I find myself staying up later and later these days, especially when I catch a good movie on TV and can’t seem to keep myself from watching it through to the end. That’s when I find myself craving a late-night sweet or salty snack, but nothing in the fridge seems to entice me. So, I looked over some of my favorite recipes and found a few snacks that I could make pretty quickly to satisfy those late-night cravings.
I always keep plenty of tortillas on hand. You can make just about anything with them, from breakfast burritos to chimichangas, and even fry them up like chips. But one of my favorite ways to use them is with left-over chicken and lots of cheese. Heat a frying pan to medium-high heat and put about a tablespoon of cooking oil in it. Place a handful of shredded Colby Jack cheese (about ¼ cup) on a large flour tortilla, top with shredded leftover chicken and a tablespoon or two of salsa (and a teaspoon of chopped jalapeños if you’re feeling adventurous). Fold tortilla over and place in pan. Cook on both sides until crispy, then remove and slice into wedges. Serve with a little sour cream; it’s midnight quesadilla heaven!
Here’s another recipe using the versatile tortilla. You might want to make these ahead of time; they can stay in the refrigerator for a couple of days if you’re not ready to eat them or if the mood to stay up late doesn’t hit you right away. Mix together a small package of cream cheese (about 3-4 oz.) with ½ cup of sour cream. Add 3 oz. of chopped ripe olives and 2 oz. chopped pickled mild jalapeño peppers, ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, garlic salt and pepper to taste. (I also like to add some chopped sweet red peppers – my favorite are the mildly spicy Peppadews.) Spread mixture on 2 or 3 large flour tortillas and roll them up tightly into tubes. Wrap the rolled tortillas in plastic wrap and chill for a while (about an hour or two, or overnight) in the refrigerator, then slice into ½-inch pieces and serve with salsa.
Sweet Bacon Smokies
5 slices bacon
10 smoked cocktail sausages (Lil’ Smokies)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon prepared Honey Dijon mustard
Slice bacon in half. Partially cook bacon slices in 350 degree oven for a few minutes. Remove and let cool. Mix brown sugar and mustard together, set aside. Wrap sausages in bacon and secure with toothpick. Dip in brown sugar mixture, then bake in oven about 10-12 minutes (or until bacon is crisp, making sure not to burn). Cool slightly and serve. Makes 10 pieces.
I love to make these late at night, and if I don’t finish them off, heat some up for lunch the next day. You will need about a dozen extra-large mushrooms, 3 tablespoons butter, ¼ cup finely chopped onion, ¼ cup finely chopped water chestnuts, ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth, 1 cup stuffing mix (Pepperidge Farm or other herb seasoned mix), and ½ cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and remove stems from mushrooms; chop stems into small bits. Place butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. When butter has melted, add chopped mushroom stems, onion and water chestnuts and cook until onion begins to brown and caramelize. Add broth and bring to a boil, then add stuffing mix and lower heat to medium. Cook about 10 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool for about 20 minutes. Stir in shredded cheese, then fill mushroom caps generously with mixture. Place mushrooms on baking sheet in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (until mushrooms are cooked through and stuffing is browned). Cool slightly and serve. Makes one dozen. If there is excess stuffing, save and freeze for use at a later time – when you get the craving for more stuffed mushrooms.
I love this for the late night munchies; it whips up pretty quickly, and the topping can be saved for a while if you don’t finish it all.
¼ cup chopped olives (ripe or green, or a mixture of both)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
Dash of Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
½ teaspoon chopped oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
4 oz. of a good Mozzarella cheese
Thin slices of French baguette
Mix first 8 ingredients in a dish and cover for 15-30 minutes. (If you are not an olive lover, just leave them out.) Place slices of cheese on baguette, then top with 2 teaspoons of the tomato mixture. Broil in oven until cheese completely melts and bread is crisp. (You can use shredded Mozzarella if you prefer, or if that’s all you have on hand; just add it to the tomato mixture.)
This last recipe is great with a cold glass of wine. If you weren’t sleepy before, that will send you off to bed for sure. Just make sure the oven is off before you pour the wine!