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Shrimp Quesadillas

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Shrimp Quesadillas

I was just outside hitting tennis balls to the DamDog, trying to exhaust her before the Great Blizzard of 2011 strikes later on this afternoon.  As I lobbed ball after ball, I was going back in forth over what to make for this week’s Fan Mail.  Caught between the snow-pocalypse and the Super Bowl, it was a trying decision.  But by the time the big game is played on Sunday night, snowmageddon will be a happy memory, so football food won out. 
When you scan the ad this week, you’ll notice there’s no shortage of Mexican type foods on sale – no complaints here of course, since I’m a self-confessed Tex-Mex freakazoid.  But even I burn out on chips, salsa, and seven layer taco dip from time to time.

However, the big game is coming and a girl’s gotta eat!  So I’m sharing a lighter appetizer today – my favorite Shrimp Quesadilla.  I could eat these every day of the da’gum year, I swear!  The recipe is just a guideline; spice it up or down, swap in whatever cheese you like, in whatever quantity you desire.  I used a block of pepperjack that I had in my fridge, but there are two types of cheddar on sale this week if your cupboard is bare.

I’ll be back later in the week with more football goodies.

GO PACK!

SHRIMP QUESADILLAS
Serves: 2

½ lb. large cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (CenSea Brand are on sale this week, 2/2/11 to 2/8/11)
The juice of 1 lime (limes are on sale)
2 scallions, minced
A hefty pinch of minced cilantro
½ jalapeno, minced (seeded and deveined if you don’t want the heat)
1/ 4 t. chipotle chili powder
Salt and pepper
2 medium flour tortillas (La Tortilla Factory Wheat Tortillas are on sale)
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice  (Hennings Cheddar and Murray Bridge Cheddar are both on sale)

Guacamole or sliced avocado (both are on sale)
Sour cream (Breakstone’s is on sale)
Additional cilantro sprigs for garnish

Chop the shrimp into bite sized pieces.  In a medium glass mixing bowl, combine the lime juice, scallions, cilantro, jalapeno, and chipotle chili powder.  Toss the shrimp in the lime mixture and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside to marinade for 20 – 30 minutes.  Drain off lime juice.

Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium high heat.  Spray one side of the flour tortillas and place them spray-side down on work surface.  Top one half of each tortilla with some of the shredded cheese, then some of the shrimp mixture, then a bit more cheese.  Fold tortillas in half.  Place both quesadillas in the grill pan and cover partially with a lid.  Toast until golden and cheese is melting, then flip quesadillas and cook on the other side.  Remove to work surface and allow to rest for a minute or two.

Cut into wedges and place on a serving platter.  Garnish with sliced avocado, a spoonful of sour cream, and cilantro sprigs.

** NOTES ** I like Monterey Jack or any type of cheddar – but any of the Mexican melting cheeses are also incredible.  Find them underneath all the shredded cheeses at Sendik’s.

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Leah Damron is an avid home cook who believes in using the freshest ingredients available, and she challenges herself weekly to create meals out of (mostly!) sale items. If Sendik's ever gave a title for "Biggest Fan", she believes she would win, hands down. Leah lives in greater Milwaukee with her husband, three children, and her big black lab, Daisy."

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