something the size you would feed your toddler.  If you prefer raw spinach, that would work as well as you are going to grill the quesadilla when assembled.

To assemble the quesadilla, lay it down on a cutting board or plate.  Spread a half (or a quarter) of the spinach mixture - depending on how many you are making - on the bottom.  Add some shredded/diced chicken and then top with some slices of the goat cheese.  Feel free to add other cheeses as well, but I think it is perfect like this.  You could also add sliced bell peppers to the spinach while cooking for some added flavor.  You don't want to go all the way to the edge with the cheese as it will melt and run out of the tortilla.  Not good.  :-)

If you have an indoor grill, then now is the time to use it.  It'll give you a lovely grilled look and it's quicker than using the stove.  If you don't have one, you can, over medium-low heat, in a dry pan, place the quesadilla, folded over.  Put a piece of wax paper on top and another pan. Use either a heavy pan or a pan with a few canned goods inside.  Let cook for about 2 minutes and then flip it over and repeat.  You won't have the grill marks, but you will get a lovely brown color.

Add the dip to a small dish and place on the side of plate.  Cut the quesadilla into quarters.  This would make a  good appetizer for a party, or a full dinner.

Cooking Classes

Last night I went to a restaurant in Thalwil for my first cooking class since I was about 6 where I learned to make Fried Rice. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but it was definitely a lot of fun.  The owner of the restaurant has a list of some traditional Swiss foods that he will be teaching us to make over the next few months.  This is fantastic as the ingredients should be a lot easier to come by than some of the other recipes I make and find substitutions for.  I am going to attempt to recreate these dishes this weekend if I have the recipes by then, so will post a step by step guide.  For now, here are the pictures of everything  but the Easter cake (hubby ate that too fast) :-)


Spinach and Ricotta filled Crepes

Pork Cordon-Bleu