Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shrimp, Spinach and Black Bean Quesidillas

Here's a relatively healthy meal that still feels a little bit indulgent. It's great for those nights when you don't want anything too complicated, but don't want to do a college throwback and just each nachos or a frozen pizza. Plus, it's fun to cook (not to mention eat). The amount of cheese listed below is approximate because while it would be delicious with more cheese, we were going for moderation. Add more if you're feeling frisky.

Shrimp and Spinach Quesidillas
(Inspired by Serious Eats)
Serves 2-4

  • 1/2 pound shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay
  • Juice of 1/4 of a lime
  • 2 smallish tomatoes, finely diced
  • 2 jalapeños, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, preferably freshly toasted and ground
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, preferably freshly toasted and ground
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 boxes frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 flour tortillas, about 6 inches in diameter
  • About 2 tablespoons butter
  • About 1 cup cheese, such as Monterey Jack, a 'Mexican' blend, or cojita
  • Sour cream, to serve
  • Hot sauce, to serve

Place the shrimp in a steamer basket over boiling water, and sprinkle with the Old Bay. Steam until just cooked through, stirring once, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Once the shrimp are cool enough to handle, peel them, cut them each into 2 or 3 pieces, and place in a medium bowl.

Add the lime juice, tomatoes, 1 of the jalapeños, cilantro, and the cumin and coriander to the bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Taste the mixture and add the other jalapeño if desired. Allow this to sit for 30 minutes.

Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a tortilla and coat with the butter. Cook, flipping occasionally, until each side is slightly crispy with golden brown spots. Set aside. Add more butter to the skillet if necessary, and repeat with the other tortilla.

When the second tortilla is ready, top it with a couple tablespoons of the cheese of your choice. Follow this with a 1/4 of the spinach, and about a 1/4 of the beans (I say about because you may not want to use all of the beans). Sprinkle with salt. Top with a quarter of the shrimp, and a couple more tablespoons cheese. Top with the previously prepared tortilla.

Cook the quesidilla, flipping once, until the cheese is melted and the ingredients are heated through. Remove to a cutting board, and when cool enough, cut into quarters. Repeat with the remaining 6 tortillas to make 3 more quesidillas. You may find that it is advantageous to use two skillets at the same time, in order to speed up the process.

Serve with hot sauce and sour cream.

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