Spicy Corn And Black Bean Quesadillas

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Spicy Corn Quesadillas

August 4th is a big day for Amy and me.  Amy is moving to Pennsylvania, and I am starting a new job.

We reference our current lives on here occasionally, but we often get caught up in talking about the food and the stories behind the recipes because we love talking about food.  This means that we may not share as much about what’s going on personally.  However, as I thought of my favorite bloggers, I realized that I feel like I’m on the journey with them because they share life events.  So I want to be better about sharing our lives with all of our readers out there.

To recap, I was laid off in May.  While I enjoyed having the summer off, I was getting a bit anxious and bored.  Obviously, I am not cut to be a housewife and full time blogging didn’t feel like the right fit for me right now.  Thankfully I got a job in my field (clinical research) and am ready to start my new gig as an Associate Project Manger.  Since I truly enjoy planning and organizing things, this should be a great fit.  Plus, I will be working from home!  Since my husband also works from home, this could be interesting.  We do have separate offices, but it will take some adjustment.  The cats will be thrilled!

Meanwhile, as you may recall, Amy finished her PhD this past spring and will be starting her new job as a rhetoric professor next month.  The job just happens to be in Pennsylvania, so she is packing up and headed north!  I’ll leave the rest to her, but be looking for some Local Dish posts and other inspiration from her new location.  I can’t wait to visit!

Now, back to the reason we’re all here: the food.  I discovered this recipe a few years ago when I had an overabundance of corn in my CSA.  I know that seems impossible.  I love corn and have some amazing recipes, like this risotto, that I look forward to all year.  However, one year I just had so much and was looking for new ideas.  When I stumbled across the original recipe, I knew it was a winner.  It sounds fairly simple, but it has more depth than your typical quick quesadilla.  You cook the corn mix first with cumin and coriander which gives it both smokiness and spice.  I added beans for a little more substance and the protein!  Enjoy.

Spicy Corn and Black Bean Quesadillas

Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks At HomeSpicy Corn Quesadillas 2

Serves 4 as a main dish or 8 as a side

4 tbs. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, grated
2 cups corn, frozen or cut off the cob (about 3 ears)
1  14.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tbs. chopped cilantro
2-3 dashes hot sauce, optional (My husband’s favorite is Cholula)
1 1/2 cups monterey jack cheese
8 tortillas (8-10 inch)

1. Heat 1 tbs. of the oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the onions and saute until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute 1 minute more.  Stir in the grated carrot and saute 2 additional minutes.
2. Add the cumin, coriander, corn, and hot sauce.  Mix well, then cook 3-4 minutes, stirring often.  Add the black beans and cilantro and cook 2 more minutes.  Remove from heat.
3. Lightly oil a heavy skillet or cast iron pan with about a 1/2 tbs. of the oil and heat over medium heat.  You will need to re-oil after every couple of quesadillas.
4. Add a tortilla to the pan and sprinkle 1/2 of it with about a tablespoon of cheese.  Then add 1/8 of the corn mix, leaving a bit of a border.  Sprinkle with another tablespoon of cheese.  Fold the plain half up over the filling and press lightly.
5. Cook about 2 minutes, then carefully flip and cook 2 minutes on the other side.  Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining tortillas, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.
6. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Note: The corn mix may be made in advance, but the quesadillas should be filled and cooked just prior to serving.