Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Cranberry-Pecan Salsa


The past few weeks have been incredibly busy.  Not only am I preparing for Christmas, but I had the privilage of making a wedding cake for a co-workers daughter, and I have also been preparing for Tucker's 2nd birthday (there will a post about that soon!).  If you're wondering, the wedding cake turned out wonderful.  The bride wanted a simple cake; white cake with buttercream, and wanted a very simple desing.  The end result was simple, elegant and beautiful.  I will post pictures soon.  So needless to say the past few weeks have been complete chaos, but an absolute blast.  Since I've been so wrapped up in wedding cakes and birthday planning, my blog has suffered a little bit.  So for all of you still out there, waiting on the next delicious dish to be posted, I appreciate your patience.  I am back and I think this recipe is the perfect recipe to start back with!

Cranberries are typically associated with the holidays, and mostly thought of as being served as a side.  Well, in this dish they are still a side but they are so much more than that canned jellied stuff that is placed on your Thanksgiving or Christmas table.  This cranberry-pecan salsa is amazing!  It's sweet, tangy, spicy and crunchy.  The quesadillas are just as amazing.  The meaty, butteriness of the mushrooms with flavors of both the goat cheese and the pepper jack cheese make for a delicious and hearty meal.  Topping the quesadillas with the salsa is the perfect combination of multiple flavors.  I think each bites hits every sensor on your palate.
I can honestly say that this has been one of my favorite meals lately.  It's something different and out of the norm for us.  While the flavor combinations are different, and something I don't think I would personally pair together, they marry so well together and make for a delicious and healthy meal!  Spencer enjoyed this as well as Tucker.  He's wasn't a huge fan of the salsa but he had his share of quesadillas and then some.  While we enjoyed this as a main dish for supper one night, this would make a wonderful appetizer. 

This would be a perfect and festive appetizer to add to your Christmas spread of appetizers.  The quesadillas are easy to eat and the cranberry-pecan salsa would add a festive touch of color to any table. 

Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Cranberry-Pecan Salsa


Ingredients:

Cranberry-Pecan Salsa-

1/2 Cup whole pecans
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 Cup sugar
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Cups fresh cranberries
1 Shallot, diced
1 Jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)

Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quesadillas-

6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Yellow onion, coarsly chopped
1 1/2 Pounds mixed wild and commercial mushrooms, sliced (stem the shiitakes)
1 Pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Tsp Kosher salt
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2/3 Cup dry white wine
1/2 Tsp ground white pepper
8 8-in flour tortillas
2 Cups (8 ounces) shredded monterey jack cheese
3 Cups (15 ounces) crumbled fresh goat cheese

Directions:

For the cranberry-pecan salsa-

Combine the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, sugar, mustard, orange zest and juice in a food processor and pulse to combine, about 30 seconds.  Add the cranberries, shallots, and jalapeno and pulse to coarsley chop.

Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Fold in pecans before serving.

For the Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quesadillas-

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt butter in in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and saute about 4 minutes, until softened.  Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt and worcestershire sauce and saute an additional 5 minutes.  Add the white wine and pepper and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.

While the mushrooms cook, coat a grill pan, griddle or skillet with cooking spray and pre-heat on high.

Lay a tortilla flat on the cooking surface and sprinkle with 1/4 cup monterey cheese over the whole tortilla.  Top half of the tortilla with 1/3 cup of the mushroom mixture, then sprinkle with thin layer of goat cheese.  Use a stiff spatula and fold each tortilla in half.  Cook until lightly browned and crunchy, then flip and cook until the other sided has browned.

Transfer to an oven-safe plate or pan and place in oven to keep warm until serving.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.  To serve, cut each tortilla into 3-4 wedges and serve with salsa.

Recipe source: Pink Parsley originally from The Pastry Queen Christmas

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