The other weekend I made Quesadillas. We had looked for a nice Salsa and come home having failed. Instead we had one of those Old El Paso jars of “mild” salsa.
I’m not one for hot or spicy foods. It makes my lips tingle, sometimes burn. And it’s really uncomfortable. Why would you want to do that to yourself? Food is to be enjoyed, not approached with trepidation. So I don’t eat Indian, Thai and other spicy foods. Though Mr Fussy is particularly fond of (some) Mexican. And I quite like Nachos. I find them tasty without being “burn your lips off, gulp down water. No! that only made it worse” material.
Back to my first attempt to make Quesadillas, guided by Mr Fussy’s recollection of how they have been served at Coyotes, one of his favourite restaurants, no more in existence in Christchurch.
The salsa looked like cat food. I’m sorry, there’s just nothing nice to say about how it looks on the plate, as an accompaniment.
The Quesadillas needed some refinement. Not a bad effort of my interpretation under Mr Fussy’s guidance, but it wasn’t quite as it should have been. Mostly it needed more cheese. But everything in this house is always greeted with “more cheese”. We love cheese.
To be fair, how could a jar of Old El Paso really compete with vibrant fresh ingredients?
As per usual I searched online for recipes for Salsa. I found a couple that seemed suitable, but in searching more details on Coriander (Cilantro) I came across a different site and was more interested in the recipe, perhaps because the post was written by a man. Nothing wrong with a man being in the kitchen. I’m all for it. But it also used fresh tomatos, unlike the other recipes I’d considered. Since we’d picked up some hot house tomatos at the Lyttelton Farmers Market I thought this would be the perfect use for them.
While I was preparing the vegetables and chop, chop, chopping away (there’s a lot of chopping, and mincing!) I decided to taste the Coriander. I’ve never used it before in preparing a meal. Boy that stuff is quite peppery/hot. Mr Fussy was urged to taste it too, and he agreed with my assessment.
Given the list of ingredients listed Jalapeno Peppers and pepper and spring onions and garlic, I was expecting this stuff to be really REALLY firey.
I have never EVER used Jalapeno Peppers in a recipe either. These things scare me. I’ve seen those weird shows where people get dared to eat a Jalapeno Pepper and their eyes water, mouth goes numb and they flap their arms, a lot. No thank you. But here I was cutting them up and scraping the seeds out. And a few silent prayers went out that these would not cause cardiac arrest.
It all looks so good. And I love limes. However limes are really expensive. I didn’t quite need the two I’d bought and not being one to throw the leftovers out of something quite expensive, the small amount left over has gone into a Glad bag in the freezer.
This recipe made quite a lot, quite a lot more than I anticipated.
I’ve got 3 jars of varying sizes, the small squat one at the front is 500gm, I can’t remember the biggest one, it had the cherries in it that I used for Mum’s BFC cake.
On Tuesday morning I caramelised the onions, or at least started the process. I used the shredded chicken I’d made a week or so back and froze. In hindsight we really needed more chicken.
I used a mix of Havarti and Gruyere cheese, and I sprinkled (hot) chilli over the chicken while it was heating through in the pan.
Given my hesitancy for hot and spicy, I was really going to be doing myself in with all of the ingredients and extra spice I was adding. I’m certainly not giving the impression that I dislike the fire in your mouth, blow the top of your head off, experience.
Assembling the Quesadillas was really easy, and I had no trouble keeping the top and bottom (and filling) together when turning them over to brown the other side.
Mr Fussy later told me that Coyotes would usually serve the meal with a red rice. What that is I don’t know.
The meal was surprisingly filling given there was no salad, or red rice.
The recipe for the Salsa can be found here.
I’m sure the Salsa would be even better if we were at the height of our summer with really succulent tomatos.
What I was surprised by was the Salsa was NOT hot. The after taste of garlic was evident, but when it was eaten as a whole none of the ingredients were over powering and not in the slightest hot or spicy. So if you’re looking for that type of experience I suggest you add more Jalapenos or some other type of spice to get it a bit more kick.
I felt the Salsa was too chunky so I blitzed one of the jars to make it a little more refined and it was much more manageable, and Mr Fussy also conceded that it needed to be a smaller cut. So I blitzed all the remaining Salsa.
We’ve now had this 3 nights in a row as accompaniment to other meals. It’s all gone now and I’m a little sad by that. I’ll make it again, that’s for sure.