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From Korean BBQ Duck Tacos to Bourbon Chili, chefs offer up these six inspired updates on casual classics.
Alaska Crab and Zucchini Quesadillas
From: Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Border Grill.
Yield: 6 servings
1 ½ cups cooked, shredded wild Alaska snow or king crab meat
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup finely diced red onion
2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
1 cup thinly sliced zucchini or roughly torn squash blossoms
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups grated Mexican manchego or Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup grated panela cheese (may substitute ricotta or a mild feta)
½ cup grated cotija or añejo cheese (may substitute a salty, hard cheese like Parmesan)
6 8” to 10” flour tortillas
for serving, salsa
Squeeze excess moisture out of crab meat and toss with lime juice. Set aside.
Melt 3 Tbsp. of the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions and jalapenos until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the zucchini or squash blossoms, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the zucchini or squash blossoms have just turned soft, about 5 to 7 minutes more. Toss with crab mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl, combine the three cheeses. Lay the tortillas out on a counter. Divide the cheese mixture into 6 portions and arrange one portion over half of each tortilla. Divide the crab and zucchini mixture into 6 portions and sprinkle evenly over the cheese. Fold over each tortilla to enclose the filling.
Melt the remaining 2 Tbsp. butter. Place a cast-iron griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Brush one side of a quesadilla with melted butter and place buttered side down in the pan. Cook until very light golden, about 1 minute. Then, brush the uncoated side with butter and flip over. Cook until the other side is golden and transfer to a baking sheet. When all the quesadillas are browned, transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese begins to ooze. Serve hot, whole or cut into wedges, accompanied by your favorite salsa.
PHOTO: Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute