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A Quick Post on Quesadillas For Dinner

Tonight’s dinner is super easy and simple. I am making Bacon-Chicken Ranch Quesadillas, kind of a take one the ones you find at Chili’s Restaurant. They are very easy to make, and even easier if you already have some cooked chicken on hand. If not, all you need is to bake or saute 2 boneless chicken breasts before hand and you’re half the way home.

Bacon-Chicken Ranch Quesadillas

1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and thinly sliced

1/2 pound bacon, diced

1 yellow or red bell pepper, cored and seeded, thinly sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 – 3 cups shredded cheese ( I am using cheddar, but use whatever you  would like)

Ranch dressing

1 tomato, seeded and diced

8 tortillas

Butter for cooking

Cook the bacon in a skillet until desired crispness. Remove to drain with a slotted spoon. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings. Add the pepper and onions to the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes, until crisp-tender.Add a handful of cheese to the tops to 4 tortillas. Top each with chicken and bacon, then lightly drizzle some ranch dressing over that. Top each tortilla with the cooked peppers and onions, then add the tomato and remaining cheese on top of each pile.

Top each tortilla with the remaining four tortillas. Melt a little butter in a large skillet and cook the tortilla stacks one at a time over medium heat, about 4-5 minutes per side, until golden brown and cheese is melted. Add more butter to the skillet as needed. Cut each quesadilla into wedges and serve with extra ranch for dipping, if desired.

I am serving the leftover mango pineapple salsa, cabbage slaw, black beans and rice and guacamole with this dinner as well to round things out. You can see the recipes for all of these from Sunday’s blog, or just click here and go right to them to check them out.

This is a fast, simple dinner that is a great kid dinner as well. Sean loves quesadillas and this was a good way for us to serve them (having bacon in them doesn’t hurt in getting the kids to like them either, if your child is anything like mine and loves bacon). I told you it was a quick post today! Tomorrow is a good stir fry dinner, Sesame Chicken with Fried Rice and steamed vegetables. It promises to be a good one, so please come back and check it out. Enjoy your evening and your day!

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry

 

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Feasting on Fish Tacos

I took the weekend off from blogging and the computer to spend some time on other things, but now I am back this morning to write about our dinner last night, which was a very good one. Last night I made Fish Tacos,  Pineapple Mango Salsa, Black Beans and Rice, Cabbage Slaw and Guacamole. It sounds like a lot, but it was all very easy to make and a lot of it could be done ahead of time, cutting back on what needed to be done right at meal time. There are a lot of choices when it comes to the fish you want to use for the tacos. I chose grouper, mainly because it looked good at the fish market on Saturday and it was on sale. you could really use any firm-fleshed fish for this dish, like halibut, cod or Mahi Mahi and it would be fine. There’s not much of a recipe when it comes to just doing the fish; most of the work lies in what you make with it.

Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

2 cups shredded green cabbage

1/2 cup diced English cucumber

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 Serrano chili, seeded and minced (optional)

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 pound grouper or other firm-fleshed white fish fillet, skin removed

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

8 flour tortillas

In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, cucumber, bell pepper, lime juice, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the chili, cilantro, onion, cumin and salt. Stir to mix well. Cover the slaw and refrigerate for 1 to 6 hours.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Place the fish on a plate and coat lightly with the remaining  1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Saute the fish, carefully turning it over once with a wide spatula, until opaque in the center, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer the fish to a platter, break into 8 pieces and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Warm the tortillas in a warm skillet for 10 to 15 seconds each tortilla, or place 4 tortillas between 2 damp paper towels and heat in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds or until heated through and repeat with the remaining 4. Serve with the cabbage slaw and pineapple salsa (recipe to follow).

To go along with the fish tacos, I made a very tasty Pineapple-Mango Salsa. It was quick and easy to make and tastes really refreshing and delicious with the tacos or just by itself.

Mango-Pineapple Salsa

1 large mango, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 1/2 cups peeled, cored and diced fresh pineapple (1/2-inch dice)

1 tablespoon diced red onion

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 teaspoon minced fresh mint

1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 to 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

In a bowl, stir together the mango, pineapple, onion, lime juice, mint, cilantro and jalapeno. Cover the salsa and refrigerate until ready to serve.

I made some guacamole to go along with the tacos as well. I’ve posted my guacamole recipe before, but if you would like to check it out, you can just click here for it.

The final recipe as part of the meal is a simple Black Beans and Rice. This makes a lot, so we have leftovers to use for Tuesday’s quesadilla dinner, and this could easily be a meal on its own if you are looking for a meat-free meal to make.

Black Beans and Rice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 red or yellow pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

3/4 cup dried black beans, washed, picked over and soaked if you have time

1 1/2 cups long-grain rice

1 cup chopped tomato (canned is fine; include the juices)

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

put the oil in a large ovenproof pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low so that the mixture bubbles gently. Cover loosely and cook, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary, until the beans are about half-done – softening but still tough in the middle, about 40 minutes (an hour or more if you didn’t soak the beans at all). Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Use an immersion blender or potato masher to semi-puree the beans in the pot (leave at last half unpureed). Stir in the rice, tomato, and a good amount  of salt and pepper. (If you don’t want a crust to develop, cover the pot.) Bake in the oven until the rice and beans are tender, about an hour, adding a little water if needed, Taste and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Pureeing the beans and then adding the rice allows the bean flavor to really penetrate the rice. If you would like a method for soaking the beans ahead of time, here is my method.

That covers Sunday’s meal. It was delicious and not a lot of work. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and the only things leftover are some salsa and beans and rice. We’ll be able to use both again with Tuesday’s dinner, so that works out great. Later on today I will post my recipe for Monday’s dinner, a Beef Stew in the slow cooker. Check back later to check it out!

 

 
7 Comments

Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Rice, Seafood

 

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Jennifer Probst

a little bit naughty a little bit nice

Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

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