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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Baked Quesadillas with Creamy Cilantro-Jalapeno Sauce and Fresh Pico de Gallo

I saw a recipe for Skillet-Grilled Burritos on Aggie's Kitchen blog, and thought they sounded good.  As I started to go through the recipe, I decided to turn these into quesadillas - to just divide up the mixture into 2 servings spread between two large tortillas.  This worked fine, but it was a lot of food!  I probably should have divided the mixture into 4 quesadillas and kept two as leftovers.  Instead of cooking these in a skillet, I made them in the oven on a pizza pan.  So what started out as Skilled-Grilled Burritos ended up as Baked Quesadillas.  I made enough changes that I'm typing up my version below and linking the original at the end.  Despite the changes, this is a great recipe.  I was amazed how the vegetables gained such a bright and cheerful color during cooking - maybe because I used fresh corn.  We like the creamy sauce and the pico de gallo.  Although, I think the pico de gallo will be much better during the summer when the tomatoes are more flavorful.

Baked Quesadillas

2 baked chicken breasts, shredded 
1 ear of corn, kernels removed from the cob with a knife
1 red pepper, chopped
1-10 ounce package fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup shredded 2% reduced fat cheddar cheese
Creamy Cilantro-Jalapeno Sauce (recipe below)
2 large flour tortillas, warmed (I recommend using at least 4)
Cooking spray
Pica de Gallo (recipe below)

1. In a saucepan, cook the corn and the red pepper in a little olive oil for a few minutes, then add the fresh spinach and cook until wilted.  Remove from heat.  Add vegetable mixture to a bowl containing the shredded chicken, and then stir in 1/2 cup Creamy Cilantro-Jalapeno Sauce.  

2. Divide the chicken mixture among tortillas.  Fold over tortillas and coat outside with cooking spray.

3. Place quesadillas on a pizza pan and bake in a hot oven (350-400F) until warmed through and lightly browned.  Serve with remaining Creamy Cilantro-Jalapeno Sauce and fresh pico de gallo.

Creamy Cilantro-Jalapeno Sauce

1 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1-4 ounce can chopped green chilies
2 teaspoons chopped yellow onion
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lime zest

Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl.  Cover and chill for 30 minute.  Store in airtight container for up to 2 days.

Source:  Adapted from Aggie's Kitchen and Southern Living

Pico de Gallo

6 Roma tomatoes
1/2 medium sweet onion, diced finely
1/2 of a good sized jalapeno
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
Juice of 1/2 large lime
1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
dash of ground black pepper

1. Wash tomatoes, halve and scoop out to discard seeds and innards.

2. Slice tomato halves into thin strips and finely dice.

3. Place diced tomatoes into large bowl.

4. Halve jalapeno and scoop out to discard seeds.

5. Slice jalapeno into thin strips and mince.

6. Place into bowl with tomatoes.

7. Add remaining ingredients, salt and pepper only to taste and serve.

Source:  Adapted from Good Things Catered 

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