Old El Paso Deep Fried Quesadillas and Salsa for Game Day


Looking for a tasty crowd pleasing treat for Game Day? These Old El Paso Deep Fried Quesadilla’s and Salsa treats will be be welcome treat. I confess, I’m not a huge sports fan, but I always make sure Certain Someone and any guests we may have lack for nothing in the food and drink categories. Using some Old El Paso ingredients, I created this appetizer of a quesadilla’s  that’s amplified by frying .


This recipe has just a few uncomplicated steps with a little going a long way.

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Old El Paso Deep Fried Quesadillas and Salsa for Game Day
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 40 pieces
Take the basic quesadilla up a notch on game day. Cut into wedges, and deep fried until golden and puffed, these will provide a tasty and filling treat as you root for your favorite team.
  • 1 package of 10 Old El Paso Soft Tortillas
  • 8-9 oz of grated Queso Chihuhua or any Mexican Style Melting Cheese
  • 1 12 oz jar Old El Paso Sliced Jalapeño Peppers
  • 2-3 eggs beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 6 oz Panko style bread crumbs
  • Canola Oil for deep frying
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 16 oz jar of Old El Paso Thick and Chunky Salsa
  1. Assemble 5 tortillas with the grated cheese and a minimum of 4 jalapenos on each one. Do not over stuff with cheese, but have enough.
  2. Top each with other tortilla and prepare to grill on a dry skillet, indoor grill or Panini maker.
  3. Grill each quesadilla lightly until cheese has melted and fused the tortillas, but not very crispy. The grilling time should be a little less than how you would normally grill a quesadilla.
  4. Remove and continue until all 5 are grilled.
  5. Let cool.
  6. Using a sharp knife cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges and set aside. You should have 40 wedges.
  7. Preheat deep fryer or frying pan with oil to 350-370 °
  8. In a small bowl beat the eggs and milk together.
  9. Dip a few wedges at a time into the beaten egg mixture. Coat both sides.
  10. Take the egg covered wedge and then dredge through Panko Crumbs making sure it’s evenly coated. If you want it extra crunchy, repeat the process and double dip.
  11. Deep fry a few at a time in small batches until deep golden and slightly puffed.
  12. Drain on paper towel lined tray and sprinkle with salt.
  13. Keep warm in warming oven at 200 ° until ready to serve.
  14. Serve with Old El Paso Thick and Chunky Salsa as a dip.
Be creative with the cheeses. You can buy jalapeño infused cheeses.
If you want to really dress these up, serve also with guacamole and Sour Cream.
These can be made ahead in stages ( grilling and cutting), then deep fried right before serving.
Or these can make together entirely hours before, and reheated in a 375 ° oven until hot.

Please be sure to check out the Old El Paso site for more great ideas.

Disclosure: I have been compensated by General Mills to develop recipes for the  Old El Paso  product line. My opinions are my own.


Pillsbury Chocolate Almond Crescent Rolls

How was your Thanksgiving ? I have to say its one of my favorite cooking holidays, even if I’m just cooking for two. Things are picking up at this time of year, and I love quick tasty ideas to whip up. Certain Someone and my new work colleagues declared this recipe for Pillsbury Chocolate Almond Crescent Rolls a winner. I adapted a hero recipe from Pillsbury and added my own flair to it. It immediately took me back to my favorite snack as a student in Paris, Pain au Chocolate, with a luxurious almond twist, so perfect for the winter holidays.


The Pillsbury Chocolate Almond Crescent Rolls take one back to a French Boulangerie. Warm flaky Crescent Rounds filled with chocolate and almond paste are sure to be holiday breakfast or brunch treat.

Check out some more Pillsbury Crescent recipes here.

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Pillsbury Chocolate Almond Crescent Rolls
Recipe type: Pastry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 1 Package of Pillsbury Crescent Rounds
  • 7 oz or less of Almond paste
  • 1/ 2 cup milk or dark chocolate chips
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon heavy cream
  • ½ cup blanched slivered almonds
  • Confectioners sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Take out a non stick baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat
  3. Carefully unroll the Pillsbury Crescent Round Dough,
  4. Taking each round, unroll it to make a long strip.
  5. Add pinches of almond dough along the strip and top with chocolate chips.
  6. Carefully roll back into a round and place flat on the baking sheet.
  7. Seal edges.
  8. In a small bowl beat egg and cream to form an egg wash.
  9. Brush the egg wash over tops and sides of each roll.
  10. Top each roll with blanched slivered almonds.
  11. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  13. Dust with confectioners sugar.

Happy Holidays. I really enjoy thinking outside of the box and creating these recipes for General Mills. Don’t stress these holidays and learn to utilize tasty shortcuts when the occasions call for it.


*I have a received compensation from General Mills and my opinions are my own.



Pillsbury Crescent Rockefeller

Pillsbury Crescent Rockefeller… Ideas for Holiday Entertaining

Certain Someone and I love Oysters Rockefeller. It’s one our favorite steakhouse appetizers. I love the elegance and refinement of bubbly oysters baked in their shells on a salt bed with spinach, a splash of Pernod, butter, cheese and garlic. The origins of the original dish are clouded in a veil of secrecy. It was created at the famous Antoine’s in New Orleans and named in honor of the richest man in land, John D Rockefeller because the secret ingredients were so rich. Many have tried to replicate it, but no one has, as the original recipe is a secret. Some say there is no spinach, while others say watercress and spinach. All we do know is the sauce is a blend of green  produce and the chefs at Antoine’s insist there is no spinach. Most versions I have sampled have spinach and it works all right for me and is easily attainable for the average home cook. One day I hope to have the real deal.`An anise flavored spirit like Pernod is optional, but I would highly urge you to use , as it pairs wonderfully with shellfish.


Oysters Rockefeller has always been a special treat when dining out, or for a special occasion, like the holidays. Here I take a classic variation of Oysters Rockefeller and take out the fuss of shucking and shells, by using Pillsbury Crescent Rolls as a bed for luscious oysters and tasty stuffing. This will make a wonderful addition to holiday table.







Pillsbury Crescent Rockefeller
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Seafood
A variation of the classic Oysters Rockefeller
  • 1 package Pillsbury® Crescent Butterflake 8ct
  • 4 tablespoons butter salted
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/ 4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley chopped
  • ¾ cup fresh spinach
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon celery seeds
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan plus an additional ¼ for topping
  • ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Pernod
  • 1 small approximately 8 oz jar of fresh shucked pasteurized oysters
  • Non stick spray
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the minced shallots, garlic and soften for 1 minute.
  3. Add the chopped parsley, spinach, kosher salt, pepper, fennel seed, and celery seed. Cook and stir until spinach and parsley have just wilted. This will take only about 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. In a glass bowl, add the spinach mixture, ¼ of the parmesan cheese, Pernod, and the Panko bread crumbs.
  6. Pulse until smooth with an immersion blender. You may also use a food processor with this process.
  7. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Set aside.
  9. On a clean surface, unroll crescent rolls.
  10. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non stick spray.
  11. Using two serving spoons take a triangle of dough and fold to fit into spoon curve. Add some parmesan on both sides and press spoons together to form.
  12. With each dough shell pressed and molded, lay at an angel in the muffin tin. You can continue to press edges together with fingers. This is your crescent dough shell.
  13. Add a oyster to each “crescent dough shell”.
  14. Add a generous spoonful of spinach mixture to each oyster on crescent dough shell.
  15. Top with more shredded parmesan cheese.
  16. Place in oven and reduce heat to 375 F after 2 minutes.
  17. Bake for 8 minutes until the dough is very golden and the oysters start to bubble.
  18. Remove from oven.
  19. Carefully remove each Crescent Rockefeller from muffin tin and place on a baking sheet with lined with parchment or a silpat.
  20. Place back in oven for an additional few minutes to crisp up the edges and underside of the dough base.
  21. Serve with lemon wedges immediately.
There may be some additional filling or oysters. The recipe can be easily increased
Pernod is traditional is Oysters Rockefeller and works well with oysters. It can be omitted, but will alter the traditional taste. Other anise flavored spirits can used as an substitution.



*I have a received compensation from General Mills and my opinions are my own.


Apple and Toasted Almond Pillsbury Crescent Waffle Bites with Cardamom Whipped Cream

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and holiday planning is in overdrive. I was commissioned by Pillsbury to come up with some food ideas for the classic Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. I remember loving these as child. They are a great medium as short cut if you are really not  baking inclined.

Continue reading “Apple and Toasted Almond Pillsbury Crescent Waffle Bites with Cardamom Whipped Cream”

Farmers Market Vegetables with Old El Paso® Mexican “Hummus” Dip

Old El Paso® Mexican “Hummus” Dip and Simple Summer Entertaining

I don’t know about your summer, but mine has been a whirlwind of entertaining and being entertained. When shopping for clients, or traveling in new locals, I always love to visit the farm stands and Farmers Markets in addition to my usual purveyors. Out of all the markets I have been too , I have to say the Ferry Plaza one in San Francisco is one of my favorites. Chicago doesn’t slouch in that category either. Green City Market attracts locals and the movers and shakers of the culinary world . But my all time  favorite one is in Vienna , the Naschmarkt.

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There is nothing so pleasing to eye and taste buds than fresh produce and food, and the farmers and artisans, and chefs who present them. Simple , beautiful, pure taste. One thing I’m noticing from my clients and the parties I attend, is they simple classic down home fare.  Nothing complex, just the good food speaking for itself without any hocus pocus and additional fanfare. I went to a well known philanthropists annual birthday fete, and the most memorable dish was a simple shrimp and clam boil stand with new potatoes and fresh chucked corn. My clients have been requesting simple roasts, root vegetable gratins, fried green tomatoes sliders, artful salads, and fruitful desserts.

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In another assignment for Old El Paso, I was tasked with using Old El Paso products to complement the wonderful bounty form the summers Farmers Markets. Taking an everyday trendy staple, with Middle Eastern Roots, I played on the legume theme of a classic hummus , using Old El Paso traditional Refried beans instead. Forget Pita, and use Old El Paso Flour Tortillas , deep fried as your tasty chip sprinkled with Sea Salt. A sprinkle of sumac on top of the hummus and WOW. Be creative with your crudite. Give a quick blanch and ice bath to keep its crunchiness. Use various small glasses or verrines, and cutouts to make an artful display and impress your guests with a healthy starter .



Old El Paso® Mexican “Hummus” Dip and Simple Summer Entertaining
Prep time: 
Total time: 
There is a beauty and nature and summers riot of vegetables available at the local Farmers Market. When we shop at them , we feel connected with our earth and community. The past decade, hummus, a Middle Eastern dish of pureed chickpeas, lemon, garlic and chickpeas has become a household staple in American homes and parties. Why not take this recipe and use Old El Paso Refried Beans for a tasty twist on this exotic , and healthy recipe? Serve it up in a spectacular arrangement of vegetables from the farmers market and deep fried soft Old El Paso tortilla wedges seasoned with Sea Salt. Your guests and family will be wowed!
  • Mexican Hummus
  • 1 can Old El Paso Traditional Refried Beans
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup Tahini
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 3 cloves garlic minced finely
  • ¼ cup chopped sundried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil. The fruitier the better.
  • Additional olive oil for finish drizzle
  • 1 teaspoon Sumac for garnish ( found in Middle Eastern section of grocery)
  • Vegetable Tray
  • 1 head cauliflower (blanched and plunged into ice water)
  • 1 /2 lb green beans (blanched and plunged into ice water)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 Sweet Red Pepper
  • 1 pot of boiling salt water
  • Deep Fried Soft Tortillas Wedges
  • 1 package Old El Paso Soft Tortillas
  • Canola Oil For frying ( approx 2-3 cups )
  • Sea Salt
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
  2. Make an ice bath in a large bowl.
  3. In a glass bowl combine all ingredients, except finishing oil and sumac, for the Hummus. Take and immersion hand blender and pulse until you have a smooth paste.
  4. Place in serving dish. Drizzle with oil and sumac. Cover loosely and keep refrigerated until serving.
  5. Prep and cut vegetables. Be creative and use cutters for carrots, ripple slicer for squash and zucchini, etc. Add cut vegetable to ice bath to keep color and crispness.
  6. Plunge cauliflower florets and trimmed green beans in to boiling water to blanch for a few seconds. Quickly remove from water with strainer, and add to the ice bath to stop cooking and retain color.
  7. Arrange on platter with dip.
  8. Heat up Deep Fryer at 350-375°.
  9. Cut small piles of soft tortillas into eights wedges.
  10. Fry in small batches until golden. Drain on paper towels and salt.
  11. Serve with vegetable platter.
Use your favorite vegetables that inspire you. Get creative with presentation. I use bud vases inside glasses to create a more dimensional serving effect. Add some spice of powdered chili instead of sumac, if you prefer your dip on the spicy side. Substitute fresh jalapenos for sundried tomatoes too. Keep it all chilled as the party goes on. Use trays on top of ice.

Happy Summer Eating. Visit the New Old El Paso site for other great ideas and see my recipes here.