HCP Dishes!

Recipe of the Day:

Pumpkin, Red Pepper & Corn Quesadillas

Posted by Adam

Wednesday May 5, 2010

Today is Cinco de Mayo, the unoffical holiday celebrating the 1862 defeat of the French army by Mexico (actually a poorly-equipped army of just 5000 people) at the Battle of Peubla. Here in the States, lots of folks are planning feasts of amazing Mexican food in order to mark the occasion. Others are bringing out their cocktail shakers and honoring the military victory with creative new takes on the margarita (seems like a good enough reason for me). If you’re still scouring the web for ideas of what to cook tonight, check out one of our favorite blogs, Herbivoracious, where head herbivore Michael Natkin published this awesome-looking recipe for Grilled Tofu and Pepper Tacos. If you love good food photography as much as we do, make sure to visit No Recipes to see Marc Matsumoto’s five Cinco de Mayo dishes… the images are so inviting, they make us want to grab a cold michelada and climb inside the computer screen for lunch. Yum.

All of this got us thinking about how one can celebrate Cinco de Mayo at home with a simple weeknight meal. This quesadilla recipe, one of our favorites, comes from Ken Haedrich’s book Soup Makes the Meal: 150 Soul-Satisfying Recipes for Soups, Salads, and Breads. To go with these quesadillas, you’ll need to make a small batch of Cranberry & Red Onion salsa, which you’ll also find below; it’s just too good to replace with the jarred stuff. Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone!

Pumpkin, Red Pepper & Corn Quesadillas

1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups peeled and seeded pumpkin or winter squash cut into ¾-inch cubes
1 medium-size onion, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into ¼-inch-wide strips
1 large ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped
¾ cup cooked corn kernels
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon chili powder
Salt to taste
Four 8- or 9-inch flour tortillas
1½ cups grated Monterey Jack or smoked cheddar cheese
Cranberry & Red Onion Salsa (recipe follows)

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Heat a large, heavy ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add the oil. Stir in the pumpkin and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the onion and pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Stir in the tomato, corn, and spices and season with salt. Cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the pumpkin cubes are tender, about 8 minutes. Cover with a lid and set aside. Adjust the oven temperature to very low.

2. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tortilla, sprinkling its surface with one quarter of the cheese. Strew one quarter of the pumpkin mixture over half the tortilla, then fold over to enclose. Heat about 30 seconds, then flip and heat the other side. Repeat for the remaining tortillas, cheese, and pumpkin mixture, keeping them warm in the oven as you go.

3. Cut the quesadillas into halves or thirds and transfer to a serving plate, serving the cranberry salsa on the side.

Cranberry & Red Onion Salsa

Makes about 1 cup

¼ cup finely chopped red onion
¾ cup grated carrots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup canned whole-berry cranberry sauce
Salt to taste

1. In a small bowl, combine the onion, carrots, parsley, lemon juice, and sugar. Set aside to allow the sugar to dissolve, for 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the cranberry sauce and season with salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.


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    1. Michael Natkin’s Shiitake & Morel Ravioli » Inspiring Cookbook & Parenting Guides You Can Trust » Harvard Common Press Saturday, September 18, 2010

      [...] been following the excellent and vegetable-centric Herbivoracious blog for some time now. In my Cinco de Mayo post, to take one recent example, I linked to blogger Michael Natkin’s Grilled Tofu & Pepper [...]

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