Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

Quesadillas with Tomatoes and Olives

print recipe card posted in Lunch, Vegetarian by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

A quesadilla is a flour tortilla, filled with savory ingredients. You can fill a tortilla with lots of different fillings the same way you would choose lots of different fillings for a sandwich.

Cheese is very often one of the main ingredients. I’m using leftover Monterey Jack shredded cheese with scallions, black olives and sun-dried tomatoes.

Buy the 8 inch flour tortillas. The 12 inch are just too big to handle.

Lay one flour tortilla in a non-stick pan and top with 1/3 cup of cheese.

Wash one scallion (green onion). Cut off the hairy bit on the end. Cut the scallion into quarter-inch slices and sprinkle on the tortilla.

Chop the black olives and sprinkle on top of the scallions

Dice three sun-dried tomatoes and sprinkle them on top of the scallions.

Now sprinkle on the remaining 1/3 cup of cheese

And top with the second tortilla.

Set the pan on the stove top and turn the heat onto medium. (A brush of butter or oil on the tortilla does give it a nicely browned and crispy finish but, on very rare occasions, I do like to try and save a calorie or two!)

After about 1.5 minutes the tortilla should be lightly browned and the cheese is starting to melt. Flip the quesadilla over with a spatula.

Cook for about another minute on the flip side. Peek inside the quesadilla to make sure the cheese is all melted before removing it from the pan. You may need another minute or so. Slide the quesadilla out of the pan and onto a cutting board.

With a large kitchen knife cut the quesadilla into six slices.

Serve this quesadilla with some salad and you’ve got yourself a perfect lunch or light supper!

Enjoy!

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Tuna Salad Sandwich

print recipe card posted in Lunch by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

The ever popular tuna salad sandwich is a standard on almost every sandwich shop menu. Clearly making your own tuna salad is a much more economical option than continuing to support your local deli!

Buying Canned Tuna

One 6-to-7 oz. can of tuna will give you two good-sized sandwiches. One 6-to-7 oz. can of tuna can cost anywhere from approximately 89 cents to a high of about $3.00 depending on where you shop and the type you buy. Cans that say albacore tend to be more expensive than the ones that just say tuna.

When buying tuna, you are going to have to do some taste-testing to find your favorite tuna. The first thing to decide is do you want it packed in oil or water. Some people say there aren’t that many calories in oil-packed tuna, and they think oil adds to the taste. Others don’t like the taste of oily tuna fish, so they choose water packed tuna. Not all tuna from a can has the same texture. You may want to try different types and brands to find the one you like the best.

When I made my Salad Nicoise I splurged and bought imported tuna in a jar (shown below with some capers). The chunky imported tuna, packed in olive oil, was expensive ($7) but worth every bite.

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Plus the imported tuna looked fantastic in my Salad Nicoise! For tuna salad sandwiches, stick to the less expensive tuna from the can.

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Salad Nicoise

Making Tuna Salad

To make 2 tuna salad sandwiches you will need:

  • 1-6-7 ounce can of tuna
  • 1/4 cup of celery
  • 3-4 Tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Bread

Both the oil and the water packed tuna need to be drained. The safest way is to do this is to put the tuna in a colander.

A second way of draining the tuna is after opening the can, press the lid into the can, so that all the water or oil drains out. You can do this right into the sink. (Be careful of the sharp edges on the lid of the can!)

Using a fork put the tuna in a small mixing bowl. Then break apart the tuna with the fork.

Wash one stalk of celery. Trim off the ends and cut it into thirds. Then cut each third into strips.

Line up the strips and start dicing the celery into 1/8 inch bits. (Dice means to cut into tiny pieces. It is smaller than “chop” and larger than “mince”.) Add the celery to the tuna.

Measure out slightly less than 1/4 cup of mayonnaise and add it to the tuna. The amount of celery and mayonnaise is totally adjustable to your taste. Mix everything together. Taste it and you decide if you want to add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Lay two slices of bread on the cutting board. Put 1/2 of the tuna on one slice of bread and maybe even some lettuce if you have some in the refrigerator.

Put the second slice of bread on top.

Using a bread knife (one with a jagged or serrated edge) slice the sandwich in half using a sawing motion. Try adding potato chips and dill pickles on the side. They taste great with tuna salad!

Many different types of bread go well with tuna. Pita pockets are a fun alternative to slices of bread. To fill the pocket first cut the pita round in half.

You could then just stuff the pita with the tuna. I like to put the tuna on a lettuce leaf.

Then slide the tuna filled leaf of lettuce right into the bread.

It comes out picture perfect every time!

Enjoy!

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How To Make Egg Salad

print recipe card posted in Appetizers and Snacks, Lunch, Vegetarian by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

There are a lot of ways to cut up a hard boiled egg. You can just use a knife to chop the cooked egg. Or you can also mash the cooked egg with a fork. An egg slicer which is shown in the photo below, makes perfect slices for sandwiches or for a garnish. You can also use the slicer to slice the egg in both directions and end up with chopped eggs for salad and dip.

If you are going to make egg salad sandwiches, three eggs will be enough for two sandwiches.

Celery and/or green olives are traditional “add-in”s to egg salad.

Be sure to mince the celery (cut it into really small bits) when you are adding it to a salad. Cut the celery length wise into thin strips, and then cut the strips into very small pieces.

Also be sure to slice the olives.

Crispy chopped bacon can add an extra zing to the taste and texture. A dash of curry powder is fantastic when you serve the salad as a dip with crackers and cut up vegetables.

Add a dash of Salt and Pepper

Add about 2 T. of mayonnaise, and give it a stir.

That’s it! The egg salad is all made, now just pick your favorite bread and you’ve got yourself a great sandwich!

Enjoy!

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