Saved by the smell! Tiffani Thiessen, in addition to being an accomplished actress, is a burgeoning chef in her own right. In fact, she frequently shares her favorite meals via her blog. One of her favorites to prepare? A delightful helping of butternut squash quesadillas that are served with a smoky crème fraîche.
“This is truly one of my favorite lunches to prepare and serve,” the Saved by the Bell alum, 48, exclusively tells Us Weekly, noting that the dish is “such an easy way to impress guests without being difficult.”
She also notes: “It’s really healthy and meets a lot of people’s dietary needs.”
The Alexa & Katie alum frequently stays busy by whipping up delectable delights for her family — she shares daughter Harper, 11, and son Holt, 6, with husband Brady Smith.
“I know people joke, ‘How many banana breads have you made?’ And during the [coronavirus] pandemic, I feel like we’ve probably [baked] about a hundred,” Thiessen previously told Us in July 2020. “[Harper] just made another one the other night. She really loves to cook with me.”
She added at the time: “We [cook] a lot of things. We actually grow a lot of fruits and vegetables here, which has been really fun with the kids. We’ve made tomato tarts and grilled pizzas. … We’re always constantly making something. It’s been a lot of fun to have them at home and involved in that. All through the summer we always usually do a new ice cream every week. It’s something that kids love to do.”
The Pull Up a Chair cookbook author has a “true passion for all things food, home and lifestyle,” according to a description on her blog where she frequently shares her “favorite recipes” and “ideas for entertaining.”
Thiessen has shared recipes from an assortment of dishes, including mini tarts, a chocolate pomegranate pie, elderberry glazed turkey and a watermelon champagne cocktail.
Scroll below to get the details on her “favorite” quesadilla recipe:
Tiffani Thiessen’s Butternut Squash Quesadillas with Smoky Crème Fraîche
Makes 4 servings
- 2 tbsp chipotle in adobo puree
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 cup crème fraîche
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for cooking quesadillas
- 1 lb peeled butternut squash cubes (about 2 inches each)
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 8 (10-inch) flour tortillas
- 12 oz shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 1 sliced pickled jalapeño, to tats
- 1 avocado, chopped
- Cilantro leaves, for garnish
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- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a small bowl, mix together the chipotle puree, coriander, paprika, salt and cumin. Remove half of the mixture to another small bowl and stir in the crème fraîche. Refrigerate the smoky crème fraîche until ready to serve.
- Take the remaining chipotle mixture and stir in the olive oil. Toss the chipotle and oil mixture with the butternut squash. Place on a sheet tray and bake in the oven about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the squash is deeply caramelized in places and fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before pureeing into a smooth paste in a food processor.
- While the squash cooks, mix the red onion and lime juice together in a small bowl along with salt to taste. Let sit for 20 minutes, or until the onions soften.
- When ready to make quesadillas, lay out four flour tortillas. Divide 6 oz of the cheese blend between the four tortillas, top each tortilla with about 1⁄4 cup of the butternut squash puree, spreading the mixture evenly across the tortilla, then top with the remaining cheese. Add sliced pickled jalapeño to taste and then top with the remaining four tortillas.
- Preheat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, sauté pan or griddle pan over medium heat. Lightly grease the pan with olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the quesadillas in batches. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bottom tortilla is golden brown and the cheese is beginning to melt. Flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, or until the second side is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Remove from pan and let cool slightly. Repeat cooking the quesadillas, adding oil as needed. Serve the quesadillas with the smoky crème fraîche, pickled red onions, chopped avocado and cilantro.
With reporting by Travis Cronin
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