"What makes these taste so good?" my husband Ted asked, after the first bite of these mushroom quesadillas with goat cheese and greens went dribbling down his chin. I started to explain about the gooey, melty goat cheese and how it holds the greens together while they wilt from the heat, but he didn't care. He was halfway through the quesadilla by then, bite after oozy bite. Nontraditional though they are, these quesadillas bundle the texture of mushrooms (sautéed to remove most of their excess liquid) with smooth goat cheese and a hint of dark leafy greens (use your favorite, spinach or kale or chard). I like to keep the theme going with spinach tortillas, though you can use whatever type of tortilla you like....
I'm grateful to slow cooker manufacturers everywhere for not actually building the airtight appliances they intended to build. Nothing makes me happier than the house filling with the aroma, escaping from under the lid, of whatever is gently cooking in the pot for many hours. A recipe like this Tex-Mex chicken and rice, with corn and black beans tucked here and there, can cook on the stovetop, but in the slow cooker, the flavors have a chance to intermingle on their own (without tending by you), and the musky scent of cumin warms up the kitchen as it cooks. You'll find jars of sofrito in the Spanish foods section of your supermarket. If you use converted rice, you can cook rice right in with the...
Arroz con pollo (rice with chicken), done the easy way for weeknight dinner. You can make this ahead and freeze it, too.
Let your slow cooker make a batch of chipotle beef, and turn that into quick and easy worknight enchiladas with a few ingredients from the pantry. You'll have extra beef to stash in the freezer (and extra yummy chipotle sauce, too).
Cooked, chilled chayote squash pairs with creamy avocado and tangy strawberry in an unusual salsa fresca that enhances fish tacos or grilled chicken.
Served on its own as a vegan tapas dish, or on top of toasts with melted cheese, this spicy eggplant caponata is a winner. Make it several days in advance, and it tastes even better. Perfect for picnics, too.
A few out-of-the-ordinary spices add the wow factor to this Spanish chicken with green olives. Serve over rice, or pack for a picnic.