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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Quick and delicious quesadillas

By Russ Parsons





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) In the beginning, there was grilled cheese, and it was good. How could it not be — creamy melted cheese, bread crisped in butter? And then, of course, came the panini, once a simple Italian snack bar staple, turned seemingly ubiquitous. Now it looks like it may be the quesadilla's turn. And, really, the only thing to be said is: It's about time.

Granted, making quesadillas is not going to earn you a reputation among your friends as the next Top Chef. Not unless it's at the end of a long day of work and they're hungry. At times like that, a well-prepared quesadilla, made from a good corn tortilla and stuffed with something like mushrooms and goat cheese, or braised greens and feta, is pretty darned delicious.

And hey, quesadilla queen Nina Garcia won the Vendy award a couple of weeks ago, beating a half-dozen other street food vendors, including, among others, someone serving an apple-and-Brie grilled cheese.

Still, I can already hear some of you muttering to yourselves. Quesadillas do have a reputation as a kind of dumbed-down sandwich — fold a flour tortilla over shredded Cheddar, stick on the griddle, and there you go.

And, in truth, there are times when even that simple version is not a bad thing to eat. My poor wife, who doesn't seem to be able to go out in public without being bombarded with the question, "Who really cooks at home?," usually answers that her culinary gifts are restricted to a mean quesadilla and a great chocolate chip cookie. And I'll happily confess that there are nights when I get home late from the office and one of those quesadillas, served with a green salad and a Lakers game, seems infinitely more pleasurable than even a foie gras torchon at Melisse.

But that shortcut version is not the best way to make a quesadilla, though I do think calling it "degenerated" as Mexican food authority Diana Kennedy does is kind of mean.


GET CREATIVE
True quesadillas are more like cornmeal masa turnovers, or empanadas, most traditionally deep-fried. Fillings go way beyond melted cheese (though probably at least a little bit of that should always be included). They can be as exotic as huitlacoche and cream, or as down to earth as leftover stew meat, torn into shreds.

And though I'll happily agree that quesadillas made with fresh masa are dreamy beyond belief, in real life I am quite satisfied to settle for packaged corn tortillas cooked on the griddle. I've had good luck with the ones some call "handmade." They seem to have a slightly more pliable texture and fresher taste than most others. Of course, if you have a favorite tortilleria in your neighborhood, that should be the first choice.

I've made quesadillas filled with nothing more than fresh requeson, or ricotta, mixed with herbs, and in the summer they're terrific filled with quickly cooked zucchini blossoms. Lately my favorite fillings have been sauteed mushrooms cloaked in fresh goat cheese, and braised cooking greens dotted with feta or queso fresco. I even made the latter with cooked trimmings of bolted lettuce from the garden and it was terrific.

Quesadillas come together in minutes: Prepare the filling, warm the tortillas on one side just long enough to soften them, flip them over and spoon the filling into the center, scatter cheese over the top, fold the tortilla in half around the filling and cook until the tortilla is lightly browned on both sides.

They're simply terrific. The tortilla toasts just enough to crisp slightly and enrich the corn flavor; the filling gilds basic ingredients with the irresistible allure of melted cheese. Serve it with a salad and you've got a great dinner.

One of Garcia's special twists seems to be melting the cheese on the griddle before adding it to the quesadilla. Maybe it was my cheese (I use low-moisture mozzarella, "pizza cheese"), but when I tried this at home, the results weren't very good — the cheese clumped up and crisped, but without adding appreciably to the flavor. I prefer to scatter it over the top and let it melt into the filling.

That's it: Given the right mix of leftovers for the filling, you can go from zero to a really delicious dinner in 15 minutes. Starting from scratch with the filling might take as many as 30, and I can still make it in less than an hour even with a grocery stop.




QUESADILLAS STUFFED WITH MUSHROOMS AND GOAT CHEESE

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6


  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 pound sliced or quartered mushrooms

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup minced shallots

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

  • 1/4 cup fresh goat cheese

  • 1/2 pound low-moisture mozzarella, cut in small dice

  • 2 teaspoons oil

  • 12 corn tortillas

1. Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter has stopped foaming and bubbling, add the mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have given up their moisture, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with shallots and cook until the shallots have softened, the moisture has evaporated and the mushrooms are quite tender, about 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint and the goat cheese.

2. Heat the oil on a griddle over medium heat; use a spatula to distribute it so the surface is evenly covered. If you don't have a large griddle, you can use a skillet, but you'll have to cook the quesadillas in more than one batch. Add the tortillas and cook on one side until they have softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip them to the other side and spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons of the mushroom mixture in the center. Sprinkle over some of the diced mozzarella and use a spatula to fold the tortilla in half around the filling.

3. Cook until the tortilla begins to brown on one side, about 2 to 3 minutes, and then flip onto the other side and cook until the tortilla browns on that side and the mozzarella is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes more. If some of the melting cheese oozes onto the griddle, that's even better. Repeat if necessary to use up all of the tortillas and filling.

4. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a 250-degree oven until all of the quesadillas have been made.

Each of 6 servings: 312 calories; 15 grams protein; 26 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 17 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 44 mg. cholesterol; 3 grams sugar; 686 mg. sodium.

———



QUESADILLAS STUFFED WITH GREENS AND FETA

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6


  • Oil

  • 1/3 cup minced onion

  • 1 pound mixed cooking greens, such as kale, mustards and collards

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 cup diced feta cheese

  • 1/4 pound low-moisture mozzarella, cut in small dice

  • 12 corn tortillas


1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook until it softens and begins to color, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. While the onion is cooking, rinse the greens in a colander but don't dry them. When the onion is ready, add the greens along with any water that clings to the leaves to the skillet. Season with salt and red pepper, sprinkle with garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the greens are quite tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Remove from the heat and stir in the feta.

4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil on a griddle over medium heat; use a spatula to distribute it so the surface is evenly covered. If you don't have a large griddle, you can use a skillet, but you'll have to cook the quesadillas in more than one batch. Add the tortillas and cook on one side until they have softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip them to the other side and spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of the greens in the center. Sprinkle over some of the diced mozzarella and use a spatula to fold the tortilla in half around the filling.

5. Cook until the tortilla begins to brown on one side, 2 to 3 minutes, and then flip onto the other side and cook until the tortilla browns on that side and the mozzarella is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes more. If some of the melting cheese oozes onto the griddle, that's even better. Repeat if necessary to use up all of the tortillas and filling.

6. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a 250-degree oven until all of the quesadillas have been made.

Each of 6 servings: 311 calories; 13 grams protein; 32 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber; 16 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 37 mg. cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 840 mg. sodium.

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© 2010, Los Angeles Times Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.