Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bacon, Kale and Sun-Dried Tomato Quesadillas

We try to have Tuesday Taco Night here at Chez Gourmess as often as we can.

When I have time, I make my own tortillas from scratch, but the rest of the time I use plain store-bought flour tortillas. I've learned (as in many things in life), if you're making stuffed tacos and burritos, the bigger the better. So stock up on the twelve inch, burrito-sized tortillas when you can find them. And, unless you've found a whole wheat version that's soft and sturdy, just stick with white flour kind. The extra carbs won't kill you and there's nothing sadder than rolling up a tortilla full of goodies, only to have it rip in half. Ugh!

I usually make sure I have Taco Night ingredients on hand like salsa, cheddar jack cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, a protein of some sort (grilled fish, portobello mushrooms, chicken or steak; pulled pork; soy crumbles), grilled peppers, chopped tomatoes, lettuce, cilantro, avocado, hot sauce, and so on. But, this week I was crazed at work and discovered that I only had tortillas in the house. Boo!

Thus, I decided to make some savory quesadillas using the fridge/pantry items I did have. And, while it wasn't traditional "Taco Night" fare, it was delicious.

Bacon, Kale and Sun-Dried Tomato Quesadillas
Ingredients:
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Red pepper flakes
1 TBS minced fresh basil
1 cup cream cheese
Olive oil cooking spray
2 12-inch (burrito size) flour tortillas
1 cup chopped kale
6-8 strips bacon, cooked
Salt/pepper

Minimal MESS/ingredients/clean-up: Category 1

To Do:
  • In a mini food processor or blender, pulse together the sun-dried tomatoes with their oil, the garlic powder, a pinch or two of red pepper flakes, and the basil until well blended. 
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the tomato mixture with the cream cheese until combined. Alternatively, you can just buy a jar of sun-dried tomato spread to mix with the cream cheese -- or even flavored cream cheese would be great to have handy for dishes/emergencies like this.
  • Spray a large round-bottomed pan with enough room for the tortilla to fit inside, with cooking spray and turn the heat on medium-high.
  • Spread one tortilla with most of the tomato mixture (be sure to get the edges) then top with the kale and bacon and place inside the pan. Sprinkle with salt/pepper.
  • Reduce the heat to medium.
  • Spread the remaining tortilla with the rest of the cheese mixture, focusing on the edges, then place it spread-side-down over the kale/bacon. Press them together with a spatula.
  • Cook for about 3 minutes or so. Peek at the tortilla on the bottom -- if it is browned and getting crispy, carefully flip* it over.
  • Let the quesadilla cook a few minutes more until all sides are browned, then slide it onto a cutting board.
  • Cool for a minute or so, then cut into pieces.
Serve with a tasty salad like my Avocado, Cranberry & Kale Salad for a quick, lovely dinner.
xoxo


*Note: If flipping your giant quesadilla seems easier said than done, use this trick. I'm sure you can imagine how many flips I've flopped, being the GourMESS and all...and it works every time:
    • Place a large, heat-safe plate upside down, over the quesadilla in the pan. 
    • Turn off the heat, with one hand, carefully tip your pan upside down, while holding onto the plate/quesadilla with your other hand. (Doing this should put the plate right-side up in your hand.) 
    • Return the pan to the stove.
    • The plate in your hand should be holding your quesadilla with the bottom, browned tortilla facing you. 
    • Turn the heat back on, and slide the quesadilla back into the pan, unbrowned side-down.
    • Yay! You did it!

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