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Green Salad w/ Shrimp and Quesadillas
Jun 15th, 2004

We're attempting to cut down on the money we spend on groceries each week, so this weekend I picked out the weeks' dinner recipes in advance based on ingredients we already had in the pantry or the freezer. That way all I had to pick up at the store were our staple foods and fruit and veggies from the produce market. Since we had some shrimp in the freezer and some Manchego cheese in the fridge, my eye was caught by a recipe for shrimp quesadillas, but I knew Jim and the boys would find that too freaky. So I decided to make regular old quesadillas with shrimp and a green salad on the side. Somehow the shrimp ended up hopping onto the salad, and it became a seafood salad.

Manchego cheese is a Mexican cheese that is good for melting, therefore you would think the perfect quesadilla cheese. I've been experimenting with Mexican cheeses lately, and so far my favorite is Queso Cotija - a crumbly white cheese that is similar to feta but not quite as pungent. Great for sprinkling on top of beans, either black or refried. Anyway, the Manchego turned out well, although a little bland I think. For quesadillas, it would probably be best mixed with a slightly sharper cheese - maybe Monterey Jack. I don't do flour tortillas (because of the hydrogenated oil and the white flour) but the rest of the family does, so I made a small quesadilla for me using corn tortillas. I see why no-one really uses corn tortillas for this, they get pretty hard and crispy. I wonder if there might be a way to sort of steam them - maybe cooked in the oven wrapped in foil.

For the shrimp salad I sauteed the shrimp in some garlic, olive oil, and paprika. Then I squeezed a bit of lime on top after pulling them off the heat. Made up a salad with a wild greens mix, chopped red peppers, green onions, and radish. I wanted a creamy dressing for this, which is something I don't normally make. Usually I stick to vinaigrettes, so I don't really have a creamy dressing down. I need to find one that I like that's fairly healthy and add it to my weeknight repertoire. So I sort of cobbled something together with some plain fat-free yogurt, the dregs of a bottle of Bernsteins's light Cheese Fantastic, some garlic red wine vinegar, onion powder, and just a tsp or so of a commercial blue cheese dressing we had in the fridge. I don't like blue cheese dressing normally, but adding just a little gave it that slight cheesey taste that goes so well with the shrimp. So, tossed the salad with the dressing, threw the shrimp and some diced avocado on top, and voila! I ate probably three quarters of the salad myself, as the boys in the family mainly stuck to the cheese. They're fans of cheese. I'm a fan of shrimp. It all works out.

Had mango again for dessert and realized some mango would probably have been good in the salad as well. Next time. Now I need to stop mainlining those mangos long enough to make this double mango (both fresh and dry) roasted oatmeal recipe I've been eyeing for a while. I bought lots this week, so it just might happen.


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© 2006, Kimberly Cooperrider | kymmco@excite.com