Sunday, May 25, 2008

Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Raspberry Quesadillas

This month's challenge ingredients for The Leftover Queen's Royal Foodie Joust had me very excited from the start: raspberry, lime and almond. What a combination! What possibilities! The aspiring jouster could easily travel in a sweet or savory direction with equivalent success. My brain buzzed with an array of options. Chicken marinated in a raspberry-lime sauce and then stir-fried with fresh veggies, perhaps? Or raspberry-lime pancakes sprinkled with sliced almonds, or spread with almond butter? Of course, I couldn't resist at least toying with the idea of a brand new muffin recipe, but that seemed a little too easy.

My first attempt, although not a total failure, did not turn out the way I had hoped. Raspberry zinger cornbread sounded good in theory, and wasn't half bad in reality. I've tweaked the recipe, but I think that it still needs a little more development. Raspberry zinger cornbread pancakes sound delectable, so I may end up making myself some of those one morning for breakfast, or even as part of a breakfast-themed bento.

Foibles and failures aside, I did come up with a successful, healthy, and (if I may say so myself) pretty darn tasty entry for this month's Joust. I throw down the gauntlet, bite my thumb at you, and challenge all comers in a generally anachronistic manner with my June submission, raspberry quesadillas. Stuffed with a spicy homemade raspberry salsa and mozzarella cheese, these colorful dinners are fun and filling.

Raspberry Quesadillas

raspberry salsa (recipe below)
2 tortillas
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup sliced almonds
6 black olives, sliced (optional)
sour cream (or alternative, optional)
cooking spray/oil

Heat a skillet or frying pan to a medium-high temperature, covering the cooking surface with cooking spray or oil of your choice. While the skillet is warming, fill the tortillas. Spread one half of each tortilla with 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese, being sure to leave about 1/2 inch between the filling and the edge of the tortilla to prevent the cheese from melting out when you cook it. Spoon raspberry salsa over the mozzarella, again leaving a 1/2 inch buffer between the filling and the edge of the tortilla. Sprinkle 1/8 cup of almonds over the top of tortilla's filling, garnishing with sliced olives if desired. Fold the "empty" half of the tortilla over the top of the filling. (If your tortillas are particularly stiff, you can heat them on the skillet for a minute or in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds before filling them.)

Carefully transfer the uncooked quesadillas to the skillet, cooking for about 3-4 minutes. Flip, cooking the other side until the tortillas are just browned and the cheese has melted. Serve topped with more salsa, and with sour cream (or an alternative like fat-free quark, which is what I used), more olives, and any other garnishes of your choice.

Raspberry Salsa

2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen (I used frozen, and they worked great)
1/2 cup white beans (I used canned)
1/4 cup chopped white onion
3 tsp finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp white sugar
3 T lime juice
2/3 tomatilla, chopped

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mixing thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least one hour to let the flavors blend, and preferably overnight (I let my salsa sit for 2 days, and it tasted great!). Perfect as a filler for quesadillas, this salsa also made a wonderful snack with Guiltless Gourmet's chipotle lime tortilla chips.

7 comments:

  1. Those look so good!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those look so good!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks great!Too bad about the cornbread- it sounds like it could be so yummy. Excellent quessadillas, though- both are fabulous ideas

    ReplyDelete
  4. How creative! It's so different than a traditional quesadilla...I like.Good luck in the joust!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This raspberry salsa looks so good and sounds like such a great idea!

    ReplyDelete
  6. JennDZ - The LeftoveMay 27, 2008 at 2:21 PM

    This looks really great! I love the colors and the flavors! Best of luck in the Joust! :)

    ReplyDelete

"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King