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Rania’s Recipes: Quesadillas & Grilled Salmon

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Rania Harris stopped by Pittsburgh Today Live to show off two great new recipes that will be sure to please any crowd!

Plank Grilled Salmon with Peach Serrano Salsa

Salsa:

4 firm (but ripe) peaches halved, pitted and cut into ¼-inch pies
2 Serrano chiles – seeded and minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
4 teaspoons sugar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cedar planks
4 – 6 ounce salmon filets
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 tablespoons Dijon mustard
8 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions:

Combine the first six ingredients together in a medium bowl and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cover and chill until very cold.

Soak cedar plank in salted water for 2 hours, then drain. Remove skin from salmon fillet. Rinse the salmon under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Generously season the salmon with salt and pepper on both sides. Lay the salmon (on what was skin-side down) on the cedar planks and carefully spread the mustard over the top and sides. Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar over each mustard coated piece of salmon

Set grill for indirect grilling and heat to medium-high. Place the cedar plank in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook until cooked through, around 20 to 30 minutes. The internal temperature should read 135 degrees.

Transfer the salmon to individual serving plates and top with salsa.

Serves 4

Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas with Smoked Tomato Relish

2 Vidalia onions – sliced thin
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 ½ cups Pepper Jack cheese – grated
16 (6-inch) flour tortillas
½ cup goat cheese
1 cup cilantro leaves
½ cup sour cream
Smoked Tomato Relish (see recipe)

Directions:

Sauté the onions in a small amount of olive oil until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper

For each quesadilla, sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the Jack cheese on a flour tortilla. Crumble 1 tablespoon of the goat cheese over the Jack cheese. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the sautéed onions on top and lay 7 sprigs of cilantro over the onion. Cover with a second tortilla and press down.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Cook each quesadilla for approximately 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned and all the cheese is melted. Add more oil as needed to cook all 8 quesadillas.

If you prefer to grill the quesadillas, you may do so on your gas or charcoal grill, being careful to turn them carefully when grilling.

Top each quesadilla with 1 tablespoon of sour cream and 4 tablespoons of the Smoked Tomato Relish. Serve immediately.

Serves: 8

Smoked Tomato Relish:

1 cup wood chips for smoking
1 Wood Chip Smoker
8 Plum tomatoes
1 Serrano Chile – finely chopped
4 cloves garlic – finely chopped
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup brown sugar (or more to taste)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Soak the wood chips in water for about 1 hour. Place the soaked chips into the wood chip smoker and place the box on the hot element of your gas grill or on top of hot coals for your charcoal grill. Cover the grill with a lid and allow chips to begin smoking. Place the tomatoes on a grill pan rack and smoke until tender – about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from grill and allow them to cool. Peel the tomatoes and chop coarsely. Add the Serrano Chile, garlic, balsamic vinegar, cilantro, brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Quesadillas.

Yield: Approximately 2 cups

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