Today is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. I know what you are thinking – gosh, I hope we clean out our refrigerators more often than once a year!
As it turns out, National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day isn’t just about doing a deep clean of the fridge, its’ part of preparing for the coming Holidays. Thanksgiving spells family gatherings for most of us. That means we need to make room for that huge turkey, and all the side dishes that are to come. Add to that all the pot-luck dishes and leftovers galore, we need our space. Life at times is so hectic, we forget to make that extra room until that moment when we find ourselves standing in front of the open refrigerator door, peering inside and wondering just where in the world we’re suppose to shove Aunt Mary’s Pea Salad or cousin Betty’s Pink Stuff. It’s at that moment we all wish we had more than one fridge.
With the exception of getting out the bucket of soapy water, I’ve finally mastered the art of a clean fridge. It’s a bit extreme, but for us it works. Most nights, at the end of dinner, there are leftovers. Since my meals are planned out in advance, I’m also able to make labels for the Tupperware containers. I make note of the food, when it was prepared and when it should be either eaten or tossed. When storing the leftovers, I have a shelf that we use, and the leftovers are rotated based on when they need to disappear. So we rarely have surprises at the back of the fridge. Nor am I opening what appear to be science experiments and wondering what in the world that once was.
Each week, with shopping list in hand, Hubby and I go through both the kitchen refrigerator and the outside refrigerator. While the outside refrigerator is mainly used for leftovers and beverages, the inside fridge holds the vegetables, and other perishables that are used in meal preparations. By going through the fridge, we know what we have, what we need and can shop accordingly. That said, there are studies out that that say people who regularly clean out their refrigerator tend to waste more food. Maybe. But are we less in danger of getting sick from eating spoiled foods? Everything in life has a trade-off. I will tell you this, since changing the way we handle leftovers; we almost never toss a science experiment, and come Saturday morning, there’s little left in the fridge that hasn’t been consumed.
So what does all this have to do with Quesadillas? Nothing. Except just maybe, after spending the day cleaning out the fridge, you might just want to serve up something for supper that isn’t going to create a ton of leftovers. Enjoy!
Taco Bell Style Chicken Quesadilla
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Jalapeno Pickle Juice
1/2 tablespoon Cumin
2 teaspoons New Mexican Red Chili Powder
2/3 teaspoon Sugar
Cayenne Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Pinch Garlic Powder
3 tablespoons Nacho Jalapeno Peppers
Place mayonnaise in a small bowl. Add jalapeno juice from a jar of Nacho Jalapenos. Add cumin, red chili powder, sugar, cayenne pepper, salt and garlic powder. Whisk to blend.
Finely dice Nacho Jalapeno Peppers. Add to the mayonnaise mixture. Stir to blend. Cover, hold in the refrigerator until ready to use.
1 large boneless Chicken Breast
Taco Seasoning to taste
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
4 large Flour Tortillas
2 cups Mexican Cheese Blend
Cut chicken into bite-size cubes. Place in a bowl. Toss chicken bits with taco seasoning to lightly coat, set aside.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Add chicken. Cook, stirring frequently, until no longer pink and cooked through.
Transfer cooked chicken to a bowl. Toss chicken with about a quarter or so of the sauce. Set aside.
Warm tortillas on a griddle or tortilla pan until warm and pliable. Transfer to a flat work surface.
Spread about a tablespoon or so of sauce over each tortilla. Scatter 1/2 cup of cheese over half of each tortilla. Top with a quarter of the chicken. Fold unfilled half of tortilla over filled half.
Place tortillas on a warm griddle. Cook until golden and the cheese has begun to melt. Carefully flip over, grill other side to a nice golden color.
Transfer to a platter for serving. Great with refried beans and margaritas!