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    • Randy Graham

    • July 22, 2013 in Columnists

    California Quesadillas

    34. California Quesadillas

    Also known as “Chèvre” (French for goat), goat cheese has a distinct, tangy flavor. Made from (you guessed it) goat’s milk, it’s available in soft, semi-soft and firm varieties. Check labels when you can. Some brands are made from a mixture of both goat and cow milk.

    Some might consider it an acquired taste, but the tangy bite and super-creamy texture of goat cheese lends itself to all kinds of foods including quesadillas. Sure, quesadillas are tortillas and cheese, but they can be so much more! With colorful red and green sauces, and just enough flavorful goat cheese, this California favorite makes a delicious and healthy meal.

    Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Ingredients:
    1 small onion (chopped)
    2 cloves garlic (minced)
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    2 red bell peppers (roasted, skins and seeds removed)
    2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped)
    ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

    Pesto Ingredients:
    2 ½ cup packed fresh basil
    ½ cup packed fresh Italian parsley
    3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    5 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 clove garlic (chopped)
    1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
    8 small flour tortillas (6 inches in diameter)
    5 ounces plain semi-soft goat cheese


    To make the roasted red-pepper sauce: In a medium skillet, combine the onions, garlic, and olive oil. Cook over medium heat for 4 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Transfer to a food processor. Press red peppers between paper towels to remove excess moisture. Add the peppers, cilantro, and black pepper. Process until smooth. Scrape contents into a bowl, wash out the blender bowl and set contents aside [note: if the contents looks soupy, reduce it on the stove to make sure it has most of the water removed or the quesadillas will be soggy].

    To make the pesto: In a food processor, combine the basil, parsley, Parmesan, olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Process until smooth. Season with the salt and black pepper. Set aside.

    Assembly: Lay 4 of the tortillas on a work surface. Divide the goat cheese among them and spread evenly to cover the tortillas. Divide the red-pepper sauce among them and spread evenly. Spread pesto on the red sauce and top with the remaining 4 tortillas.

    Coat a large skillet with no-stick spray and heat over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer 1 quesadilla to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Coat the skillet with no-stick spray and cook another quesadilla. Repeat to cook all the quesadillas.

    Use a pizza wheel to cut each quesadilla into 4 triangle-shaped pieces.  Serve while still warm. No need for salsa or sour cream. These quesadillas are good as is!

    See Chef Randy’s food blog for more recipes at: http://valleyvegetarian.blogspot.com

      • Carolyn Scott

      • July 22, 2013 at 8:36 am
      • Reply

      I had a pet billy goat as a child. I can taste the smell of billy goat in some of the cheeses. It’s not a taste I care to acquire. His smell as he got older, is the reason FrPa decided to send him away, to a BIlly Goat farm. The butcher shop, according to my older cousin. He’s the one who also informed me about Santa Clause….

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