Saturday, March 22, 2008

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.


Deborah said...

Congrats on the new camera - I'm jealous!!

There is a little place in Arizona that sold Mango Shrimp Quesadillas, and whenever I was in AZ, we would go to this place. It has been years now since I've been there, but I should make them at home instead!

michelle @ the smackdown said...

$1 a bean? yowza! can your sister get me some?

i'm also jealous of your camera. and your quesedillas look awesome.

Shandy said...

Deb, Thank you and the camera is so much fun! I am still trying to figure out the canon photo. =D

Michelle, hi. I left you a comment and know that my sister would definitely order you vanilla beans, so just let me know if you would like a bunch. The camera is quite the learning experience and my biggest fear is getting food on it =D