Day 107: “Down Home with the Neelys”
April 17, 2011
Quesadillas are turning into my go to meal this Spring instead of the Paninis that we made during the winter. Quesadillas like Paninis are so versatile when it comes to their fillings. Last week we had one filled with BBQ chicken that was a little overpowering with the BBQ flavor. When I am rushed for dinner I always grab a rotisserie chicken and shred it to make quesadillas for a quick week night meal. You simply add in what your family likes to eat. I favorite add ons are green onions, green chilies and salsa. If I leave out the onions, everyone will eat it.
I was just talking about the Neelys over lunch last week. One person I knew could not stand the show, we got it down to the fact that she didn’t like all of their syrupy love for each other. Whenever people show that much PDA to each other, I am always a little skeptical. But then I know if the world of celebrity chefs, you need something to hold you apart from your competitions. For the Neelys, that something different is their love for each other. Could be worse! Their cookbook continues their theme of love and is filled with pictures of them, both together and alone growing up. As someone who is married to her high school sweetheart, I say bring the love on! The recipes are fun and full of Southern charm. I wish they lived near me as I know I would invite them over for a party on our deck.
The Ruling: I loved them! Their is only one other person in my family who likes shrimp and he liked it as well. Can I say this again….I loved the quesadillas. If you love shrimp, you will love these. Spend the extra money on the big shrimp, as i think they have so much more flavor than their little cousins. Youngest child just had a cheese quesadilla….that is ok because that meant more shrimp for me! The smoky guacamole was great as well….though we did think it was a little heavy on the onion. Take the extra time and make the guacamole! You can make this as an appetizer or a main dish. Leave the bacon out and serve it to your vegetarian friends and family.
Grilled Shrimp, Scallion, and Bacon Quesadillas with Smoky Guacamole, page 66
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for frying tortillas
- 4 strips thick-sliced bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 scallions
- four 12 inch flour tortillas
- 8 ounces shredded jack cheese
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the bacon and fry until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Heat the grill (or grill pan) to a medium-high setting. Place the shrimp, garlic, remaining tablespoon of oil, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl, and toss to combine. When the grill is hot, use tongs to place the shrimp and scallions across the grates. Cook until the shrimp are pink and firm (2 to 3 minutes on each side), and the scallion are charred and softened (turning them as necessary for even cooking). Transfer the shrimp and scallions to a plate to cool briefly, then coarsely chop both ingredients, toss them together in a clean bowl and keep warm.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
- Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel, return it to the heat, and add another drizzle of oil and a tortilla. Cook the tortilla for 30 seconds, then flip it. Cover half of the tortilla with a couple of spoonfuls of cheese. Arrange a quarter of the shrimp-and-garlic mixture and a quarter of the bacon over the cheese, and fold the tortilla over. Press down gently with a spatula and cook the tortilla for a minutes or so on each side, to melt the cheese and crisp. Transfer the cooked quesadilla to a baking sheet and hold in the oven while you repeat the process with the remaining ingredients. Cut each quesadilla into 5 wedges, and transfer to plates with your spatula. Top the wedges with liberal amounts of Smoky Guacamole.
Smoky Guacamole, page 67
- 2 large rip avocados
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- kosher salt
- Peel and pit the avocados, and place them in a medium bowl. Add the onion, chipotle pepper, lime juice, and cilantro, and mash together with a fork until combined but still chunky. Season to taste with salt.
To Joyful, Simplified Living,
MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com . Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page here.
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