Tag Archives: cheddar

Quesadillas Six Ways

So as it turns out, it’s your week to host game night at your place. That one house last Tuesday had pizza and the other apartment ordered a thousand wings to feed the masses. Now what? Should you do the same? Make your usual signature green bean casserole? Sure, you could go that route. Nothing wrong with that at all.

But here’s another suggestion that may take the fuss out of feeding a large, diverse crowd: Take a few staple ingredients then prep and separate them into their own serving bowls. Serve these with a choice of whole wheat, flour, and/or spinach tortillas and the possibilities are endless. Almost.

p.s. This is by no means a Mexican recipe; I just borrowed the concept, ya hear!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 lb ground beef, cooked and sauteed with garlic and onions

1 package polksa keilbasa, sliced and cooked until browned

5 cups arugula

1 bunch cilantro

5 tomatoes, diced

4 cups sauteed mushrooms, green peppers, onions

gruyere cheese

cheddar cheese

2 packages of flour tortillas

sour cream

salsa

serves: 4-5

The pairings below are some of my favorites, but feel free to mix it up on your own and use whatever you have on hand.

Pairing 1: Ground beef, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Gruyere and Cheddar

I love cilantro..and I get a little heavy handed with this guy whenever I make my quesadillas. Yumm. A friend of mine, who can’t stand the stuff, likens the taste to soap. Tragic! I say. ‘Tis a wonderful flavor to be likening it to dove.

Pairing 2: Ground beef, Arugula, Tomatoes, Gruyere and Cheddar

Growing up, I didn’t like Arugula. I tried it for the first time when I was 10 years old at a fancy wedding, eating salad comprised of leaves that could have been pulled from my backyard. My suspicions were confirmed when the menu read, Dandelion Salad.

I admit, this first experience deterred me a bit from foraying into different salad greens aside from my beloved hearts of romaine, iceberg and butter lettuce. But I gradually developed a penchant for Arugula’s peppery, spicy taste after having incorporated it into a number of non-salad adventures. That’s another story.

Pairing 3: Polska Keilbasa, Sauteed Mushroom, Green Pepper and Onion, Arugula, Gruyere and Cheddar

Enjoying food is also about enjoying the texture. And I love a bit of crunch in my quesadilla. The green peppers do for me, what pickles do to my sandwich. You see what I just did there?

Use red, green, or yellow peppers. Use turkey sausage or brats. Whatever floats your boat, whatever makes your mouth water…

Pairing 4: Polska Keilbasa, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Gruyere and Cheddar

Here, I like tomatoes because of their acidity. For me, it helps to balance out the smokey, rich flavors of the cheeses and sausage. The cilantro.. we’ve been through this before. We’re in a long-term relationship.

Pairing 5: Polska Keilbasa, Sauteed Mushroom and Green Peppers, Ground Beef, Tomatoes, Gruyere, and Cheddar

See a trend here yet? Pick what you like, assemble, and you’re one step closer to a quesadilla catered to your taste. This could easily be vegetarian friendly if you added a few more ingredients to your options: roasted squash and eggplants, avocado, etc. Slurp.

Pairing 6: Tomatoes, Sauteed Mushrooms and Green Peppers, Ground Beef, Gruyere, and Cheddar

You know what else you can make out of these? Omelets. Yes. I just breakfasted this idea. Seems like I’m always finding ways to make more breakfast food. Including words that don’t exist. Like breakfasted.

Once you’ve made your way down the assembly line, the next step is to arrange your pickins on your tortilla of choice. Use a frying pan large enough to fit the tortilla with extra room to flip.

Keep the heat on medium to medium-low. It will be hot enough to melt the cheese, without burning the tortilla. Depending on how stuffed you make yours, cook time could vary from 3-4 minutes on each side. All ingredients here were cooked beforehand, so browning the tortilla and melting the cheese into stringy goodness is all that is left to achieve.

Guess which pairing I chose to use here…

Obviously, you’ll place the top half of the other tortilla on top, but for picture’s sake, I decided to leave it off. I’m all about color.

I make my quesadillas in halves because it makes flipping that much easier and less prone to stuffing spillage. Again, your preference. I’m no expert at quesadilla flipping, so these are tricks that make it work for me.

What’s great about this concept is that aside from the cooking and prep work, all these steps can be achieved by your hungry guests. They get an opportunity to be creative and make something unique for themselves while you make sure your green bean casserole will live up to its known standards.

Clearly, it’s a win-win situation.

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Bell Pepper and Egg Breakfast

Since my recent obsession with Pinterest, I’ve been drooling over lots of easy foodie recipes and filing them away in my Tasty Notes pinboard. It’s where all my productivity has gone recently. What thesis paper? Nom nom nom.

 I chose to try this recipe in particular…ok, I admit, purely for the aesthetics of how the egg, cooked in sliced bell pepper rings, emulate images of, what else, flowers. Ahh, how cute is this! I thought. It was all downhill from there.

 And in all honesty, I have this ongoing love affair with eggs, and breakfast and brinner and I figured this was something I could work into my eggy cravings somewhere.  Mhmm, that’s it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

two eggs

1 bell pepper (or two if you like different colors)

shredded cheese

fresh basil

green onion

salt and pepper

Step 1. Wash and cut the bell pepper into ½ inch thick rings. Remove the white membranes from the inside. The first time I made this, I cut the rings a bit over half an inch because I wanted the ring to be thick enough to hold in the egg.  This will definitely vary depending on the size of egg you use and how big the rings are. Just have fun with it!

 Make sure to slice the rings as evenly as you can, with a non-serrated knife. If the rings aren’t straight, egg will leak out from underneath when you crack the egg into the ring.

 Step 2. Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. At the same time, turn on the broiler on the high heat setting. If you can use a pan with a metal handle, do so. You’ll see why in a minute.

Step 3. When the oil is heated, add the bell pepper rings and allow to cook 2-3 minutes. Do not flip. Next, crack one egg into each bell pepper ring and season with salt and pepper. Allow 2-3 minutes to let the bottom of the eggs cook.

In the picture, the eggs are left sunny side up and more or less, raw, but I decided to cook the tops of the eggs by sticking the pan under the broiler for about 3 minutes to get the tops of the eggs cooked.

Don’t forget to use oven mitts to take out the pan! In my eager anticipation, I almost forgot to do this – not a good idea.

Step 4. Transfer the pepper-egg on top of toast or wheat sandwich thin. Sprinkle a little cheese and green onion on top and serve!

Or in my case, sprinkle a lot of cheese, chopped basil, and green onion. oh. my. sweet. breakfast. yes.

Add the cheese. Go ahead, add a lot. I won’t judge.. Melt it a little, so that it strings out when you bite into it. Use whatever cheese you have. Add chopped bacon. Smile, because that was a genius idea. Then make this again for lunch. (Guilty!)

I love the chopped basil and the cheese together. The basil gave it a bit of freshness that wasn’t too overpowering for the egg. Ah the egg. My life wouldn’t be the same without it.

Cheese, basil, bacon or just salt and pepper – try different toppings with whatever you have on hand. Have fun with it, it’s all about your foodie experience and how you make it unique each time. If you love it, make it and make it again and improve it. Share it. It’s the best thing about cooking.

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