Wednesday, March 13, 2013

white bean, goat cheese, bacon, spinach, avocado, & caramelized onion quesadillas

How to be creative in cooking 101:  have somebody else stock your pantry/refrigerator. 

Not only did my dad recently stock me up on eggs, butter, & bacon from Sam's club, but my mom's fridge recently stopped working right before she went out of town, so I'm now well-stocked on things that came out of her fridge, including more bacon.

And buttermilk.  With the extra buttermilk, I'm making these buttermilk-brined Cornish hens (with Brussels sprouts, in case you haven't gotten enough of those from me recently).

I also have a couple of blocks of cream cheese, so be on the lookout for something involving those soon... cheesecake, maybe?   I'm open to suggestions about what to do with those.

These are reallyyyy easy:  bake some bacon, caramelize some onions, mash up some beans and stack it all on a tortilla.  It really generates relatively few dishes, too, especially if you heat your quesadillas in the same skillet in which you caramelized the onion.  And who can't love every single one of the fillings?! (Okay, I know some people don't like goat cheese... *cough* Mia *cough*).

1 (15-ounce) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
garlic salt, salt, pepper, and crushed garlic for seasoning
1 onion, sliced
fresh spinach
½ pound bacon
6 ounces goat cheese
1 large avocado
6 tortillas (I used Mission 10 ct. "medium" tortillas)

  1. Start by crisping your bacon.  I cook mine by lining a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and layering the bacon along the foil.  Then, I put the tray in a cold oven, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and set the timer for 20 minutes.  When the bacon is crisp, I transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, smash the cannellini beans with a fork or potato masher.  I found the easiest way to mash mine was with a whisk.  Sprinkle with a small amount each of garlic salt, tables salt, and pepper.  If you have some crushed garlic, add a little bit of that, too.  Once you've added the seasonings, stir it around and mash the beans a little more.  I left some beans intact because I like the texture they add.
  3. In a large skillet, melt a small amount (1 tablespoon) of butter.  Add the sliced onion.  Caramelize the onions by cooking them over medium heat, stirring them constantly, until they are soft and somewhat golden (about 10 minutes).  (I reused this skillet to heat my quesadillas--fewer dishes!)
  4. Now that all your ingredients are ready, assemble the quesadillas.  Divide the white bean mixture evenly between three tortillas, spreading it on each tortilla.  Next, divide the onion and layer it on top of each white bean mixture.  Spread a generous amount of spinach on top of each onion layer and then crumble or layer the bacon over the spinach.  Crumble the goat cheese evenly between the three tortillas.
  5. Divide the avocado evenly between three different tortillas.  Smash the avocado and spread it over each tortillas.
  6. Top the loaded tortilla with the avocado tortilla.  In a large skillet, heat a small amount of butter (less than 1 tablespoon) and place one of the quesadillas in the skillet.  Heat over medium-low heat until the bottom tortilla is brown and then flip; heat until the cheese is melted and the inside ingredients are hot.  Remove from skillet, cut into quarters, and serve.  Repeat with each quesadilla.
Make 3 servings.

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