Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shrimp Quesadillas and Avocado Cream

photo from Food Network

Shrimp Quesadillas and Avocado Cream Sauce

For the shrimp:
1 lb peeled and deveined small shrimp
1/8-1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/8-1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. adobo sauce
1 tsp. salt

For the avocado cream:
1 large, ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
2 cloves chopped garlic
leftover cooked marinade from shrimp
½ cup plain nonfat yogurt

For the quesadilla part:
Flour tortillas
Shredded cheese (I used a standard Fiesta blend found at grocery stores everywhere)
Any vegetables (onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, carrot, cabbage, etc) or
fruit (mangoes or pineapple would be good) you would want in a quesadilla
3 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil

Combine the oil, juice, and spices listed under the shrimp category. Pour over shrimp (raw or cooked) and let sit for 20 minutes in the refrigerator to let the flavors combine. After shrimp has marinated, cook in a nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat until shrimp is pink and firm to the touch. Pull the shrimp out and keep warm. Boil the liquids for another 10 minutes, then take off the burner and let cool slightly.

In a food processor, combine the cubed avocado, chopped garlic, leftover shrimp marinade, and yogurt until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is too thick, add more yogurt. This can also be doubled or tripled accordingly. Chill until ready to serve.

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Brush two tortillas on one side with the oil. Put one oil-side-down in the skillet, and sprinkle some of the cheese on top, making sure to cover the tortilla to the edges. Add a quarter of the shrimp and whatever veggies/fruit, sprinkle with a little more cheese, and put the other tortilla on top, oil-side-up. You’ll want to cook the quesadilla on both sides about 2-3 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and just beginning to brown. When the quesadilla is done, put it on a plate and let cool for 2-3 minutes before cutting. Serve warm with the avocado cream.

Last night, I thawed out some shrimp and thought for the longest time how to prepare them. You see, we LOVE pasta and all things Italian, but being from Texas we love Mexican and Tex-Mex inspired dishes as well. Since we always go the Italian route, I opted to make some quesadillas with the shrimp. After Googling a million recipes (not literally, but you know what I mean) that all required ingredients we just don’t normally have, I decided to take things into my own hands with spices and flavors we have around the house all the time. Thus, these shrimp quesadillas were born! What a delicious (and pretty healthy) meal! Another great thing with the Avocado Cream is that it saves well and still tastes great the next day…as I write this, I’m enjoying a bowl full of dry roasted vegetables with a little bit of the leftover cream, and my husband spread the rest on a turkey sandwich. Delicious!

I would like to stress that it is so much more fun and interesting when you take recipes (like the Shrimp Quesadillas) and use what you have available. No meal will ever be the same, and it will give you a chance to be creative, not to mention develop your palate even further! Esperamos que usted disfrute de esta receta!

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