This is one of those deja-vu dishes that instantly transported me to a different time and place. After my mom purchased a cozy beach cottage on the Eastern End of Long Island, I spent many post-college weekends soaking up the sunshine in her sunny backyard. The house immediately felt like home and I loved heading out there, not only for the R&R but for the full-scale catering and laundry service my mom happily supplied while I was visiting.
I’d usually arrive starving on Friday nights and my mom would have a stack of Shrimp Quesadillas with Caramelized Onions & Mango waiting for me. Probably because I’ve been known to throw a few hangry tantrums in my day… She’d make enough that we’d have leftovers to snack on all weekend, as well as seemingly endless containers of Guacamole and Mango Salsa from the wildly overpriced Round Swamp Farm. We’d spend those lazy Saturdays sunning by the pool before hopping into town to explore all the fancy designer castoffs at the local consignment stores. There was no better way to spend a day.
My mom’s sweet and savory quesadillas became so ingrained into our beach weekend routine that a trip out there wouldn’t be the same without them. But oddly enough, it was never a recipe that we recreated for Feast. With two tiny tots in tow, I don’t get out to the house as much as I’d like to these days, so when I was assigned Cook with Sara for this month’s Secret Recipe Club and came across her strikingly similar Caramelized Peach & Brie Quesadillas, I knew exactly what I wanted to make.
Hailing from the Midwest, Sara also credits her fondness for cooking to her own mother who, like my mom, uses mealtime to express her love for the fam. Sara’s site is full of delicious-looking recipes and I urge you to head on over to peruse her index (her Gorgonzola Pasta with Peas & Asparagus sounds heavenly). I changed up this recipe a bit – namely by adding sauteed shrimp, caramelizing the onions “low and slow,” and cooking the assembled quesadillas in the oven instead of on the stove top, mostly because that’s how my mama makes ’em.
In the meantime, until I can find the time – and courage – to pack two littles into the car for a 3-hour ride, I’ll be relying on these cheesy treats to bring me some of that East End peace of mind.
Shrimp Quesadillas with Peaches, Caramelized Onions & Brie
1 cup of red onion, diced
2 Tablespoons butter, divided – stock
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided – stock
Splash of balsamic vinegar – stock
Salt & pepper – stock
2 peaches, sliced (you can also use frozen peach slices) – $2.99
4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, discard stems – $1.99
8-10 large raw shrimp (fresh or frozen, if frozen, thaw under cold running water first) – $12.99
4 oz. Brie, cut into very thin slices – $2.50
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas -$1.49
Grand total assuming well-stocked kitchen: $21.96
Cost per serving: $5.49
1. Over low heat, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter and 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until onion starts to caramelize, about 30 minutes. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Remove the onions to a plate and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
3. Add the remaining butter to the skillet, then saute the peaches and thyme over medium heat for roughly 8 minutes, until the peaches get a bit golden along the edges. Remove to a plate and set aside.
4. In the same skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat and then add the raw shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and saute until the shrimp is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and chop roughly.
5. Arrange four tortillas on a baking pain lined with tin foil. Evenly distribute the peaches, shrimp, onions and brie between the tortillas. Top with the remaining four tortillas and cover tightly with another sheet of foil. Bake for 15 or until the cheese is gooey and melted. Remove the top piece of tin foil and let quesadillas sit for 5 minutes before cutting into quarters and serving.
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