I love unlikely, but amazing, combinations.
Ketchup on eggs? Amazing.
Fry batter on pickles? Amazing. (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, stop reading right now and go find a fried pickle)
Olive oil on soft serve? Amazing. (<—-must be a California thing!)
SMOKED SALMON IN A QUESADILLA? Mind blowing.
Remember when I told you guys all about my crazy trip to Avery Island to visit with the Tabasco folks last month? I ate lots of crawfish, visited a sausage factory and stayed out late searching for gators and bears. Then I ripped my favorite pencil skirt, came home and ate kale for two days. Oh, that!
That was fun.
Well, on top of all that business, I’m working on writing a couple recipes for the brand. Sometimes I do this…this freelance thing. It’s fun and helps pay the bills. Plus, it let’s me get creative in the kitchen by being forced to develop a recipe using a set ingredient. Bet ya didn’t know I was about to get all Iron Chef on you, did ya?
Now if you still think I’m crazy for telling you a smoked salmon quesadilla is mind blowing, I get it.
I do….I thought it was totally weird at first, too, but then after taking one bite you realize it’s a combination worthy of praise.
The smoked salmon just goes so perfectly with the pepperjack cheese and is topped with a creamy chipotle cilantro sauce. But then…things get weirder! The sauce is mayonnaise-based, which goes against everything I know to be true in this world. I’m not a mayonnaise lover, usually. In fact, the only time I can even stomach looking at the stuff is when it’s mixed in egg or tuna salad. HOWEVER….when combined with a few spicy drops of this chipotle hot sauce, tons of minced cilantro, a little lemon juice and sea salt, it becomes magical and the absolute perfect topping to these quesadillas.
You’re probably all Mexican fiesta-d out by now, but I wanted to share this recipe with you just in case. Just in case you happened to be in yoga teacher training for 15 hours over the weekend and the strongest drink you had was an over-steeped cup of chamomile tea. You know….just in case!
Also, if you really truly absolutely cannot fathom the idea of using mayonnaise in the sauce, try substituting it with sour cream for a slightly different take. I urge you to give ol’ mayo a try though. Use extra sauce on turkey sandwiches! You might surprise yourself.
Smoked Salmon Quesadillas with Creamy Chipotle Cilantro Sauce
for creamy chipotle cilantro sauce—
1/4 cup finely minced cilantro (1 small bunch)
1/2 cup real mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tsp Tabasco Chipotle hot sauce
pinch of sea salt
8 flour tortillas
1/2 lb smoked salmon, thinly sliced
8 oz pepperjack cheese
In a small bowl (or a food processor if you wish), mix together the finely minced cilantro, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Tabasco Chipotle sauce and sea salt to taste. Set sauce aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Assemble quesadillas by scattering thin slices of smoked salmon on one tortilla then topping with pepperjack cheese. Place other tortilla on top and place quesadilla in skillet. Cook for about four minutes per side, until toasty and cheese melts.
Repeat with other tortillas, salmon and cheese. Let quesadillas cool slightly before slicing each into four pieces and serving with spicy chipotle cilantro cream.