A Tex-Mex meal with spicy, smoky flavors


Quesadillas are hot sandwiches, Tex-Mex style. Filled with juicy shrimp, melted cheese and spicy salsa, ours makes a quick Southwestern meal.

Most quesadillas are made by filling tortillas and folding them over. For this dinner, the tortillas are stacked and filled.

The side dish has a smoky chipotle dressing. Chipotles are red jalapeño peppers that are ripened, dried and smoked. They’re sold dried or canned in adobo sauce. I used powdered chipotle, found in the spice section, to give a smoked flavor to bottled dressing.

This meal contains 553 calories with 29 percent of calories from fat.

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Tomato and Parmesan flavor broiled fish fillets

Savor a taste of Italy in only 10 minutes with fish fillets topped with fresh tomato slices and melted Parmesan cheese. Penne pasta tossed with fresh spinach completes this colorful dinner.

Buy whatever white fish looks best at the market or use flash-frozen fillets, which I’ve found have a fresh flavor. Measure the thickness of the fish and cook 10 minutes per inch.

This meal contains 597 calories per serving with 26 percent of calories from fat.

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No press? No problem with these paninis


A crisp crust; warm, tasty fillings; melted cheese — no wonder paninis have become so popular. Here’s a quick version filled with smoked turkey from the deli, roasted red pepper, fresh basil and goat cheese.

There’s almost no prep work. The sandwich can be assembled in minutes. You even don’t need a panini press to make it. Simply place the panini in a sauté pan and press down with a lid.

Accompany it with Italian Arugula Salad: Combine 4 cups ready-to-eat Italian-style salad greens and 1 cup torn, fresh arugula and toss with 2 tablespoons reduced-fat salad dressing.

This meal contains 616 calories per serving with 30 percent of calories from fat.

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Soy and garlic glaze flavors grilled chicken

Savor the flavors of Korea with this grilled chicken coated with a garlicky soy sauce glaze that’s inspired by a Seoul street-food treat.

I use juicy, meaty chicken thighs for this quick meal. Look for the skinless, boneless kind. The chicken can be grilled outside, cooked on a stove-top grill or sautéed in a skillet.

This meal contains 554 calories per serving with 29 percent of calories from fat.

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Fred Tasker’s Chilean Wine Suggestions

Miami Herald wine columnist, Fred Tasker, gave these wine suggestions to go with Chilean cuisine on Linda’s WLRN NPR 91.3 radio program.

The perfect match for Chilean cuisine is Chilean wine. Why not? They’ve grown up together for decades. And the nice thing about Chilean wines is that they can be good and cheap, and they can be really good and expensive. You can take your pick.

            Chile’s biggest winery, Concha y Toro, makes very reliable inexpensive jug wines you buy in supermarkets. Its sauvignon blanc, in a two-bottle magnum, is only about $10. Great for big parties.

And one of my favorite red wines is a rich, red Chilean carmenere. This is a grape that came from France 100 years ago, was interplanted with merlot and sort of forgotten. About 10 years ago the Chileans realized that it wasn’t merlot, so they started making it all by itself, and it turned out to be wonderful.    MontGras winery makes one that has flavors of black cherries and dark chocolate, for $14.

            Something else that’s happening in Chile is that foreign investors are entering the market, bringing expertise and money for cutting-edge equipment. Casa Lapostolle, 100 miles south of Santiago, was founded by the daughter of the French family that makes the liqueur Grand Marnier. Her Cuvee Alexandre, a blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and carmenere, is wonderful and rich, for about $25.

            Another foreign investor is France‘s Mouton Rothschild, which is teaming up with Chile‘s Concha y Toro to make Alma Viva, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Cabernet Franc, with aromas and flavors of violets and sandalwood and black plums. It’s about $80.

            So whatever your price range, Chile has something good in it.

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