Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Portland Visit & BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

Well, I'm back. Back from a WONDERFUL 3 days of visiting my sister in Portland and back to cooking (and writing about it!). First of all, the trip was absolutely wonderful. We had a great mix of doing things and doing nothing. Laura did tons of research on things to do in Portland so after she picked me up at the airport Saturday morning, we picked from her long list of what the area has to offer. We spent Saturday wandering Portland. This included going to brunch at a small place with made-from-scratch breakfast and a violinist who wanders in and plays during brunch hours, trying on bridesmaids dresses, buying groceries and going back to make dinner (and dessert, of course).

After church on Sunday, we headed to Cannon Beach, a beautiful 2-hour drive from Portland. At Cannon Beach, we walked along the ocean, looked at the tidal pools and (I) slightly froze from getting ankle deep in the Pacific Ocean (needless to say, there were no swimmers in the water). Cannon Beach has these amazing 10 or 20-story high rocks jutting out of the water which have become nesting grounds for thousands of sea gulls (and apparently, feeding grounds for bald eagles). Since I'm used to East Coast beaches, I couldn't get over how the evergreens just drop off right at the beach. The Ecola State Park was a quick 5-mile drive from Cannon Beach and was beautiful - full of views and these trails that appear out of nowhere and led us down to the water. It was so beautiful that we went back to Cannon Beach for some seafood and brought it back for a picnic dinner. Monday was also tons of fun with walking the 4T trail in Portland, which takes you along the outskirts of the whole city by trail, tram, trolley and train. It was a beautiful, cloudless day and we had tons of great views of the city and Mount Hood.

But now I'm back - happy to be back with Bryant and back to my kitchen. We had BBQ chicken quesadillas for dinner last night with some (attempted) homemade whole wheat tortillas. I'm still working on the tortilla recipe but the quesadilla recipe is ready to share! It's such an easy and filling meal - the BBQ sauce makes all the difference so make sure to get a good one (we use TJ's Kansas City style but family members have given good reviews of both Stubb's and Sweet Baby Ray's sauces). Also, the chicken can be done ahead of time - I had already cooked and frozen the chicken so it was all ready to go to make this meal even quicker!

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
Taken from: A Hint of Honey

  • 4 whole wheat flour tortillas (if large tortillas, only 2 are necessary)
  • 1 cup pineapple, cut into small cubes
  • 1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breast half
  • Cajun seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated cheese (mozzarella, cheddar or monteray jack are good choices)
  • 1/2 jalapeno, sliced into rounds
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • barbecue sauce
-Preheat indoor grill pan to medium-high heat OR oven to 400.
-(NOTE: This step can be done ahead of time and refrigerator or frozen until needed.) Sprinkle the chicken with Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper and grill until the juices run clear. You can also bring water to a boil and let chicken breasts boil for approximately 10 minutes until registers at 165. Toss the chicken with Cajun seasoning and salt and pepper.
-Let chicken rest several minutes before slicing.
-Sprinkle half of the cheese over two tortillas. Top each with half of the grilled chicken, half of the pineapple, and half of the jalapeno rounds. Sprinkle with cilantro and top with the remaining cheese. Place the second tortillas on top (or fold over if have large tortillas).
-Grill on preheated grill pan or panini press until the outside is crisp and the cheese has melted. You can also set your tortillas on a baking sheet and bake for several minutes in the oven. Turn on the broiler and finish off with 1-2 minutes per side until brown spots start to appear.
-Slice and serve with BBQ sauce and, if desired, sour cream and pico de gallo.

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