Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Shrimp, Corn and Queso Quesadillas

Does anyone actually have leftover shrimp? If anything, when you serve these addictive little two-bite size appetizers, you are more likely to run out than have anything other than a tail leftover. But I did have some leftovers and they reminded me of the excellent quesadillas we used to love at a local restaurant called Citrus (Citrus Bar and Grill, 320 Amsterdam Avenue (75th-76th Sts.)212-595-0500

Citrus is a bit of a strange place food-wise since there’s a full-on sushi bar and then there’s a whole Latina cocina among whose specialties is a Chile Lime Shrimp quesadilla with corn and cheese.

Since I had both shrimp and corn on hand since I value my Panini maker and haven’t used it in a while, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for lunch. It turned out very well and Andrew gave it the thumbs up over the Citrus version. A great compliment indeed! Here’s the recipe:

Recipe for Shrimp and Corn and Queso Quesadillas

Soft Flour Tortillas

1 ½ cups cooked shrimp, shelled, tail removed, cut into half inch pieces.

1 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup cooked corn – mine was leftover confetti corn with red onion and orange

Peppers, but if you need corn, I’d recommend a can of Niblets goosed up with some onion, hot sauce and a spritz of fresh lime juice.

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

1 ripe avocado, halved and sliced on the bias. (Optional but a great addition.)

1. Brush one side of a flour tortilla with olive oil.

2. Place tortilla, olive oil side down on a Panini maker.

3. Put a layer of grated Monterrey jack on one half of the tortilla leaving the other half to fold over when cooked..

4. Sprinkle shrimp pieces over the cheese.

5. Spoon corn over shrimp and cheese.

6. Fold tortilla over to cover shrimp, cheese and corn mixture.

7. Cook until grill is sizzling and grill marks show on tortilla.

8. Remove from heat, top quesadilla with avocado slices drizzled with olive oil.

9. Serves two.

Another little thought for the day. If you have no shrimp on hand and want to. make this dish for two, you should cook about 8 shrimp. Since discovering Ina Garten’s roasted shrimp cocktail, I use it every chance I get. It gives you shrimp that are truly the best I’ve ever had. And it’s very simple. Here’s her recipe:

Recipe for Oven-Roasted Shrimp

2 pounds (12 to 15-count) shrimp

1 tablespoon good olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

(If just cooking the shrimp for quesadillas, adjust volumes accordingly)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place them on a sheet pan with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread them in 1 layer. Roast for 8 to10 minutes, just until pink and firm and cooked through.

3. Set aside to cool.

Now how easy was that? As Ina would say.