Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shrimp Quesadillas

How's your new year going?  We're already 8 days in.  We made it to the U.K. for the holidays and had a great time.  We're home and finally getting back into the swing of things.  I have been wanting to post something all week but haven't had the ingredients or the time.  Today instead of putting the Christmas stuff away (yes, it's still out) and instead of cleaning the house, I decided to cook for you all.  Right, you say!  Really, I know you wait on baited breath for my next posting...   

Quesadillas.  Do I really need to say anything else?  I don't know of anyone who doesn't like them.  They are incredibly versatile in that you can put anything in them - whatever the picky people in your family will eat.  Everything is covered in gooey cheese and when you bite down on the crunchy, buttery crust, all the flavors melt together to form a perfect bite.  

A few years ago I reconstructed a pizza that I used to eat at a pizza place in San Diego.  It had shrimp, feta, pesto and some kind of white cheese on it.  It may sound strange to you but it was absolutely delicious.  I started thinking that maybe the same ingredients wouldn't be too bad on a quesadilla.  It didn't disappoint and the husband gave it a thumbs up.   

Keep in mind, you can put anything in quesadillas.  Experiment, be creative.  Surprise your family with something new.  A salad on the side makes a great meal.  

A quick tip:  I use shrimp a lot because it's so fast and easy to cook with.  I can keep it in the freezer and when I need it, I empty the bag of shrimp into a bowl and add enough water to cover.  Let it sit.  It will thaw out in a matter of minutes.  If you're really in a hurry, let it sit about 5 minutes and then drain the water and add new water.  This will speed things up a bit.

Shrimp Quesadillas

1 lb. shrimp, thawed and chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
4-5 tablespoons pesto sauce
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup monterey jack cheese, grated
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 soft taco size flour tortillas
4 tablespoons butter
Salt and Pepper

Add your favorite toppings:
Sour Cream
Hot Sauce
Shredded lettuce

In a medium saute pan, add olive oil and garlic.  On medium heat, let your garlic cook a minute (don't let it burn).  Add your shrimp to the pan.  Make sure you drain your shrimp well.  I use a paper towel to dry it off well before adding it to the pan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Saute for about 5 minutes or until pink.  Remove to a bowl.  

Take four tortillas and spread 1-2 tablespoons of pesto on each.  Make sure you get to the edges.  Set aside.  In the same pan that you cooked the garlic in, over medium to high heat, add 1 tablespoon butter and let it melt. When it starts to bubble, add one of your tortillas, pesto side up.  Add 1/4 of the shrimp, 1/4 of the feta, 1/4 of the monterey jack cheese and cover with a plain tortilla.  Press it down a little.  When the bottom tortilla is brown, flip it over gently.  If your pan is dry, you can add more butter.  Brown the other side and then remove from pan.  Use a pizza cutter to cut into quarters.  Repeat to finish the other 3 quesadillas.  I put mine in the microwave to keep them warm or you can put them in a low oven, 200 degrees.  Add your favorite condiments on top and enjoy!  Serves 4.


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