Pacific Northwest Shrimp Quesadillas

I love the idea of using fresh fruit in my dinner along with seafood. I just learned to use my griddle when making quesadillas! How easy and simple. How come I didn't think of this before? While looking through some cookbooks a while back, I ran across this idea and it became one of my famous "DUH!" moments. So, Shrimp Quesadillas it is. Easy, a little spicy, and delicious. Did I mention finger food that is a little messy too? Yes, you have to scoop the mango salsa onto your quesadilla to get the full affect, but then, you are allowed to use a spoon for this endeavor. Dinner and a puzzle! How can you possibly go wrong?

Okay, my next great news is that I just purchased a new camera with hubby! Yay for me! It is the Canon digital EOS Rebel XT and has changable lens so I can now spend more money purchasing the right lens for wide angle shots. I also have photoshop and canon photoshop. They both seem to have points I do like and points that confuse the hell out of me. I have been trying to figure these programs out (Yes, I have been reading the manual somewhat too =D) and I have managed to freeze the computer up, delete 2 awesome pictures and permanently mess up another! On the good note? The messed up picture is REALLY clear! I set the camera down by where I was cooking in the kitchen (of course I was cooking in the kitchen. . .silly statement) and my hubby hyperventilated! You see, I forgot to put the protective lens cover back onto the lens and there was flour dust on the glass. Did I mention that I forgot to purchase a chamois? With this new toy, I think my hubby has demoted me to kid stature. Don't do that. . .Do this! Don't hold it like that. . .here. Let me show you how it is done. . .while he is taking the camera out of my hands and taking pictures of food all over the kitchen because he has no idea WHAT I am trying to take a picture of and is being too stubborn to ask. How's that for long-winded? Okay, I am done whining. Promise. Off to bigger and better subjects.

I just found out my sister belongs to a food co-op and can get Tahitian Vanilla Beans for about $1 per bean. I had to buy 27 vanilla beans, but who is counting? The aroma that emitted from the now unsealed bag was intoxicating! OMGoodness! The beans were plump. . .even though they were dried just like the ones in the grocery store AND they were about 8-inches long! Beautiful and perfect. Bring on the custards and ice cream recipes, hhhhmmm, okay, any recipe. We'll adapt. I also ordered pink peppercorns but they are on backorder. Slightly bummed over that one. It's okay though because I am worried over the fact that when I do get them, I'll have to figure out how to store them. You see, the smallest amount that I could purchase came to 5 1/2 c. When I die, my grandchildren will be inheriting my spices. What I am going to do with 5 1/2 c. of peppercorns, I have NO idea! It might be fun trying though! =D

Well, I think you have waited long enough to get to this fun little dinner, or lunch. Okay, it could work for breakfast.

Pacific Northwest Shrimp Quesadillas
Mango Salsa:
2 Mangoes, diced
1 fresh jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
1/2 medium-size red onion, diced
1 T. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. bottled Thai-style chili sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro

Quesadillas Ingredients:
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
2 T. olive oil
1 medium-size yellow onion, sliced
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 (8-inch-diameter) flour tortillas
2 c. shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

To make the Salsa: Combine the mango, jalapeno, onion, lime juice, salt, chili sauce, garlic, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or until ready to serve.
To make the Quesadillas: Rub the shrimp evenly with salt and cayenne. In a large saute pan, spray with a non-stick cooking spray and set over medium-high heat, saute the shrimp 1 to 3 minutes, until they curl and turn pink. Remove the shrimp from the heat and set aside in a large bowl.
In a separate saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce and saute about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and continue cooking about 5 minutes longer, until the onions are brown and caramelized. Remove the onion mixture from the heat and stir in salt and pepper to taste.
Coat a griddle or large saute pan with cooking spray or a thin layer of olive oil and place it over medium-high heat. Once the griddle is hot, arrange 2 tortillas in a single layer. Sprinkle 1/2 c. cheese evenly over each. In another large saute pan or if there is room on the griddle, arrange 2 more tortillas and divide the shrimp mixture among them. Once the cheese has melted, flip the cheese tortillas over onto the shrimp tortillas, making 2 quesadillas. If you don't have enough room on the griddle or on the stove top to work with 2 pans simultaneously, wait until the cheese has melted on the first 2 tortillas, top the cheese with the shrimp mixture, and then cover with the other two tortillas. Cook them, flipping occasionally, until they are golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Repeat for the remaining tortillas and filling. Cut the quesadillas into quarters and transfer them to serving plates. Serve immediately with the mango salsa.


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