Monday, August 17, 2015

Gazpacho and Chicken Quesadillas

Is there anything better on a cold winter day than a good old grilled cheese sandwich and hot tomato soup?  So, it stands to reason that there could be nothing better on a HOT day than a good old grilled cheese sandwich and COLD tomato soup, right?  Spicy foods actually make you "feel" cooler when the temps are hot hot hot outside - the Mexicans figured that one out a long time ago.  When the dog days of summer hit - Gazpacho is a go-to for me.  I have recipes for about ten different kinds of gazpacho, from watermelon to cauliflower, but I always come "home" to good old tomato gazpacho.  It's fast and easy in a blender!!

Gazpacho and Chicken Quesadillas

1 large can peeled tomatoes
1 small bottle tomato (or v-8) juice
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped*
1/2 c chopped red pepper*
1/2 c chopped red onion*
1 small jalapeno, seeded and chopped (or 8-10 slices from jarred jalapenos)*
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1 lime, juiced
2 t balsamic vinegar
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t ground cumin
2 T fresh basil leaves, roll them up like a cigar and then cut in VERY thin slices to get long skinny strips (chiffonade)

1 large flour tortilla per person
cooked chicken
shredded cheddar cheese - or Monterey Jack - or a "Mexican" (not taco) blend
sliced jalapenos (or canned green chiles - a little milder)
sour cream

Smush the tomatoes to break them to pieces.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes with their juice, the cucumber, bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, garlic, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic, Worcestershire, cumin, S?P to combine.  Put half of that mixture in a blender and puree for 15-20 seconds.

Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine (you want some "chunkiness" to the soup.)

Chill for at least 2 hours.  Serve chilled or at room temperature with a sprinkling of the fresh basil on top of each serving.

Place one flour tortilla in a large heated skillet.

On one half of the tortilla, add some chopped chicken pieces, a good handful of the shredded cheese, and a couple of chopped pieces of seeded jalapenos.

Watch for the cheese to begin to melt (and do not burn the bottom of the quesadilla!)

Flip the quesadilla in half to enclose the melted cheese.  Slice the quesadilla into three serving wedges.  Serve with salsa and sour cream.

(Repeat for additional servings.)

*You can use your blender to "chop" the vegetables.  Just place them in the blender and cover with some of the tomato juice.  Then pulse your blender until the pieces are chopped to the size you want.


Jeni F. NY and Dumpsterkitty guessed this one.   Hot summer nights!!!

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