Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Quesadillas

Yikes, I just realized it’s been almost 3 weeks since I’ve posted anything! About 12 hours after I wrote my last post, baby boy got very sick, got better for a few days, then got so sick again that he had to spend a night in Children’s Hospital. He is perfectly fine now, but we’ve had a scary and hectic few weeks. Now that he’s feeling better, I finally have my new laptop (thank you credit card reward points!), and I’m back to cooking again, I can start updating my poor, neglected blog!

This is actually a recipe I made well over a month ago, and I’m so happy to finally share it here! I am really starting to enjoy the fruit/meat combo, so when I saw this recipe online, I knew I had to give it a try.  I really love chicken and pineapple together, and stuff it between some tortillas with cheese, you’ve got yourself a winner!  I’ve now developed a new love affair for grilled pineapple, and cannot wait to make it again as well!  We absolutely devoured these quesadillas, and it’s been a long time since my dinner table was so quiet.  I highly recommend making these!!

Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Quesadillas

8 whole Flour Tortillas
Butter Or Margarine
2 cups Grilled Pineapple, Sliced
3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Salt And Pepper, to taste
3 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
1 whole Jalapeno, Sliced
Cilantro
3 Tablespoons Barbecue Sauce

(To grill pineapple: cut wedges, stick on skewers, and grill over low heat. Cut into slices.)

(To pound chicken, place inside a Ziploc bag and pound with a mallet or large can to flatten to uniform thickness.)

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and Cajun spice (or cumin/cayenne, etc.) Drizzle olive oil on a grill pan and grill on both sides until done, brushing with barbecue sauce. Set aside and slice into very thin slices.

Warm griddle over medium heat and put sizzling butter or margarine in the pan. Slightly warm and toast tortillas on both sides, then remove from griddle and set aside.

To assemble, sprinkle four browned tortillas with grated Monterey Jack. Arrange chicken slices evenly over the surface. Add pineapple slices and jalapeno slices. Sprinkle on cilantro. If desired, drizzle extra barbecue sauce over the top. Add second browned tortilla on top of each one. (You’ll have four complete quesadillas at this point.)

Add to oven to warm, or back to skillet to warm, until cheese is melted. Cut each quesadilla into six wedges. Serve with sour cream, pico de gallo, and lime wedges.

Source:  The Pioneer Woman

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Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce

My mom HATES any kind of fruit pared with meat, so growing up, the thought always disgusted me as well.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to be more intrigued by the combination and have set out to try some savory dishes that incorporate fruit as well.  I bookmarked this recipe awhile ago knowing the husband would probably love it, and I finally got around to making it, thanks to the dried cherries I had leftover from my planned Christmas baking that never happened. 

If I didn’t enjoy the meat/fruit combo before, I certainly do now!  This was phenomenal – quick, easy, and very tasty.  I had it on the table in about 15 minutes.  Absolute perfection.  The only change I made was using lean pork chops instead of the pork tenderloin because that’s what I had on hand.

Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce

4 boneless pork chops, trimmed of all visible fat
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dried tart cherries

Season the pork  chops with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over a medium-high heat and cook the meat until there is just a slight blush in the center about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the meat to a plate and tent with foil.

Add the remaining teaspoon of oil and the shallots to the pan and saute until they begin to soften, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the cherries and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the sauce over the pork chops and serve.

Source:  Ellie Krieger via Food Network’s Website

BWD: Cherry Apple Cobbler

 

Happy 4th of July!  I hope everyone had as nice a holiday weekend as we did.  We were constantly on the go, but it was so much fun!  This was a great dessert recipe to cap off our long weekend.  The original recipe called for rhubarb, but I couldn’t find it at our store, and we aren’t big fans of it anyway, so I substituted Granny Smith apples for the rhubarb as did many of the other BWD bakers.  I also got to try out my new cherry pitter, which worked so well and made quick work out of preparing the cherries for this cobbler.  Overall this was a delicious cobbler, perfect for summer; however, if I were to make it again, I would omit the ground ginger from the filling.  I’m not a huge fan of the flavor and I felt it was a bit overpowering for me. 

A big thanks to Ryan from The Behr Necessities for picking this yummy cobbler.  To get the recipe, check out her blog here, or you can find it on page 415 of Dorie’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.  You can check out the BWD blogroll to see the numerous variations everyone came up with…they all look delicious!  Next month’s recipe is for Creme Brulee..cannot wait!!

Mama’s Not-So-Famous, Not-At-All-Flying Blueberry Buttermilk Flapjacks

 

One of the toddler’s favorite TV shows is Little Bear, which is on Nick Jr.  We have at least 10 episodes saved on our DVR, plus multiple Little Bear DVDs.  One of his favorite epidosdes is when Father Bear makes his famous flying flapjacks.  For some reason, Father Bear tossing those flapjacks in the air just cracks him up, and invariably makes us all crave pancakes.  I decided to try these pancakes since I had some blueberries in the freezer, and of course, the toddler watched in awe as  I made these, constantly asking me to make them fly like Father Bear.   Much to his disappointment, I did not attempt to make our flapjacks fly, but none of us were disappointed in the deliciouuness of these pancakes.  They are light and fluffy, and I LOVE all of the blueberries in there.  They were easy enough to make as a quick weeknight dinner, or a delicious weekend morning breakfast.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
2 cups blueberries

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Combine buttermilk, milk, oil, and egg in a bowl, and add to flour mixture, stirring until smooth.

Spoon 1/4 cup pancake batter onto a hot nonstick griddle or large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, and top with 2 heaping tablespoons blueberries. Turn the pancake when the top is covered with bubbles and the edges look cooked. Repeat the procedure with the remaining batter and blueberries.

Source: From Cooking Light January 2001

CEiMB: Apple Brown Betty

This week’s Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe was chosen by Jessica over at Learning to Love Vegetables.  You can find the recipe for this fabulous dessert over on Food Network’s website, or on page 241 of Ellie Krieger’s So Easy

 I’ll be honest, I was a bit skeptical of this recipe…I just didn’t see how whole wheat bread crumbs would make a good topping for this dessert.  Boy, was I wrong!  We all really enjoyed this, and I see this being made in our house quite frequently.  You can’t beat a great tasting and HEALTHY dessert!  The only change I made was using sliced almonds instead of walnuts, because that is what I had on hand.  The only thing missing…some vanilla ice cream!  I will be running to the store tomorrow to pick some up so that we can enjoy it with the leftovers.  Thanks Jessica for a fabulous pick!!  To see how the other CEiMB members did this week, check out the blogroll.

SMS: Chocolate Strawberry Truffle Torte

I am very excited to be hosting this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe for the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Torte!  I joined this great group a few months ago, when they were already almost halfway through the book.  I missed out on some great recipes, but was so excited to see this one hadn’t been made yet.  As soon as it was my turn to choose a recipe, I knew this is the one I would pick.  I love chocolate.  I love raspberries.  I love chocolate and raspberries together.  This just HAD to be good! 

However, my attempt for chocolate raspberry goodness was thwarted this morning.  I bought my raspberries yesterday evening to ready myself to get started this morning.  I opened my raspberries and found mold on almost every single one.  At least I bought two containers, certainly BOTH couldn’t be moldy.  But the second one was too.  I admit I cried (damn pregnancy hormones).  Then, I remembered my other favorite chocolate/fruit combination…chocolate covered strawberries!!  And we had strawberries in the house (we always have them…the toddler could eat an entire container in one sitting!).  I did cut this recipe in half as I wasn’t sure the husband would enjoy this, and I’m not feeling all that great lately (damn pregnancy hormones!) and made it in my adorable 4″ springform pan.  Overall, this is a simple recipe to throw together.  Melt chocolate and butter together, whip the heck out of some eggs, mix it all up, add strawberries in the middle, bake, and refrigerate!  The only other substitution I made was to use 1/2 tsp of orange extract for the rum…I thought we had rum in the house, but sadly, we did not.

The final result?  YUM!  This is very, very chocolatey, but very, very delicious.  As I expected, the husband wasn’t a huge fan (he’s more of a milk or white chocolate kind of guy), but that’s okay, more for me!  It really did taste like a chocolate covered strawberry.  Yummy.  I kind of laughed at my pictures though…doesn’t it look like a hamburger cooked to medium-ish?  You must try this!  I posted the recipe below, but you can also find it on pages 206-207 of Melissa Murphy’s fabulous The Sweet Melissa Baking Book.  Melissa does suggest serving this with her Raspberry Sauce (on page 176) for some extra indulgence.  I did not make the sauce, but will post the recipe for that one as well.  Don’t forget to check out how the other bakers did this week!  Thanks for baking with me this week!

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Torte 

8 ounces best-quality bittersweet (64-68%) chocolate
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 Tbsp rum (I used 1 tsp orange extract)
3 large eggs
1/2 dry pint fresh raspberries (I used strawberries)
1 Tbsp best-quality unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, for sprinkling

BEFORE YOU START

Position a rack in the center of your oven.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Turn an 8-inch springform pan upside down and cover the bottom and sides with aluminum foil.  The foil should come up at least 2 inches on all sides, so the water from the water bath will not leak through.  Lightly butter the inside bottom and sides of the springform pan.  Line the bottom with an 8-inch round of parchment paper.

  1. In the top of a double boiler set over simmering, not boiling, water, gently melt the chocolate with the butter, stirring until smooth.  Heat until it is just melted; don’t let it get too hot.  When the chocolate is fully melted, stir in the rum.
  2. In an electric mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering, not boiling, water, heat the eggs while stirring unti just warm to the touch.  Remove from the heat. 
  3. In the electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the eggs until tripled in volume, or when they reach soft peaks.
  4. Fold half of the eggs into the chocolate mixture until almost incorporated.  Fold in the remaining eggs until just blended but with no streaks remaining.
  5. Pour half of the batter into the prepared springform pan.  Scatter the fresh raspberries evenly over the batter, and then pour the remaining batter over the berries.  Smooth with a spatula.
  6. Place the springform pan in a roasting pan large enough to hold it.  Fill the roasting pan with hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan.  Bake uncovered for 5 minutes.  Cover the pan with aluminum foil or an upside-down cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes more.  Remove to a wire rack, uncover the pan, and cool in the water bath for 1 hour.
  7. Remove the pan from the water bath.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, about 3 1/2 hours.
  8. Using a sharp knife, carefully loosen the cake from the edges of the pan.  Release the springform ring to unmold the cake.  To release the bottom, invert the cake onto a flat plate lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil and remove the bottom and the parchment round.  Turn the cake right side up onto a serving plate and dust with sifted cocoa powder.  Keep refrigerated until serving.

Slice with a hot knife and serve.  The torte keeps tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Raspberry Sauce

2 (12-ounce) packages frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed, or 2 1/2 dry pints fresh
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice until it comes to a simmer.  Simmer for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool briefly.
  2. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade or a blender, pulse the raspberry mixture until smooth.   Strain the mixture into a resealable conatiner and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Raspberry sauce will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 1 month.  Shake well before serving.

BWD: Blueberry Crumb Cake

Sorry for posting this a day late…things have been VERY crazy here at The Rookie Baker house for the last week or so.  We’re finally settling down and I’m looking forward to getting back in the kitchen!

This week’s Baking with Dorie recipe was for Blueberry Crumb Cake and was chosen by Tina at My Domestic Bliss.  Check out her post for the recipe and some great pictures of this cake!  You can also find the recipe on pages 192-193 of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Every Tuesday, my firm has a cookout where the company provides the main dish, and then we sign up to bring an appetizer, dessert, or side dish.  I almost always sign up for dessert because, well, I love dessert!  I normally go with a tried and true recipe, but decided to go out on a limb this week and bring this cake.  I finished baking it at 11:30 last night, and really wanted to start eating it right away!  It looked so delicious right out of the oven.

This cake was a huge hit at work, and at home!  It was bursting with blueberries, and the crumb topping really took this over the edge.  I will definitely be making this again!

To see what the other bakers did with this recipe, you can check out the blogroll here.  Our August 16th recipe is for Brown Sugar Bundt Cake…YUM!