Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chicken and Vegetable Quesadillas

Quesadilla is a popular dish throughout Mexico. The most important cooking ingredients are the cheese and corn or wheat flour tortilla. The word quesadilla literally mean some kind of Mexican cheese. This Chicken and Vegetable Quesadillas are great for appetizers, lunch or first course of Tex-Mex and it is very satisfying.


Recipe adapted from The Best Of Wolfgang Puck

Chicken and Vegetable Quesadillas

Ingredients

Extra-Virgin olive oil, for brushing
2 chicken breast, skinless, boneless and halves.
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Marinade

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp jalapeno chili , finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp salt

Roasted Tomato and Pepper Salsa

4 Roma Tomatoes
1 large red bell pepper
1 poblano chili
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp scallion, chopped
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil, for frying
8 large flour tortillas, 8 to 9 inches in diameter
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Sour Cream
Cilantro sprigs for garnish

Method

Preheat a grill or broiler. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill or broil them until they are cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Let the chicken breasts rest for a few minutes. With a sharp knife, cut them crosswise into thin strips.

To make the marinade: In a glass bowl, stir together the olive oil, lime juice, jalapeno, cilantro, and salt. Add the chicken strips, toss to coat thoroughly, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.

To make the salsa: Working with 1 Roma tomato at a time, spear the tomato on a long handled carving fork. Turn a burner on gas stovetop to high heat and hold the tomato over the open flame, turning constantly, until the skin blackens and begins to peel away from the tomato. Transfer the tomato to a plate and repeat with the remaining tomatoes and the bell pepper and poblano chili.

Peel, core, seed, and dice the tomatoes, bell pepper, and chili. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the diced tomato, bell pepper, and chili with cilantro, scallion, and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Preheat oven to its lowest setting.

With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the marinade and transfer to a clean bowl. Discard the excess marinade.

To assemble the quesadillas: Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and pour in a thin film of olive oil. Place 1 tortilla in the skillet and evenly sprinkle about 1/4 cup of the cheese over its surface. Quickly top evenly with 1/4 each of the salsa and the marinated chicken, the top with another 1/4 cup cheese and another tortilla. With a metal spatula, press down firmly on the quesadilla in the skillet to help compact ans seal in the filing. Cook until the underside is golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, reducing the heat slightly if the tortilla is browning too quickly.

Carefully slide the quesadilla out onto a large plate, then carefully flip it back into the pan. Continue cooking, pressing down with the spatula, until its other side is golden and the cheese is completely melted, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes more. Slide the quesadilla from the skillet onto a baking sheet and put in the oven to keep warm. repeat with the remaining tortillas, cheese, salsa and chicken.

To serve, cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges. Arrange on a heated serving platter or individual plates and top each wedge with a dallop of sour cream and sprig of cilantro.



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