Grilled Eggplant and Red Bell Pepper Quesadilla with Fresh Mozzarella, Olives and Basil

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

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vromans back

 

 

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Quesadillas.  Who doesn’t love them?  You can put any old thing in there to suit your tastes or empty your fridge of perishables on the verge of perishing.  That is what I did here.  I had some sad eggplants & a sad red bell pepper.  So – I grilled those bad boys up & – if I’d had guests – nobody would have been the wiser.

I like to use these uncooked tortillas.  Not sure why.  They come out the same in the end & I am not one to add work for the sake of work – but these please me.  Use regular ones if you feel like it but definitely try this quesadilla!  I was surprised at how substantial & delicious it was.  Grilled eggplant is so delightful – I think even eggplant haters might enjoy these guys.

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Grilled Eggplant and Red Bell Pepper Quesadilla with Fresh Mozzarella, Olives and Basil

INGREDIENTS

Tortillas

Fresh mozzarella (or vegan alternative)

Basil

Sliced black olives

Eggplant

Red bell pepper

Italian salad dressing (or just some olive oil)

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I dredge my vegges in Newman’s Own Oil & Vinegar & grill them up.  This can be done on a grill or in a grill pan.  You might even pull it off directly on the burners but it might get messy.  Chop the grill eggplant & red pepper.

If using uncooked tortillas, cook two of them on one side only.  Then Flip one over & stack the contents upon it.  Top it with the other tortilla – cooked side down & top with the lid of a pan.

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Using a spatula, flip the quesadilla & cook it on both sides until it is nicely browned & the cheese is melted.

Divvy it up as if you were gonna share it & then eat the whole Goddamn thing yourself!  I did!  MMMMMMM!

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Sauteed Kale & Mushroom Quesadillas with Horseradish Cream Cheese & Poached Eggs

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Sometimes I feel guilty posting something as a “recipe” when all I am really doing is suggesting a combination of ingredients.  I had:

INGREDIENTS

Tortillas

Kale – chopped into small bits (stems removed first)

Mushrooms – sliced

Cream Cheese

Horseradish

Grated cheese blend (mozzarella & cheddar)

Eggs

Olive oil

I made the thing you see here.

Poaching eggs can be quite a thing.  I have this handy little poacher:

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I boiled the water beneath that the egg cuppy thing.  A sprayed the cuppies with cooking spray.  I added the egg & turned the heat off & covered the pan.  I waited three minutes.  I had poached eggs.  HERE are some more professional suggestions about poaching eggs.

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Sauteed Kale & Mushroom Quesadillas with Horseradish Cream Cheese

DIRECTIONS

Wait to poach your eggs until the quesadilla is nearly done.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the kale & mushrooms & saute over med-high heat until the mushrooms & kale are tender. 5-10 minutes or so.

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Meanwhile – with a fork, mix prepared horseradish – to taste – into a chunk of cream cheese.  Set aside.

When you are ready to eat, heat a clean saute or grill pan over medium heat.  Smear the cream cheese on a tortilla & place it the pan.  Top with kale & mushrooms & grated cheese.  Top with the another tortilla.  Get the water for your poached eggs boiling.

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Press this with the lid of a pan & heat a minute or two (or until it begins to brown), give it a good press with the lid & then carefully flip it.  Press with the lid.

Now poach your eggs in the manner you selected.

When the quesadilla is ready, slice it up & stack it up & top it up with poached eggs.

Pour yourself a mimosa & get your feed on!   Then go HERE on Amazon and buy my book!

HAPPY SUNDAY!

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Fig & Gruyere Quesadilla with Balsamic Glaze & Honey or Fig, Spinach & Whipped Goat Cheese Pizza with Honey

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I can’t resist figs now when I see them at the store.  They are beautiful to look at and so delicate & versatile – I love them.  But they tend to go bad fast so, when I buy them, I end up eating fig everything.  To extend their shelf life, I put them in a Ziplock baggy & put them in a single layer on a shelf in the fridge.  That seemed to add a day or two to their lifespan.

These are not really recipes.  These are really just suggested ways to use figs.

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Fig & Gruyere Quesadilla with Balsamic Glaze & Honey

INGREDIENTS

Flour tortilla

Gruyere cheese – sliced

Figs – sliced

Honey

Balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS

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Bring some balsamic vinegar to a boil & then reduce to a simmer.  In 20 minutes – my 1/4 cup of balsamic reduced to only one or two teaspoons of glaze – so boil down an appropriate quantity.

Layer the cheese & figs on a tortilla, fold it over & grill it on both sides until the cheese melts & the tortilla browns.

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Slice it up & drizzle with honey & the balsamic glaze.  MMMMM!

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Fig, Spinach & Whipped Goat Cheese Pizza with Honey

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (mine is HERE)

Spinach

Figs – sliced

Mozzarella – grated

Goat Cheese

Cream cheese

Olive oil

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DIRECTIONS

To get whipped goat cheese – simple blend goat cheese with some cream cheese at approximately a 2 to 1 ratio, like – 4 ounces goat cheese to 2 ounces cream cheese.  Go heavier with the goat cheese if you want that flavor to be stronger.

Now just roll out your dough, put it on a greased baking sheet and smear some whipped goat cheese on it.  Layer some spinach & drizzle with olive oil.  Add figs & then some grated mozzarella & bake at about 450-500 (be sure the oven is at full temperature before putting pizza in there) for about 12 minutes or until the cheese melts & the crust browns.  Drizzle with honey!

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Brie Quesadilla with Smashed Balsamic Blueberries

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This beauty is a three ingredient gem.  Of course, one of the ingredients is my Smashed Balsamic Blueberry Sauce but that is easy to make!  See?

Smashed Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

INGREDIENTS

6 oz fresh blueberries

1 shallot – minced

1/2 TBS olive oil

2 oz balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp fresh rosemary – minced

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a small stock pot & saute the shallot until it softens.

Add the other ingredients & bring to a boil.

Lower heat & simmer about 5 minutes.  I used a potato masher & smashed about half the blueberries.  The edge of a wooden spoon would work, too.  Just be careful because this is a sticky, molten lava.

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See?  And the only other things you need are tortillas & brie.

I heated a tortilla in a dry pan, slathered it with blueberry sauce & some brie.  I folded it & compressed it with a pot lid, waited two minutes & repeated that on the other side.

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It was sweet & savory melty goodness.  I ate it standing up.  There are no calories that way.

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Kale, Mushroom & Ricotta Open-Faced Quesadilla Pizza with Roasted Tomatoes & Feta

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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These pizzas or open-faced quesadillas are the easiest thing ever & they cook up really fast – so it leaves time to get fancy with your toppings.  Not that roasting tomatoes or sauteing kale are complicated adventures but they are extra steps beyond a simple sauce & cheese (for pizza) or solomente cheese – in the case of quesadillas.   The quantity of the ingredients for these gets difficult to define as everyone likes a different level of cheese & ratio of vegetables etc.  What I can say is that a head of kale wilts down to a quantity likely to be sufficient for 3-4 of these medium-sized tortillas.  I can’t be sure because I kept eating it out of the pan while I waited for the tomatoes to roast.  I roasted a few grape tomatoes & one Roma – for no other reason than those were the ones that needed cooking most urgently.  At any rate, with pizza and quesadillas, there is really no proper recipe, but rather a suggestion of toppings & fillings.

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Kale, Mushroom & Ricotta Open-Faced Quesadilla Pizza with Roasted Tomatoes & Feta

INGREDIENTS

Tomatoes – cut into a large dice (cherry & grape tomatoes – halved)

Kale – ribs removed & chopped

Mushrooms (I used about 10-15 to a single head of kale) – sliced

Garlic (I used 3 cloves) – chopped

Crushed red pepper (I used about 1 tsp)

Olive oil

Ricotta cheese

Feta cheese

Tortillas

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the tomatoes in a little olive oil & some S&P.  Roast them on a parchment paper-lined cooking sheet for about 20 minutes or until they go from A to B – as shown below.

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Set the tomatoes aside.

Remove the ribs from the kale & chop it.

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Heat about 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large pan.

Add the chopped garlic & saute about 30 seconds & then add the mushrooms and crushed red pepper.  Saute over med-high heat, stirring often, until they they begin to brown.  Add the kale & saute until it wilts – only a few minutes.

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Add S&P to taste.

Now – I added a step here where I baked the tortillas first before I topped them.  I had seen another recipe that suggested this so I tried it.  I am not really sure what it achieves.  They do puff & brown nicely – but then they get a little brittle for handling & the edges get too cooked after the final round of baking.  So – if you want to try it – simply poke them all over with a fork & put them on a greased cooking sheet in the 400 degree oven for about 6 minutes or until they come out like below.  Or – you can just start topping the tortilla raw & bake it up.

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Then simply slather a little ricotta on there.

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Add some of the kale-mushroom mix & the feta & the roasted tomatoes.

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Then – simply cook them up in a 400 degree oven for about 6 minutes or until it looks like mine below.  Divvy that shit up or eat it all yourself.  I ain’t judging.  🙂

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Grilled Zucchini & Fresh Mozzarella Whole Wheat Quesadilla with Poached Egg

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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You thought I was fucking around when I said I’d gone bonkers for quesadillas.  I wasn’t.  They are just so endlessly customizable – you can find one to suit any meal or any mood.   This one works really well for breakfast.  The only tricky thing is the egg poaching – a skill I have yet to master.  HERE are a few tutorials on doing it right.  Review a few to get an idea of the techniques & the results they provide.

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Grilled Zucchini & Fresh Mozzarella Whole Wheat Quesadilla with Poached Egg

INGREDIENTS

Whole wheat tortilla

Fresh mozzarella

Grilled zucchini

1 egg

DIRECTIONS

Slice & grill your zucchini (I dip mine in Italian dressing first).  Put a tortilla in a dry pan over med-high heat.  Layer the cheese & zucchini & fold over.  I use a pot lid to apply pressure & retain heat.

Meanwhile – poach an egg.

Flip your quesadilla.  It should take 2-3 minutes on each side for the cheese to melt & the tortilla to brown up a bit.

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Top with the poached egg & plenty of fresh ground pepper.  Eat it up!

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Grilled Zucchini & Chipotle Cheddar Quesadilla with Coca Cola Caramelized Onions

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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You will soon realize that I am on a quesadilla spree that isn’t even close to over.  I made this bad boy last night & I was very pleased with myself!

The onions were a tad charred but I actually enjoyed the flavor it gave them.  They were, however, very hard to photograph!

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They kinda look like fat, dark worms but they were both savory & sweet & they complimented the cheese very nicely.  If you do not care for – or cannot find – Chipotle cheddar, any other cheese you might prefer in a quesadilla is certainly an option.

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Grilled Zucchini & Chipotle Cheddar Quesadilla with Coca Cola Caramelized Onions

INGREDIENTS

Zucchini – sliced thin & grilled (I dipped mine in Italian dressing first)

Tortillas

Chipotle cheddar (or other cheese) – sliced thinly

1 large red onion – sliced thinly

1/2 can Coca Cola

1 TBS brown sugar

2 tsp olive oil

1 TBS butter

Guacamole or parsley or cilantro or jalapeno as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Grill the zucchini.

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Heat the oil & HALF of the butter & the brown sugar.  Add the onions & saute over medium heat for a good ten minutes – not stirring often so that they can brown.  Add the remaining butter & stir occasionally for ten additional minutes.  Once all the oil & butter are absorbed or evaporated – pour a little Coke in to deglaze the pan.  As it gets absorbed, add the rest of the Coke.  When the onions are completely soft & browned, set aside.

Then – simply assemble the quesadilla the normal way.  Heat a dry pan.  Place a tortilla in it.  Layer the cheese, zucchini & some of the onions & fold the tortilla.  I use a put lid to apply pressure & trap the heat.  After a minute or two – flip the quesadilla.  Garnish as you will & devour!

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