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Friday, April 1, 2011

Recipe! Black Bean Quesadillas with Chipotle Carmelized Onions

"Great Mexican food" has different meanings depending on what part of the country you occupy. In the Southern Midwest, we have a fair share of tex-mex restaurants, closer to the border (an out West) they have even more, as well as many authentic Mexican places. But n just about every part of the country, Mexican food means tons of grease, lots of calories, and portions so big to roll out the door afterward. In other words, it's not a friendly cuisine for anyone trying to watch their waistline or eating for a calmer mind.

However, done right, Mexican food can be healthy...and all of those spices and seasonings make a great cuisine to experiment with, to make your own delicious flavor combinations. (I mean, as far as I am concerned? Sweet potatoes and chipotle are a match made in Heaven.) The trick is cutting out the fried food, the extra grease, and on maximizing flavor with spices and whole, high quality ingredients.

When I make Mexican dishes, I love cooking the individual elements separately and then combining them at the end. Using this method achieves the most complex, delightful flavors without adding too much fat. (This as opposed to the Asian wok-style cooking, where everything is cooked in one pan to maximize flavor, usually cooked all together.)

I have included instructions on cooking each element of this dish, and then how to assemble and cook the final product. Make sure that you use an oven proof skillet!

I should be back in full capacity next week. Make, eat, enjoy!!!

Black Bean Quesadillas with Chipotle Carmelized Onions

4 whole wheat taco-size soft tortillas
1 whole yellow onion
1 can black beans
8 oz mixed Mexican cheeses (or whatever cheese you like!)
1 t butter
1 T olive oil
Homemade Taco Seasoning
1/4 t chipotle seasoning
garlic powder
1 t brown sugar

Black Beans:

1. Put on can of black beans in a small saucepot and add about a teaspoon of taco seasoning, a sprinkle of salt and a dash of garlic powder. Simmer for about ten minutes and taste, adjusting seasoning as necessary. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.

Carmelized Onions:

2. Slice onion into half circles. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add onion, chipotle seasoning, a sprinkle of salt, a dash of garlic powder and the brown sugar. Stir until onions are soft and golden and carmelized.


3. Melt butter over medium heat in medium skillet. On one tortilla, make a thin layer of cheese, 1/2 of the bean mixture, 1/2 of the onions and another sprinkle of cheese. Top with the second tortilla and put another thin layer of cheese on top. Place quesadilla in skillet and cook until cheese is melting. Put under broiler until top cheese is melted and bubbly. Cut into wedges and serve with Sour Cream Avocado Dip!

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