Avocado Black Bean Quesadillas

Fresh whole wheat tortillas, homemade chili con queso, avocado, black beans and heirloom tomato..

Avocado Black Bean Quesadillas

Avocado Black Bean Quesadillas

For the Chile con Queso

Gather jalapeños, green onions, garlic and cilantro from your backyard (or CSA, farmers’ market or co-op), grab some fresh whole milk and raw cheddar from the fridge and whole cumin, coriander, sea salt, pepper, chili powder and Mexican oregano from the pantry.

Toast the seeds in a dry pan over moderate heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add oregano, garlic, chili powder and milk and simmer for a few minutes.

Stirring briskly, add peppers, onions, cilantro and lots of shredded cheese.  Continue to stir until cheese is melted and sauce is thickened, perhaps 5 minutes (do not let the mixture boil, or you will lose valuable nutritional value and risk curdling the sauce).  Add a little more milk if too thick, a little more cheese if too thin.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Filling

Mix together roughly equal parts diced white onion, avocado, cooked black beans and tomatoes.  Add the juice from half of a fresh lime, bits of diced red Fresno and poblano peppers and chopped cilantro.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate at least one hour before using.

Method

Using a rubber spatula, spread a thin layer of cooled chili con queso on one side of each tortilla.  Be sure to spread all the way to the edge.

Spoon avocado mixture into the center of a tortilla and spread to within about 1/2 inch of the edge.  Top with another tortilla and press the edges together to form a seal.

Place the assembled quesadillas into a lightly-greased comal or skillet and cook in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is bubbling and the tortillas have begun to get crisp and brown on the edges.

Slide the quesadillas onto a cutting board and let stand 2-3 minutes before cutting into wedges.  Serve with pro-biotic pickled red onions on the side.

This post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday

Classic Tuna Melt

Sustainable Pacific albacore, heirloom tomatoes, purple onions, celery, homemade mayonnaise and local pepper-jack cheese on toasted wild-yeast sourdough English muffins..

Classic Tuna Melt

Classic Tuna Melt

For the Tuna Salad

1 5.3 oz can hook-and-line-caught Pacific NW albacore tuna
2 tablespoons homemade mayonnaise
1/4 cup thinly-sliced celery
1/4 cup finely-diced purple onion
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
sliced heirloom tomato
fresh chives
salt & pepper
sourdough English muffins
pepper-jack cheese

Split and toast sourdough English muffins. Place slices of pepper-jack cheese on top of the muffins, then add a thick slice of ripe tomato The cheese on the bottom will prevent the tomato from making the sandwich soggy.

Mound tuna salad on top of the tomato and compact into place.  Top with additional cheese slices and bake in a 450 degree oven until the cheese is bubbly.  Top with snipped chives and serve immediately.

Filet de Bœuf Béarnaise

(Like steak? You might also like this and this)

Pan-roasted grass-fed filet mignon, asparagus tips, shiitake mushrooms, heirloom tomato and sauce béarnaise..

Filet

Filet de Bœuf Béarnaise

Lightly coat all sides of a thick-cut beef tenderloin filet with coarse sea salt.  Wrap in brown paper and refrigerate overnight, turning once.

Blot the filet with paper towels to remove the surface moisture and any remaining salt.  Allow to come to room temperature.

Combine asparagus tips, quartered shiitake mushrooms, chopped garlic, shallots, melted butter, sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Set aside.

Make sauce béarnaise.  Keep warm.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat for 15 minutes.  Sear the filet on all sides until well browned but still rare.  Remove from heat.

Remove the steak from the pan and put thick circles of heirloom tomato in its place.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Center the steak on top of the tomatoes, and spread the asparagus mixture around the perimeter.

Place the pan in a 400 degree oven and roast until the filet is barely medium rare, about 12 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to stand 5 minutes (the steak will continue to cook).

Use a spatula to transfer the steak and tomato to a dinner plate.  Top with roasted asparagus mixture, then dress with sauce béarnaise.

Salade Nicoise Americaine

While the term SAD very appropriately describes the unhealthy Standard American Diet of nutrient-depleted, heavily-processed foods (so-called), there is abundant goodness to be had for little extra effort or expense.

Here’s a primal, seasonal all-American version of the venerable French Salade Niçoise..

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Salade Niçoise Américaine

Prepare hard-cooked pastured eggs. Cool and set aside.

Take a thin slice off the North and South poles of a large, ripe heirloom tomato.  Scoop out a little of the flesh from the center and place the tomato in a heavy skillet.  Chop the remaining flesh, tops and bottoms and set aside.

Lightly drizzle the tomato with virgin olive oil, season with sea salt and freshly-cracked pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes to intensify the flavor.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, combine US Pacific pole-caught albacore tuna in a bowl with plenty of raw olive oil, organic pitted black olives, sliced scallions, diced roasted red peppers and flat-leaf parsley.  Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

Prepare a salad of mixed field greens and herbs and toss with a little white balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

To assemble, place tomato in center of dinner plate and mound over with tuna mixture.  Arrange salad around the perimeter and garnish with quartered eggs and a variety of made-at-home sprouts.

This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays