Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chicken Sausage Purple Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Breakfast, brunch, snack, or dinner, it's the perfect time for these quesadillas. When choosing a recipe for this challenge, I wanted something fresh, healthy and vibrant.

A good friend of mine awhile back told me about these magical purple sweet potatoes he had had while in Hawaii 2 years ago. I've been on the lookout for them ever since and FINALLY came upon them at the store last week. Unlike many vegetables that have a tendency to fade when cooking, these keep their deep purple color. They do take a little longer to cook, so keep that in mind. But, if you can't find these beauties, a good ol' classic sweet potato will work just fine.

I decided to pair this quesadilla with a fresh fruit salsa. I wanted one that could hold up a few days and not get mushy. If you've never tasted an Asian pear, they're more like an apple in consistency than a pear. So you can sub your favorite apple variety if you can't find these, as well.

I also used the golden pineapple variety because of it's natural sweetness and smoother texture. If you use a regular one, just make sure it's more on the extra ripe side. Finally the yogurt dip. Either you love or hate Greek yogurt. If you don't like it, use a lighter sour cream. But, I think the addition of the citrus to the yogurt makes it taste very close.

Chicken Sausage Purple Sweet Potato Quesadillas
by Holly

1/2 quart fresh strawberries, finely chopped
1 Asian pear, diced
1 small golden pineapple, finely chopped
1 small lime, juiced
1/2 Tablespoon honey
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (or fresh flat leaf parsley), chopped
Kosher salt
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
Juice of half of small orange (use other half for garnish if desired)
1 medium purple sweet potato (or red), peeled and diced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper
Cooking spray
1 12-ounce package Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage, diced
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
6 eggs
6 Mission® Garden Spinach Herb tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese

For the salsa:
In a small bowl, gently mix the strawberries, pear, pineapple, lime juice, honey, cilantro and a pinch of salt. Cover with plastic wrap to avoid browning of the fruit.

For the yogurt dip:
In another small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and orange juice. Blend well. Keep in refrigerator until ready to plate.

Heat oven to 350°F. Cover a standard sheet pan with parchment paper. Combine the diced sweet potato with olive oil, lightly salt and pepper. Roast for 40-45 minutes until tender, careful to not overcook. Remove from oven.

Lightly coat a medium sauté pan with cooking spray. On medium-high heat, brown the sausage, stirring frequently as not to burn. Cook about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.

In another sauté pan, add butter and eggs. Cook low and slow until just scrambled. Add the eggs to the sausage mixture.

Quesadilla time! In a large sauté pan, lightly coat with cooking spray. On medium heat, add a tortilla, top with 1/4 cup cheese, 1/3 of sausage/egg mixture, 1/4 of potatoes, 1/4 cup of cheese and another tortilla. Cook approximately 2-3 minutes until lightly browned on underside and cheese has started to melt on the bottom layer. Carefully flip quesadilla over and cook another 2 minutes until golden brown and cheese is completely melted. Slide quesadilla to a cutting board and let cool slightly before cutting into thirds and plating. Repeat the previous steps to make 2 more quesadillas. (NOTE: you will have some potatoes leftover for garnishing the plates).

Place quesadillas on plates or serve 'family style' on a platter. Sprinkle with the fruit salsa and yogurt dip.

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