Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Easy summer meal

Sometimes a single ingredient will inspire me to cook or at least to try a new recipe. It might be fresh produce or a cut of meat that’s on sale. Other times, it’s something new.

At the grocery store recently, a new product caught my eye: shredded Velveeta queso blanco. I had purchased the same produce in block form but hadn’t seen the creamy white cheese sold as a shredded option. My daughter had used the block queso blanco in a dip and loved it.

On the back of the shredded cheese package was a recipe and photo for queso blanco quesadillas. The quesadillas looked delicious with lots of chicken, peppers and cheese inside crispy tortilla shells. I knew my family would love them. So I bought the cheese.

I make quesadillas from time to time, so the only real change here was the cheese.

I prepared the recipe a little differently. Instead of cooking the chicken with the peppers and onions, I did the chicken first, then the vegetables. I also cooked the chicken in a little fat-free Italian dressing for added flavor.

I normally warm the tortillas separately, but I followed the recipe and assembled the quesadillas, then warmed them in a skillet until they had a nice brown color and were a little crispy.

We had sour cream and salsa on the table for those who wanted them; the recipe also suggests serving with shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes.

We really enjoyed our quesadillas. The family commented on how creamy the cheese was and how much they liked it.

It was a very simple dish to make and is perfect for meals on a hot summer night because you don’t heat up the kitchen.

Queso Blanco Quesadillas
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup each red and green pepper strips
  • 1/2 cup sliced onions
  • 4 flour tortillas (8-inch)
  • 4 ounces queso blanco Velveeta, shredded
Cook chicken and vegetables in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 10 minutes or until chicken is done and vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet. Wipe skillet clean with paper towel.

Spoon 1/4 of the chicken mixture onto half of each tortilla. Top with Veveeta; fold in half.

Cook, in batches, in skillet 2 minutes on each side or until quesadillas are browned on both sides and cheese is melted.

Makes 4 servings.


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