Say Cheese!

When Andy’s out of town, one of two things happen. Either I’m busy with friends and not home to make dinner, or I seize an opportunity to try something that I’m not 100% sure he’ll be on board with. This lunch started out as one of those “not so sure” meals, but after making it, I know that he’ll like it. It’s got shrimp (yum), two cheeses (double yum) and one of my favorite flavor combinations – cumin/garlic/lime.

The recipe itself was pretty basic, so I added some veggies to the filling and marinated the shrimp for some extra kick. And using both cheddar and pepper jack cheese toned the heat down to a level that I think Andy could tolerate.

Another bonus? I now have half an avocado just waiting to be devoured. Yum.

Mmmm... cheesy. I meant to put cilantro in them, but I completely forgot about until about 3 hours later.

Shrimp & Cheese Quesadillas

4 oz. uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
lime juice from half a lime
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
dash worchestershire sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
pinch salt and pepper
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet pepper
1/8 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup salsa
4 flour tortillas

In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, cumin, cayenne, oil, worchestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and stir to coat. Set aside.

While the shrimp is marinating, shred the cheese and chop the veggies. After 15 minutes (or whenever you’re done with the chopping), preheat a grill pan* over medium heat. Place the shrimp on the pan and cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, flipping them with a pair of tongs after 3-4 minutes. When the shrimp are fully cooked, remove them from the heat (keep the grill pan warm and ready!). Coarsely chop the shrimp and prepare for assembly!

Lay one tortilla face down and layer with a handful of cheese. Add the shrimp, onions and peppers, and then top with a few avocado slices. Spread a spoonful of salsa over the filling, and then place a tortilla on top. Place the completed quesadilla on the hot grill pan and let cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Carefully (I use my biggest spatula and the smallest tortilla for this to work) flip the quesadilla over to cook the other side. After about 2 more minutes (time may vary, watch so it doesn’t burn), your quesadilla should be done! Fill the remaining tortilla and cook on the grill pan.

*Alternatively, you could cook the shrimp in a small skillet and then the quesadilla on a panini press. This would eliminate the unpredictable, messy step of trying to flip a quesadilla. Since I don’t own one, I keep trying to master the art of flipping the tortillas without losing my filing. 

Adapted from Kraft Food & Family Magazine