October 4, 2011

butternut squash, poblano and chicken quesadillas

Some people complain that Chicago has three seasons: Winter, Summer, and Construction. 

 In a town that is hailed for it's lack of transitional weather, I just have to say: We have been having the most amazing Fall. Let's try to remember this next time we want to cry about how it went from 70 degrees to blizzard overnight. The Fall of 2011 was wonderful. 

 It has been sunny and 60s-70s for a few weeks now, almost without exception. (A couple rainy days but whatevs). Apples and pumpkins are popping up everywhere and just generally bringing good cheer. And it's squash season. So here I present you with a squash quesadilla. It's sweet, spicy, cheesy and gooood.

That is all. That is my transition from blog post to recipe. Not as smooth as the weather.

Notes for this Quesa-dilla:
-All filling ingredients are according to taste. If you like more cheese, for example, by all means use more cheese.  But you knew that.
-I found the poblano to be slightly bitter in this recipe. Next time I may try corn instead for a sweeter flavor.
-I think black beans could make a welcome appearance in this quesadilla as well. You could subsitute them for the chicken and have yourself a nice vegetarian option.

Butternut Squash, Poblano and Chicken Quesadillas
Makes 2 Quesadillas

4 Tortillas
1-2 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken
1 roasted poblano pepper, chopped* (to roast, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally. Let cool before chopping.)
1 cup chopped cooked butternut squash
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2+ cups shredded jack cheese (I used pepper jack)
3/4 cup crumbled feta
Salt and pepper
Other seasonings of your choice (I used Trader Joe's South African Smoke, which is a blend of sea salt, paprika flakes, garlic and basil. It gave it a nice little kick.)

Sour cream and salsa, for serving, if desired

Prepare all ingredients. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add butter to heated skillet. Place a tortilla in the skillet. Sprinkle about 3/4-1 cup of jack cheese and 1/4 cup of feta onto the tortilla. Add 1/2-1 cup of chicken. Add the squash (about 1/2 cup) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 the poblano (or corn) and about 2 T. cilantro. Sprinkle with seasonings of choice or more salt and pepper. Add about 1/4 cup more of the jack cheese and a little more feta. Top with a tortilla. Once cheese on the bottom tortilla is melty and the underside is golden brown, flip carefully, adding more butter to the skillet if you want to/are able to. Cook until golden brown, about 3 more minutes or so. 

Serve with salsa and/or sour cream, or other toppings of choice.

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