Pomegranite Glazed Quesadillas With Tomatillo Salsa and Proud Use Of Cooking Shortcuts

Hi everyone. I have some interesting tidbits for you today as well as a great recipe. The first thing is that my friend Ellen told me that there are locks on the sides of tin foil rolls and saran wrap rolls so the rolls don’t fall out! How did we never know this?? Check out your rolls.

The second piece of invaluable info is that my sister, Katy, suggested putting sandwich filling, like peanut butter, on the crust side of the heel of bread so no one is the wiser that it is the heel. Even my ever suspicious 5 year old hasn’t caught on. No more wasted bread.

I did a workshop in the City last night (NY, not San Fran) and we discussed shortcuts in cooking, such as the cake mixes discussed in my last blog post, that became popular in the 1950s and 1960s. There is a wonderful book called “Something From the Oven” by Laura Shapiro that tells of the history of prepared foods , including cake mixes in North America. Shira, one of the attendees who did did her dissertation on Betty Crocker (by the way, I never did find out her field of study??) told of how women were originally turned off to cake mixes because they did not feel that they were actually doing the baking-they only had to add water.

Many women wanted to feel that they were more of a part of the baking process since baking and delivering a cake was considered a very meaningful gesture, especially for their love partners. Manufacturers decided to have the at home bakers put in their own fresh eggs instead of the dehydrated ones put in for them in the first mixes and the mixes became the hit that they are today.

Many ready made foods make our lives easier and allow us to cook on a consistent basis. The key is to try to use healthier ready made foods without the additives and to make these the exception rather than the rule in our cooking for a healthy eating/cooking lifestyle. Truth be told, I use cake mixes and other prepared foods quite often as a part of my family cooking and entertaining but try to focus on fresh ingredients as much as possible. It can be more challenging but it is worth it in the end. P.S. Check out the comments regarding the last blog on etiquette to see others thoughts and feelings about shortcuts-very enlightening…

Here’s a recipe we made last night at the Workshop . I got it from a cooking class a few years ago and got the tomatillo salsa from a recent Everyday Food Magazine, my favorite publication. Enjoy!

Chicken Quesadillas with Pomegranite Glaze and Tomatillo Salsa:

Tomatillo Salsa:

6 tomatillos quartered -can get at many Latin markets
1 cup cilantro leaves, washed
1/2 a jalapeno pepper
3 TBS lime juice
Puree all ingredients in a food processor

Quesadilla
1/2 lb chicken breast
2 flour tortillas, can use whole wheat
Manchego Cheese or any that you like
Pomegranite glaze, also called pomegranite syrup-sold at Trader Joe’s and mediterranean food stores
Red Pepper Jelly (can get at Whole Foods)

Marinate 1/2 chicken breast, thinly sliced, in pomegranite syrup for at least a half hour, then saute up in a little olive oil. Set aside in fridge until ready to use.
On a tortilla, put any kind of cheese-I like grated Manchego from Spain. On a 2nd tortilla, spread jalapeno jelly, and a little pomegranite syrup. Top cheese tortilla making it like a sandwich and microwave one minute. Brown quesadilla in a bit of olive oil in a skillet and serve with tomatillo salsa.

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