I have some exciting news for you! Well, it’s exciting to me, anyway, and I hope you find it exciting too … Sumptuous Spoonfuls is teaming up with Swiss Diamond International. I will be crafting some recipes for Swiss Diamond International using their cookware. They are not paying me to do this, but they are giving me samples of their cookware to use in developing their recipes.
I was really excited when Swiss Diamond International contacted me, and even more excited after I read about their cookware. I was intrigued by the use of diamonds in cookware. This is from Swiss Diamond’s web site:
- Diamonds are durable – As the hardest material known to man, diamonds give the coating additional strength and resilience.
- Diamonds are a better heat conductor than metal – Four times more conductive than copper, diamonds create even heat distribution across the pan’s surface. Diamonds also allow the pan to brown food like stainless steel, creating a “fond” that can be used for gravy – or easily washed away with warm soapy water.
- Diamonds are naturally nonstick – One of the most valuable properties of diamonds in a nonstick coating is that very little sticks to them. Coupled with their durability, this creates a lifetime of superior performance.
So I was curious to see if it really works … and I have to say I absolutely love these pans! They cook like a dream … the heat distributes across the pan so well. The food cooks faster and so evenly. And nothing sticks to the pan … with no cooking spray or butter. I tried some of the stickiest, most difficult things (like fried rice) and nothing stuck. And they’re so easy to clean too. (By the way, while Swiss Diamond did give me the pans, they did not pay me to say that … this is my honest experience.) I’m curious to see how well they retain that magic nonstick surface … I guess time will tell.
For this recipe, I used the crepe/omelet pan. This little pan is by far my favorite so far. It has a low lip so that it’s easy to flip crepes, omelets, and pancakes. (Even the IHOP-style pancakes that have always been a struggle for me to flip … I found I can even make giant pancakes – bigger than IHOP’s! – in this pan and they cook and flip SO nicely.) Anyway, I was craving a quesadilla the other day and thought this pan would be perfect for that. I wanted to try making it without any oil or cooking spray and see if the tortilla got properly crisped and browned on both sides. And you know what? It did.
You don’t have to have a crepe / omelet pan to make these quesadillas … any frying pan will do. But it sure makes cooking a pleasure.
Chipotle Black Bean Quesadilla with Avocado Cream
For each quesadilla:
- 1/2 of a ripe avocado
- 1 oz. light cream cheese
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
- juice from 1/4 – 1/2 of a fresh lime
- 1 – 2 teaspoons plain nonfat yogurt (optional)
- 2 tortillas that fit the size of your pan. I used some whole wheat “wraps” that were a little smaller than my crepe pan.
- Refried black beans (homemade or canned)
- About a Tablespoon of finely chopped onion
- About a Tablespoon of finely chopped chipotle pepper (a jalapeno roasted on the grill would also work)
- About 1/2 oz. of finely shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
- For serving: your favorite salsa. A fire-roasted salsa is especially nice with this quesadilla!
- First, make the Avocado cream by mashing the avocado in a bowl, then mash in the cream cheese, onion, garlic and lime juice and stir until everything is mixed well and the mixture is fairly smooth. Add a teaspoon or two of plain nonfat yogurt if you like to get it to a nice spreadable consistency.
- Take one tortilla and spread it with a layer of refried black beans, then spread on a layer of avocado cream. Sprinkle the onion and chipotle pepper over, then sprinkle evenly with the shredded cheddar and top it all off with the 2nd tortilla.
- Heat your pan over medium heat. If your pan needs it, spray the pan with cooking spray, then slide the quesadilla into the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes, then check to see if the bottom is nicely browned and crisp. Once it’s brown, flip the quesadilla over with a spatula and cook until it’s brown on the other side and the cheese is melted. (The bottom half is crisp by now so the quesadilla is fairly easy to flip, but if you are making a large quesadilla, you may need to slide the quesadilla onto a cutting board and then flip it over back into the pan.)
- Slide the quesadilla onto a cutting board, cut into wedges, and serve with the salsa.
If you would like to purchase Swiss Diamond cookware, visit http://www.swissdiamond.us/.
The other day, I woke craving Huevos Rancheros. From my favorite restaurant in Albuquerque: Charlie’s Front Door. Oh Charlie’s how I miss you! … but of course I’m not there, I”m here.
I can’t make Huevos like Charlie’s Front Door does. They have this green chile sauce they smother it in that is just flipping amazing. I am not even going to try to replicate that … I just want to tell you, if you happen to get to Albuquerque, please stop in and visit Charlie’s Front Door … they have so many dishes there I would almost kill just to taste them one more time … the Jocoque and the Indian tacos are ooooh so good …
Don’t get me wrong! I CAN make a pretty mean Huevos Rancheros. AND it’s a healthy, filling Mexican meal you can make in minutes, so it’s doable even on a busy workday. And the awesome advantage of these is you can have them just about anywhere, anytime. All you need is tortillas, eggs, cheese, and a few basic Mexican toppings.
- 1 small tortilla (corn or flour … whole wheat is good … I didn’t have any corn so had to use flour)
- Refried beans (or whole beans … I just happened to have some very tasty spicy chipotle refried beans on hand)
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 or 2 eggs (how much space do you have on your tortilla? how much protein do you want?)
- Salt & freshly ground pepper
- Toppings: Salsa, chopped onion, avocado, tomato, jalapenos, green chile sauce, cilantro … (did I miss anything? what else could you use?)
Heat a skillet pan (or cast iron skillet) over medium heat and spray it with cooking spray. Put a tortilla in the pan and let it toast until it’s golden brown on the bottom. Flip it over.
Slide it out of the pan briefly and on the toasted side, spread it with refried beans and sprinkle with a bit of sharp cheddar cheese. Put it back in the pan with the un-toasted side down. Crack an egg (or two) over top.
Now cover, and cook on medium low heat until the egg white is cooked and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Check it periodically to make sure it isn’t burning the tortilla on the bottom. (If your egg covers the cheese and beans, you can even flip it to cook the egg “over easy” … I wouldn’t recommend that approach if you have any cheese sticking out, though.)
Slide your lovely cheesy egg tortilla onto a plate and garnish with your choice of toppings. The bottom of mine was a little crunchy. That’s totally okay in my book. I love crunchy! … by the way, I added a big, messy slather of my sister’s salsa after I took the pictures …
Now, if you’ll excuse me, things are starting to get a little messy over here …
This is a quick, easy, healthy, delicious and fancy shmancy looking appetizer that could easily morph into a dinner, if you skipped making the little cups and served the shrimp mixture over rice or even rolled it up into a tortilla, burrito-style.
The cups are simply tortilla triangles sprayed with cooking oil and baked.
You could fill the pretty little cups with just about anything your little heart desires … I just happened to have some black beans, shrimp, salsa, cilantro, and lime juice on hand, begging to be used in something delicious …
Spicy Shrimp, Avocado, & Black Bean Bites
- Large flour tortillas (white or whole wheat or whatever flavor you like)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery, leaves reserved
- 2 -3 cloves of garlic, peeled & chopped
- 2 Tablespoons white wine
- 1 cup of fresh or frozen shrimp
- 1 cup of cooked black beans
- Juice of half a lime
- 1/3 cup of your favorite salsa (I used my kiwi, kumquat, & mango salsa)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- Avocado, peeled and cut into little chunks and/or shredded cheese if you like
Cut the flour tortillas into 6 triangles. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and wedge one tortilla triangle into each muffin cup. Spray the tops of the tortillas with cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes or until the tortillas are golden brown and crispy.
Now, make the filling:
- Chop the onion, celery and garlic, reserving the celery leaves for later.
- Spray a cooking pan with cooking spray, heat over medium high heat till hot, then add the onion, garlic and celery and saute briefly. Add the white wine and saute for a few minutes or until the wine dissipates and the onions are soft and translucent.
- Add the shrimp and black beans and saute a few minutes longer until the shrimp is cooked through. Add the salsa and lime juice and stir everything together just briefly till it’s all good and hot.
- Stir in the reserved celery leaves and most of the cilantro leaves, reserving some for garnish.
- Spoon a bit of the filling into each tortilla cup, garnishing with avocado, cilantro, and cheese (if desired). I tried it both with and without the cheese and it is good both ways.
You can make the filling ahead of time (like I did) and assemble these babies right before serving.