Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Quesadilla Pie

So, I'm not going to pretend this is the prettiest thing I've ever made. Or the healthiest.  But it truly was right up there with one of the yummiest and definitely one of the cheapest... and it made for one of the most fun date nights we've had in a while. 

Mr E and I recently realised we've been getting a bit lazy with our date nights. Long gone are the days of sushi date nights, and we've found ourselves in a bit of a rut. So, in an effort to shake things up a bit we decided to compile a list of all the ideas we could come up with for fun and different date nights, and then when they come around we have to pick one from the list.

So what does this have to do with the (rather randomly named) Quesadilla Pie?

Last week our chosen date night activity was to do the £5 challenge at our local supermarket. Basically you head in and split up, each armed with only £5, and buy whatever random items that take your fancy- then when you get home, you combine your purchases and have to come up with something yummy to make for dinner using those ingredients and whatever you might already have in the store cupboard! Sounds simple, doesn't it? Apparently not. Mr E thought the aim of the game was to plan a meal and buy the ingredients for it using only the £5- so when we met up at the checkout, he was armed with a very coherent basket of ingredients, whereas I.... really wasn't. Mr E had all he needed to make baked brie with fresh baked crusty bread, followed by a warm salad with black pudding, new potatoes, crispy bacon and a poached egg and finished off with an apple crumble. Pretty impressive (especially considering he only spent £5, and there was more than enough for two!).

Not having been planning a meal as I shopped, but instead aiming to come up with as random a combination as possible, I found myself having to make a (semi) respectable meal from... croissant dough, 2 lemons, cream cheese, 2 rotisserie chicken thighs, guacamole, kidney beans and mozzarella. Not wanting to be outshone by the talented Mr Ellwood, I was also pretty keen to produce at least two courses. 

Thank goodness for store cupboard ingredients! With the addition of onion, a red chilli, a few spices and an egg, my main course quickly became the aforementioned Quesadilla Pie.... and for dessert? Zingy Lemon Rolls with lemon cream cheese frosting! I was pretty pleased with myself, I'm not going to lie.

This post is pretty long already, so I'll save the recipe for the lemon rolls until another time, but for now here's how I made the Quesadilla Pie...

Quesadilla Pie
Serves 4 (we froze the leftovers, promise!)

1 tube croissant dough, chilled
2 ready cooked chicken thighs, chopped into small chunks
1 small onion, chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
400g kidney beans, drained
125g mozzarella, shredded
150ml cream cheese
1 tspn paprika
1 tspn cumin
1 tspn garlic powder
1 tblspn olive oil
Salt and pepper, to season
1. Preheat oven to 180c/ 160c fan/ 350f/ Gas mark 4.

2. In a heavy based pan cook the onion in 1 tblspn olive oil until softened and lightly browned. Add cooked chicken until it is completely heated through . Add the red chilli and cook for a further 30 seconds. Add in the spices and seasoning and cook for a minute to toast them, but don't let them burn.

3. Add in the kidney beans, cream cheese and 2 tblspns of water (this thins the mixture slightly, we don't want it too heavy), stir until it is all thoroughly combined and heat gently for a minute. Next add the shredded mozzarella, stirring until it is melty and mixed through. Take it off the heat and set aside.

4. Unroll the croissant dough and separate the triangles. Working from left to right and top to bottom, on a cool baking tray arrange the triangles so that the shortest sides are just touching, the first one with its straight edge at the top and then the second one with its straight side at the bottom. Pinch the seam together then gently roll it a little bit to smooth out. Completely confused? Yes, I thought so. Hopefully this picture will help... hopefully!

5. Take the (now hopefully cooled) filling and spoon it onto the centre strip of the dough. Next wrap the triangles over the filling, tucking the points underneath on the other side. Pinch the top and bottom closed and tuck underneath too, so seal the filling in. You want to leave slight gaps between the triangles on top, to let the heat get to the filling (and it looks cool!). Need another picture? Thought so.

6. Beat the egg, then brush over the top of the dough. Place in your preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes until golden and flaky.

Serve with guacamole and/ or sour cream and/or salsa and enjoy!

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