Friday, July 1, 2011

Caribbean Quesadillas

Cuisine from the Caribbean is fun and easy to make. Caribbean food is usually enhanced by spices that we normally associate with baking: nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, ginger, allspice and thyme. Probably the most common recipe that Westerners enjoy is Jamaican Jerk Chicken. I have prepared this and my kids do not like the spicy chiles which are essential to good jerk chicken. I have adapted a yummy recipe for Caribbean Quesadillas which has become a family favorite. The secret is the pumpkin pie spice. My eleven year old son can't believe that there isn't meat in these! Of course, to satisfy a carnivore (aka teenage child), you can always add chicken.

Caribbean Quesadillas

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons oil
2 cans (15 oz) black beans, drained
½ cup chicken broth
12 flour tortillas (I like the Gordita-thick style)
1 ½ cups Monterey Jack cheese
1 can green chiles (4 or 7 oz depending on how spicy you prefer)
sour cream, salsa, pico de gallo, lime, guacamole and/or whatever you like with quesadillas

  1. Place your sweet potatoes in a microwave safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes or until tender.

  2. In large skillet, saute onion, garlic and pumpkin pie spice in oil until the onion is tender. Stir in the broth, black beans and green chiles. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 3 minutes or until thickened. Stir in sweet potatoes. The ingredients will mash together slightly, and that's fine.

  3. Cook until heated through. Spoon mixture onto one side of tortilla and top with ¼ cup of cheese. Top with remaining tortilla. Cook on a griddle over low heat for 1-2 minutes on each side or until cheese is melted. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream and other toppings.