Grana Padano Quesadillas, 'Chilli with a Pulse' & Salsa
Alex Mackay, cook, teacher, writer and food lover serves up a healthy new twist on old favourites for those joyous junk food moments.
This is just the thing when you fancy a bit of something completely unsophisticated and really yummy. The Quesadillas are jolly to make, I end my prep with a little pile of tins, an empty pouch and plenty of smiles. The Quesadillas come out of the oven as irrestible melted cheese topped tasty topples The citrus, chilli and coriander perk it up into a meal that wakes you up and makes an evening more fun. I use chilli as a seasoning rather than a spice to make the dish unbearably hot, if you like more then feel free to blow your head off.
Serves 4; Preparation time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 25 minutes; Difficulty: Moderate
1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C/Gas 6/Rack position top shelf.
2. Get a medium sized, shallow saucepan. Add the diced onion, gliced garlic, 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 3 tbsp water. Put a lide on the pan then sweat the onions, without browning them, for 6-8 minutes until they are soft and sweet smelling. Check them a few times.
3. Add the vegetable stock, Puy Lentils, black beans, tomato puree, dark soy sauce, tinned tomatoes, half the corn, 1/4 tsp chilli powder and 1/4 tsp ground cumin. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat slightly and simmer rapidly for 6-7 minutes until the mixture is thick and very little liquid remains. The mixture should have 3/4 less liquid than you began with. Season to taste with salt, sugar to balance the acidity and chilli powder.
4. Line a large oven trya with a non-stick sheet. Put 2 tortillas on it. Spread a quarter of the chilli with a pulse mixture over each. top with 1/3 of the Grana Padano shavings. Repeat this with 2 more tortillas and the rest of the chilli mixture. Scatter the remaining Grana Padano on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted gold.
The Salsa and Serving
5. While the chilli simmers, make the salsa. Get a medium sized bowl. Add the lime juice and olive oil. Use a zester to remove the zest of half the orange into the bowl. Peel the orange as you would to eat it. Separate the segments, cut the others widthways into very thin wedges. Add these wedges to the bowl. Add the remaining half of the corn, the diced chilli and the quartered baby plum tomatoes. Season to taste with salt, caster sugar and chilli powder.
6. Next, cut the avocado in half. Carefully scoop out and discard the stone. Scoop the flesh out of the skin anddice it into 1cm chunks. Gently fold it and the coriander leaves into the salsa.
7. Serve the Quesadillas whole at the table. Cut them a quarter at a time so that they stay hot with the salsa and sour cream on the side.