Chicken Quesadillas and Eid Eats 2016!

Salam and Hello friends!

I come bearing exciting news! Ramadan is right around the corner (less than 2 weeks remaining! Eeeks!), and Asiya of Chocolate and Chillies, Sarah of Flour and Spice, and I are hosting Eid Eats (2016) again! What is Eid Eats, you ask. Consider it a virtual potluck in which you “bring” (ie., blog about) a food item which is reminiscent of Eid (the holiday marking the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan). What you decide to share can be something traditional that’s made in your home/family, or you can get creative and share something completely out of the ordinary. The choice is yours, as long as it screams Eid festivities to you 🙂

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Here are a few guidelines in order to participate:

  • Prepare and blog about your food item on July 3rd, 2016.   You can prepare your blog post beforehand, just be sure to have it go live on the above-mentioned date. The link party will be open and accepting submissions until July 6th, 2016.
  • Be sure to use the hashtag #EidEats2016 in your post and on any social media.
  • New recipes and posts will only be accepted. Unfortunately we cannot accept links to past blog posts.
  • Link your post to the party hosts blogs (Flour and SpiceChocolate and Chillies, and My Ninja Naan) and be sure to include the party button/graphic (the one you see above) in your post.
  • Visit the aforementioned blogs on July 3rd and be sure to submit your post via the link party (will be set up that day).
  • Check out what our fellow bloggers have submitted, and be sure to head on over to their space and leave them some love in their comments section!

 

To get this party started, I made a batch of zesty and delicious Chicken Quesadillas whose recipe Asiya had shared. To say these are yummy is an understatement. These are freaking fantastic! They’re zippy and packed with flavor! Serve them with salsa, guacamole, or sour cream (or all three!), and you’re on your way to Flavor City 🙂

 

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Chicken Quesadillas

Yield: 4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds boneless chicken breast, butterflied
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 8 to 10 medium flour tortillas
  • Cheese (cheddar, Mexican blend, Monterey jack, or Colby), as needed

Directions:

In a small dish, combine lemon juice, cilantro, olive oil, chili powder, cumin powder, red pepper flakes (if using), and salt. Add chicken and coat well.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer raw, keeping in mind that this can take several minutes. Transfer chicken (along with any juices that may have accumulated) to a plate and shred. In the same skillet, add onion and cook until softened, just a few minutes. Add onion and tomato to shredded chicken, mix well, and set aside.

Heat a lightly greased nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Lay tortillas flat and place approximately ¼ to 1/3-cup on one half. Top with cheese and fold. Transfer to heated skillet, cover, and cook until the cheese has melted, just a few minutes. Flip the quesadilla and cook until lightly browned. Remove from skillet and serve immediately.

Tortillas

Several months ago, I attempted to make my own tortillas. I figured that since I’ve gotten the hang of homemade roti (Indian/Pakistani unleavened flatbread), that tortillas shouldn’t be too difficult. The verdict? Even easier!

These tortillas are so wonderful! They’re soft yet pliable (meaning you can go hard with piling up those tacos to your heart’s content), and so quick and easy to make! I don’t see myself going back to store bought tortillas, and I’m sure you won’t go back either 😉

(Recipe courtesy of Annie’s Eats.)

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Tortillas (Flour)

Yield: 12 to 15 Tortillas

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ – 1 cup water

Directions:

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all-purpose flour, butter, baking powder, and salt. Pulse until crumbly, about 5 seconds. With the machine running, slowly add the water until a cohesive ball of dough is formed. Knead for 30 seconds more, until the dough is tacky. Add a bit more flour if the dough is too sticky.

Transfer dough to a surface lightly dusted with flour. Divide into 12 to 15 balls, cover, and allow them to rest for 10 minutes.

Heat a large skillet (or fry pan) over medium-high heat. Working with one ball of dough at a time, lightly dust with flour and roll into a large and thin circle, approximately 8 inches in diameter. Carefully transfer the tortilla to the heated skillet and cook for 20 to 30 seconds, until small bubbles form on the surface and lightly browned. Flip and cook for an additional 10 to 20 seconds. Do not overcook, as this will result in stiff tortillas.

Use as needed, or store in an airtight bag in the refrigerator or freezer.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I fell in love with the flavor of pumpkin a few years ago (here are just a few of the goodies I like to make with the flavorsome squash). I’ve been experimenting with it a bit more this season, and this delicious, moist, and autumn-centric Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread was a result of said testing. It pairs well on its own, or alongside a mug of steaming tea or coffee, and it is Zuni-approved 😉

(Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.)

 

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon ground all-spice
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased loaf pan.

In a large bowl, beat together sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, water, and eggs until smooth.

Add all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and all-spice. Stir to combine. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 60 to 80 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Allow bread to rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Jalapeno and Cheese Artisan Bread (Overnight)

Friendy McFriends! So sorry for being out of the loop for so long! Everything has been running smoothly, I’ve just been wrapped up in a few commitments. I know, that’s no excuse, and I’m sorry for totally disappearing. I’m feeling a surge of motivation, and I’ve got a slew of fun things to share with you 🙂

About today’s recipe- I saw Asiya post this fabulous Cheesy Jalapeno Bread recipe some time back and haven’t been able to get it out of my head! I’m a total carby, and can survive on just cheese and bread (although that probably wouldn’t help in my odds of “surviving” for very long LOL). The dough can be thrown together in no time, and is delicious on its own, but even better when it’s sliced, toasted, and slathered with cream cheese 🙂

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Jalapeno and Cheese Artisan Bread

(Overnight)

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients:

For Bread:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces cheese (Monterey jack, Cheddar, or Colby), diced small
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced small
  • 1 ½ cups water, lukewarm

For Topping:

  • 1 ounce cheese, shredded (¼ cup)
  • ½ jalapeno, seeded and sliced thin

Directions:

The night prior to baking the bread, in a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, yeast, and salt.   Add cheese and jalapeno and stir to coat. Add water and stir until evenly combined (dough will be very wet and sticky), cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise overnight, 12 to 18 hours. Do not refrigerate.

The following morning, preheat oven to 450°F. Place a dutch oven or oven-safe casserole dish, with the lid on, into the oven for 30 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, shape into a ball, and transfer to a piece of parchment paper. Once the dish has been heated, pick up the dough using the parchment paper and place it directly into the baking dish (with the paper). Cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and sprinkle the cheese and jalapeno (that were set aside for topping) over the top of the loaf. Return to oven, uncovered, and bake until golden brown and the cheese has melted, 10 to 15 minutes.

Focaccia

Yoo-hoo? Anyone out there?

Soooo… I totally disappeared. I’m sorry 😦

I don’t really have an explanation for what happened. I returned from California, have tried to get back into my old routine, and for some reason I just wasn’t feeling it. I’ve been feeling mentally and physically groggy.

Not to worry though 🙂 I’ve been feeling a bit better and I plan on getting back on track very soon.

 

Focaccia has been on my Baking Wishlist for quite some time now, and I’ve finally stumbled upon a recipe that is, in my opinion, perfect. You see, I have a history with Focaccia. When my husband and I were newly married, we used to frequent this restaurant in Detroit, and they would always serve a slice focaccia with a side of house-made marinara dipping sauce before the main course or appetizers.

I’ve used an Anne Burrell recipe and the only thing I’ve tweaked is that I’ve added minced garlic and rosemary inside and on top of the bread, you know, so it’s just like our favorite little restaurant 🙂 (oh, and I also like to serve it with my favorite marinara sauce!)

 

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Focaccia

Yield: 8 – 10 Servings

Ingredients:

For Bread:

  • 1 ¾ cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

For Topping:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary

Directions:

Combine water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and set aside until frothy, about 15 minutes.

To the yeast mixture, add all-purpose flour, oil, salt, rosemary, and minced garlic. Knead on low speed until the dough comes together, then increase speed to medium and knead until soft and smooth, about 5 minutes. If dough seems sticky, add a sprinkling of flour.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand a few times. Lightly oil the bowl used for kneading, and transfer the dough back to it. Turn the dough to coat with oil, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside until the dough has doubled in volume, at least one hour.

Coat a jelly roll pan with the olive oil reserved for topping. Punch down the dough and transfer it to the prepared pan. Using fingers, stretch dough out to fit the pan. Turn the dough over to coat the other side. Top with remaining minced garlic and rosemary. Continue to stretch the dough out so that it fills the pan. Set pan aside and allow the dough to rise until doubled, about one hour.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Bake the focaccia until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool before slicing and serving.