Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Corn and Pepper Jack Quesadillas with Radish and Cabbage Slaw and Mexican Tomato Salad

I'm not quite sure how this happened (because it was not intentional), but this week we did Meatless Monday and then ended up with a Meatless Tuesday.  I hadn't actually thought about the fact that we were serving vegetarian meals two nights in a row.  Granted, it would not have made much of a difference because I wanted to use up our corn and tomatoes from the farmers' market.  It just kind of happened...  And when you buy as much produce from the farmers' market as I did this past Sunday, a few vegetarian meals are inevitable.  I have another vegetarian meal on tap for later in the week.  Don't worry though - tonight for dinner we will be making pork schnitzel.

I have to admit that this dinner came together kind of randomly.  We picked up tortillas and a shredded pepper jack blend this weekend at Trader Joes, so quesadillas sounded like a natural use for both of those ingredients.  And I had one ear of corn left over from Monday's Corn on the Cob with Lime Salt, so I figured I would throw some corn in the filling to the quesadillas.  And I got the idea to add mayonnaise to the filling from a recipe I found on Epicurious.  I was a little skeptical but I went with it and it really worked.  I had tomatoes to use, so I was going to make a salsa, but I decided to make a pico de gallo-esque tomato salad instead.  We also had radishes left over from the farmer's market so I wanted to make some sort of cabbage and radish salad/slaw of sorts.  So we ransacked the fridge (and I picked up some new cabbage from the grocery store since ours had seen better days) and we threw in a little bit of this and a little bit of that and made dinner.  I thought that considering how random my meal planning was this time, dinner turned out surprisingly delicious.  The brightness of the slaw and the acidity and faint heat of the tomato salad paired beautifully with the richness of the quesadillas.

Recipes after the jump!

Corn and Pepper Jack Quesadillas

1 cup Pepper Jack cheese, coarsely grated (we used Trader Joe's Pepper Jack blend)
1 ear corn, kernels removed
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the bias
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas (we used whole wheat)
nonstick cooking spray

Combine cheese, corn, mayo, scallions, cilantro, and chili powder in a small bowl.  Spread between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup of filling over one half of a tortilla, then fold other half over to form a half-moon.  Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.  Set aside.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Heat lightly oiled grill pan over moderate heat until hot, then cook quesadillas, until tortillas have golden grill marks, cheese is melted and filling is heated through, flipping once, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board.  Repeat with remaining quesadillas.  Cut each quesadilla in quarters or thirds.


Radish and Cabbage Slaw

4 cups green cabbage, shredded
4 radishes, very thinly sliced
1 tsp jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the bias
2-3 tbsp lime juice, to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp honey, or to taste

Combine cabbage, radishes, jalapeno, cilantro and scallions in a bowl.  Toss with lime juice, oil and honey.  Season with s&p.  Set aside to let vegetables wilt slightly, about 10 minutes.


Mexican Tomato Salad

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (we used sungolds)
1 small heirloom tomato, roughly chopped
2 tbsp jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 cup red onion, minced
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp lime zest
2-3 tbsp fresh lime juice, to taste

Toss the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until well combined.  Season to taste with s&p.


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