Tag Archives: italian

Quesadilla Italiano

29 Feb

Yes. That’s right. Not all quesadillas need to be covered in salsa & stuffed with chorizo. (But I am a HUGE fan of such a thing.)

In this quesadilla, you’ll find lots of vegetables & cheese. YUM. I also came up with a dipping sauce with an Italian flare. You can switch out a beer with this recipe and have a nice glass of vino!

I’m not sure where inspiration came from this dish. However, I did start craving italian food while skimming a gossip blog today. I read New Jersey’s favorite meatball was prego. Lord help us.

This is a meal for 1. But the great thing about a quesadilla is it’s easy to double, triple, octo-something the recipe.

The first thing you want to do is make the dipping sauce. The longer these flavors “hang out”, the better it will be.

Next, saute mushrooms, onion and garlic with some olive oil (or BUTTER). Once the onions are soft, fire up another skillet and spray it with cooking spray. Put a tortilla in the skillet. Sprinkle with cheese, mushroom mixture, sun-dried tomatoes & spinach. Top with more cheese and another tortilla. Once the cheese has set, flip the quesadilla so the other side can cook.

When both sides are brown, cut into triangles. Serve (and don’t be shy) with the balsamic dipping sauce.

CHOW, my readers. 🙂

Quesadilla Italiano

Balsamic Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Sour cream
  • 3 tbs Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 tbs Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Onion, diced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 2 tortillas
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 tbs sun-dried Tomatoes, julienne
  • 1/4 cup Baby Spinach


  1. Combine all of the Balsamic Sauce ingredients. Mix until smooth. Set aside
  2. In a saute pan, add olive oil. Once the skillet is at a medium heat, add mushrooms, onions & garlic. Cook until onions & mushrooms are soft. Season with salt & pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a skillet (at medium heat), spray some cooking spray before adding one of the tortillas. Sprinkle cheese, mushroom mixture, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach over the tortilla. Top with additional cheese. Place the other tortilla on top.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes. Flip the tortilla over & cook for 3 minutes (or until brown.) Cut into triangles and serve with balsamic dipping sauce.

Want to impress someone? Make risotto

31 Jan

I laughed when I came up with the name for this blog post. Why? Well, I’m cooking this risotto for myself…. but I’m sure if someone was eating with me, they would be impressed. 🙂

Risotto isn’t the easiest thing to make. It’s a rice that demands a lot of attention, so this isn’t the type of meal that requires little effort. It includes constant stirring but at least your arms will get a nice work out. You’ll need to be patient to get the perfect al dente texture. Once you make risotto at home, you won’t need to order it at restaurants again. Risottos are rarely prepared made to order, so they miss the fine texture which you’ll get by cooking it at home.

Making risotto is a method, so you can add any ingredients you like. In this recipe, I’m going to add roasted red peppers, mushrooms, chicken & goat cheese. If you’re going to follow my posts for this week, you’re going to see these 4 ingredients in all of my recipes. I hope you’re starting to get my cooking mentality, “Cook what you have.” With just 4 ingredients, I’m going to come up with 3 different meals.

For the risotto, the most common short grain rice used is Arborio.  If you’re like me, I have hard time guessing how much dried rice (or pasta) I’ll need for a recipe. I’ve found 1/4 cup of uncooked Arborio rice will cook & expand to about 3/4 cup… which is plenty for me. This recipe is scaled to serve one person, so please make the adjustments if you’re cooking for others. Another tip, any liquid added to the risotto while cooking needs to warm. Cold liquid will shock the rice and keep it from cooking correctly.

This risotto was AMAZING!! The goat cheese makes this recipe so creamy & yummy… not to mention I never had to add any salt to the dish. All of the flavors melt into each other and it’s a really cozy meal. It takes “comfort food” to the next level. Make this dish and you’ll get lots of compliments! What’s your favorite meal to make when you want to impress someone??

Creamy Goat Cheese & Chicken Risotto (Serves 1 person)

  • 1 qt chicken broth
  • 3 tsp butter, divided
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup wine
  • 1/2 cooked chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/2 roasted red pepper, diced
  • 1 tbs goat cheese, additional for garnish
  • Basil for garnish (optional)


1. In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.

2. Warm 1 teaspoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.

3. Add 2 teaspoons of butter to skillet,  and stir in the onions & garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with butter, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes. ( FYI – I didn’t use the full quart of chicken broth, I had about 3/4 cup leftover.)

4. Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms, cooked chicken, roasted red peppers and goat cheese. Taste and add salt & pepper (if needed.)

5. Garnish with a small ball of goat cheese and fresh herbs if you have any on hand. Serve immediately and enjoy!