Quesadillas – they have confused me for a while. They look delicious, but after trying and failing to make them on my George Forman years ago (what was I thinking?), I gave up. However, after a visit to Lucha Libre Liverpool and ordering the Mushroom and Spinach quesadillas – I fell in love with them all over again – they’re just like an inside out pizza! (You have to visit Lucha Libre ASAP by the way – Mexican food done right!) I needed to recreate them so found SORTED Food’s video of their sweet potato and blue cheese quesadillas – I will be trying them ASAP but James doesn’t share my love of blue cheese so that’ll have to be saved for cooking for one! These were delicious with the sour cream and chive dip I got from the boys at SORTED, and served up with my discovery of Pico de Gallo I talked about here. I made enough for 2 of us for a main and they went down a treat, with some leftovers for the next day too!
Bag of washed spinach
100g cheddar cheese
6 flour tortillas
Sesame oil to fry
Sour Cream & Chive dip
200ml sour cream
Half a bunch of chives
- I made the dip first, as the quesadillas are so quick to make! Chop up the chives quite finely, and combine in a bowl with the sour cream. Squeeze half a lemon juice in there, and sprinkle some extra chives on top! Easy.
- Next, I sliced the mushrooms and fried them on a medium heat for a couple of minutes, until just cooked through. Then I threw in the spinach to wilt down at the last second. Once cooked I put the mixture to one side to begin to assemble!
- I grated the cheese up and tried to use it as a glue to hold it all together! I lay out 3 tortillas, and sprinkled a layer of cheddar over each. Then I spooned the mixture between the three tortillas. I sprinkled another layer of cheddar to hold the lid on, and then I placed the last 3 tortillas over the tops. Done!
- Now to fry them! I put some more oil in a medium to high pan, and placed one of the filled quesadillas in to cook. It doesn’t take long! When the bottom was crispy I flipped it over (with difficulty – some mushrooms did escape!) and cooked the other side through.
- When they were done I transferred it over to a board where I cut into sixths, which seemed a nice size. Cook up the last two, slice them up and serve! Eat immediately (not that you need telling!).
Pico De Gallo – what?! It is basically a fresh tomato salsa with no tinned tomatoes in sight – beautiful. I love tomatoes – especially at this time of year – so this was a no brainer for me. I found this recipe on The Kitchn who explains pico de gallo perfectly, so I wont try and compete! I served this up with some mushroom and spinach quesadillas and sour cream and chive dip and it got wolfed down! There was some leftover, but it was even more delicious the next day! The juices had all soaked into each other and tasted incredible. I finished it with some stuffed peppers and salad the next day, but you could put this with almost anything.
1/4 whole white onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 jalopeno pepper
4 to 6 plum tomatoes
About 1/2 bunch coriander
- Finely chop the onion and place it in a small bowl. Using a microplane, grate the garlic into the bowl.
- Marinate the onion and garlic in lime juice. Cut the lime in half and juice half of it. You should have about 2 tablespoons. Add the salt and the lime juice to the garlic and onions, stir, and set aside for a few minutes while chopping the other ingredients.
- Chop the jalapeno. Slice the pepper in half and nick off a small piece of the membrane or seed, and taste for heat. If the pepper isn’t too hot, finely mince it. If it is very hot, remove the seeds and membrane from one or both halves, and then mince. You should have about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of pepper. Add to the onions.
- Chop the tomatoes and coriander: Chop the tomatoes into medium chunks and add to the bowl. Roughly chop the cilantro and add to the bowl. Stir gently to combine.
- Adjust seasonings! Taste the pico de gallo. If needed, add more salt, more cilantro, or more lime juice from the remaining half of the lime.
Let it rest! Give it a few hours to marinate together and it will be perfect!
*Apologies for the lack of decent photo – I was clearly too hungry to think clearly! These are the quesadillas I made with them that you can find here!
WHAT I DID
After planning a birthday treasure hunt for James when I was going away the day of his birthday, I wanted to share how I did it! It took a LOT of planning, but I wanted to leave him with something to do while I was gone. It started in the car as he was driving me to the airport – he got to open the first clue! It directed him back home for a few clues around the flat, and then on to pick his mates up who each had a clue! The last one directed him to the main event – it ended with a big box filled with edible goodies (lots of fizzy sweets, mint Aero and flumps) and an ASDA Click & Collect order, which he had to go and collect – it was filled with beer, bacon and ham.. lots of ham. It was very food related, but that was always going to happen!
- Plan, plan, and plan some more! I honestly made a table. I would have got totally mixed up with what clue was meant to go where and who got what! I wrote the order numbers on the backs of the clues and wrote where that clue was meant to be. Much easier.
- Use the internet!! I can’t rhyme for toffee so Rhyme Zone was a lifesaver. I also created a special QR code with this QR code generator, and reversed text so that he needed a mirror to read the clue with on this website! For the QR code, I downloaded a scanner app on his phone, clicked on plain text creator and printed it out! Easy peasy! I also created a Rebus clue (?!) which is basically pictures and letters using this site – I loved this one though! It might have been my favourite! Basically, use all the technology!!
- Go big or go home – Take it outside your house! In the garden, in the car, hidden locations, work, with friends, at favourite restaurants, etc., etc.! The possibilities are endless! Go far and wide!
- Hide your history! I used Google Chrome’s sneaky Incognito mode. Genius.
- Personalise it! It definitely makes it 100% better if you get some personal jokes in there, things that will make them smile and shows how much effort you’ve put in!! Include their favourite foods, favourite places and don’t just print out the first thing you find online! Not worth it.
- Get your Art Attack on! Go buy a Pritt-Stick (I actually didn’t have one), some card and Crayola’s and go to town! Cutting and sticking makes it all the more fun to find, and it takes you back to your primary school days!
- Where is it all going? What will it end with!? Don’t let it be an anticlimax! It doesn’t have to cost a bomb but make it just as exciting as the clues themselves!
- Photos! Film, video, photograph the whole event!! It will be so nice to look back on – I only wish I could have had it filmed so I could have seen his reactions!
I am from Liverpool. So obviously absolutely love a pan of scouse (probably known to everyone else as stew). I don’t really care what you call it, as long as you make it and eat it.
My memory of scouse is of my Grandma’s – and was beautiful. Homemade, honest and delicious. And my Mum has since made it many times – and adapted it to be veggie to suit my brother using Quorn mince. Tastes just as nice to me, and also contains something like 80% less fat – like the advert says! Handy bonus.
So I wanted to make it last week, and rang my mum for the ingredients. The only thing was she knew what to get, but when asked how much of anything, replied with a bit of a vague non-answer, about how I’d ‘just know’. Unsatisfied I thought I’d find some quantities online for a scouse, if not a stew. Nope. Couldn’t find anything. Anyway, ended up buying wayyyy too much, but suppose I did ‘just know’ and didn’t use it all. So here’s the veggie recipe for a bloody amazing taste of Liverpool.
– 2 white onions, chopped up.
– 3 large carrots, chopped into discs.
– 6 Maris Piper medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2cm bite sized pieces.
– Quorn mince (500g).
– Bouillon vegetable stock (I think I made a litre up and used just under this, but best to have too much in case it goes a bit dry).
– Mixed herbs (a healthy sprinkle).
– Salt and pepper.
– Half a bag of washed spinach.
– Fry the onions in a large pan on a medium heat. When they’ve softened, add the potatoes. Leave for them to soften a little bit too.
– Add the mince and mix well. Then add the carrots, and finally add the stock until it’s about 2 cm from the top of the mixture.
– Add the herbs, salt and pepper, and mix well. Leave to simmer for at least 20 minutes. If possible, make this in the morning and reheat at night for dinner – the potatoes will have soaked up all the juices and makes it 10x as amazing. Or reheat the leftovers the next day. Yum.
– When ready to serve, throw in the spinach until it’s wilted down.
– Serve with pickled beetroot and/or red cabbage, and a generous squirt of brown sauce or ketchup – much to my mum’s dismay – its got to be done!!