This was the quesadilla that almost wasn’t.
I know, since I cook day in, day out you would think I would be pretty fast in the kitchen, but the truth is I am not. Actually, I feel like the world’s slowest cook. I over think every ingredient, whether to add this or that, do I cook it on the stove or on the grill, do I add a sauce or leave it be, yada, yada, yada. I also make the most disastrous of a mess. Even if it is a super simple meal like this pasta or these bowls, somehow I still manage to make a giant mess.
Oh, and I also make a lot of mistakes. A lot.
One day, I hope I become better at this whole process, but considering that I feel like I have been doing this forever and nothing has changed, I am not holding my breath.
Anyway, the day I made these the sun was so bright and the sky so blue. Perfect for some salmon quesadillas. Only, I decided pretty late in the day that I was actually going to make these and then no one told me that the architect for the barn was coming.
Oh my gosh. Focusing on making these and half listening to what the architect was saying was nearly impossible. I mean, someone could have told me he was coming. I would have tried not to be cooking, so I could pay attention and not burn the bottom of all the quesadillas while telling Lee (the architect) that I want a giant walk in pantry. Hey, the pantry is important stuff.
So that is my excuse for not having any process shots included with today’s post – zero, nada, none! And eight shots from basically the same angle. So sorry.
But planning out your new house is kind of distracting, not to mention crazy exciting.
I will do a post on the progress of the barn soon, but it is finally beginning to take shape. Plans are being drawn, the kitchen is being talked about and decisions like where I want my office to be window placement are all taking shape. It’s really happening!
Good for me, bad for you (plenty of distractions)… and these quesadillas. Again, sorry about the lack of creative photos.
But these quesadillas?
Both addicting + delicious.
It’s no secret that I have a thing for Asian and Thai flavors. My brother says I need to cook more normal food, and he is probably right, but I can’t get my brain to think anything other than tropical and Mexican. It’s sort of a problem because while… I write a food blog and I need to keep things interesting around here. But for some reason, lately I just can’t get enough of the Thai + Mexican flavors. Alone or combined, they are so good.
So expect more to be coming your way.
Also, I love mangos and pretty much want to find a way to include them in everything I make, but for the sake of this blog, I wont. Just know that I really wanted too.
Oh, and I made my own sweet Thai chili sauce. I actually have been making my own for a while now since it is so easy. I would be sharing the recipe with you today, but like I said, I got totally distracted and never got to take any pictures of the sweet Thai chili sauce on its own. So that will be coming soon as well!
Sweet Thai Chili Salmon Quesadillas with Spicy Mango.
Yields: 4 LARGE QUESADILLAS
- 3/4 cups sweet thai chili sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1/2 cup coconut water or milk
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound skin on salmon
- 2 cups chopped napa cabbage
- 3/4 cup shredded carrots
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
- 1 cup [coconut rice | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/hawaiian-hula-pork-fajitas-pineapple-slaw-coconut-rice/] or steamed white or brown rice
- 8 large flour tortillas
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Frech cilantro or basil
- Spicy Mango
- 2 mangos, peeled, pitted and diced small
- 1 red chile, seeded + diced
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- Teensy drizzle of sesame, peanut or olive oil
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Pinch of salt
To make the sauce, combine the sweet thai chili sauce, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, peanut butter, rice vinegar, lime juice, garlic, ginger and pepper in a medium sauce pot. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Place the salmon on a plate and rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Gently rub 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce on the salmon.
Heat a medium size skillet over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, add the red pepper slices, cabbage and carrots. Stir fry for 2 minutes and then drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce over the veggies, toss well and continue to cook until the veggies are tender. Remove the veggies from the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and add another tablespoon of olive oil, now add the salmon, skin side facing up. Sear the salmon for 3-4 minutes and then flip and continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes or until the salmon reaches your desired doneness. Cooking times will vary depending on the size of your salmon. Chop the salmon into bites.
To assemble the quesadillas, heat an electric griddle or skillet over medium heat. Add a bit of olive oil. Place 4 tortillas down on a clean counter, covering each with a bit of the sauce and then sprinkle with a bit of the cheese.Then evenly distribute the rice, top that with the veggies and then add the chopped salmon. Sprinkle with a little more of the cheese. Place the tortilla on the griddle or skillet, then cover with the other tortilla. Cook until the bottom is crispy and golden brown, then gently flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes until crispy and golden.
Cut into fourths and serve with the spicy mangos and any remaining sauce or sweet thai chile sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro and avocados.
To make the spicy mangos toss the mangos and chopped red chile pepper with the lime juice, a drizzle of oil, a pinch of cayenne and salt. Toss again.
*Sauce adapted from my [Enchiladas | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/cheesy-sweet-sour-pomegranate-thai-chicken-enchiladas/]
Oh, and another oh. Yes, I know, I say “oh” far too much. Tomorrow I may work on that, but probably not. Anyway, quesadillas kick Thursday in the butt. Just sayin.