Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chicken-Mushroom-Spinach Quesadillas

Chicken-Mushroom-Spinach Quesadillas
Adapted from Ellie Krieger

I happen to have an entire rotisserie chicken in my refrigerator. Quesadillas are one of the good ways to use up leftover cooked chicken meat. If you happen to run out of tortillas before the filling is used up, the filling will taste great with orzo pasta, brown rice, or stuff in a pita bread. This recipe also works with leftover turkey meat.

1 pound Cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt and a separate 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large red onion, finely chopped, about 2 cups (7.0 ounces)
3 large cloves garlic, finely minced (0.6 ounce)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground ancho chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder (optional)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
4 cups packed baby spinach leaves (6 ounces)
Two cooked, skinless and boneless chicken breast halves, diced into bite-size pieces, about 4 cups (13.7 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Handful of cilantro, chopped (0.5 to 0.6 ounce)
Two 16-ounce package Guerrero brand 100% whole-wheat flour tortillas (7-inch size)

One 8-ounce package 2% reduced fat shredded Mexican-Style Four Cheese
Trader Joe's brand Double Roasted Salsa or any salsa of your choice
Homemade guacamole

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the skillet. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and all liquid released have evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and transfer to a dish. Set aside.

Using the same skillet, add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Add the onions and garlic. Continue to cook on medium-high heat until onions starts to turn brown. Reduce heat to medium and add the cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Continue to cook and stir for about 10 seconds or until fragrant. Add the spinach and chicken breast and continue to cook, stirring frequently until spinach is wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the mushroom, salt and gound black pepper. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro. Set aside. You can prepare up to this point. Let the filling cool completely, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Meanwhile, lay 1 tortilla on a flat work surface and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. Evenly distribute a heaping 1/2 cup of filling on top of cheese. Sprinkle with another 2 tablespoons cheese. Top with another tortilla. Repeat to make more quesadillas.

When skillet is hot, carefully transfer one quesadilla to the skillet. Cook on first side for about 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned. You can cover the tortilla with a lid just big enough to cover the quesadilla by itself (not necessary to have the lid fit perfectly to cover the skillet). Carefully turn the quesadilla over to cook the other side, adding another teaspoon of olive oil. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned (do not need to cover with a lid on the second side). Transfer to a flat plate or a cutting board. Repeat cooking process to cook the other quesadillas.

Cut quesadillas into fourths and serve with guacamole and salsa. Accompanied quesadillas with Mexican Red Cabbage Slaw posted

Yield 7 quesadillas

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