Saturday, April 07, 2012

My Pioneer Adventure #1 - Mexican Recipes

My friend Lorrie suggested calling this cooking venture "My Pioneer Adventure." And so far, I like that best! So, unless something else comes up that I like better, this is what I'm going with!

Here's my first results/review post! I'll discuss each recipe I prepared, any changes I made, what I thought about the recipe(s) and what my family thought.

Yesterday I decided to make Barbecue Chicken and Pineapple Quesadillas. To go with them, I chose Mexican Rice and Restaurant Style Salsa.

*Disclaimer - I am not a photographer or a food stylist. So my photos will not look anything like those on Ree's blog!

First, the Quesadillas. I LOVE quesadillas, but pretty much always make them the same way. So I was excited to try something new. Everything came together pretty easily. I forgot to brush the barbecue sauce onto the chicken before I sliced it, so I just brushed it on after. I don't think it made any difference at all.
I had never grilled pineapple before, and I could have made a meal off of just that...I love pineapple, but now I love it grilled even more!
I don't care for really spicy food, so I took just a small slice of the jalapeno and diced it up really small for my quesadilla. I added a few slices to Chip's, and left if off of Ruthi's completely. CJ had to work, so he missed out altogether. Oh...and there's nothing wrong with my sour cream in the above picture, except for the fact that it's not sour cream. It's cottage cheese. Because somehow I managed to grab the wrong thing at the store! I read the sign and price but just grabbed the wrong container without paying attention at all! So I put it on mine just for the picture - but it actually tasted pretty good!

The verdicts:

I absolutely loved the flavors of the savory chicken, the sweet pineapple and the tangy barbecue sauce together. My mouth did a little dance with all the flavors jumping around in there! A thumbs up for me.

Chip didn't love it. He said it was alright and that the flavors were interesting. He said it was nothing like he'd ever tasted before. Then he said, "Do I ever want you to cook it again? No." So it's a thumbs down for him.

When Ruthi first tasted it, she said the chicken was good but then the juicy pineapple ruined the taste of the chicken. She didn't finish hers. Later, she went back for it after it was cold and she liked it much better. She said she didn't like both the chicken and the pineapple being juicy, but when it was cold the chicken was drier and she liked it more. But she took the pineapples off. She likes them on pizza, but apparently not on quesadillas. For her - one thumb up and one thumb down.

CJ had to work and didn't get to taste it, so no opinion from him.

Mexican Rice

This was pretty simple to make too. But it makes a LOT of rice! I followed the recipe exactly, but forgot to add the cilantro at the end. Would have made my picture prettier!

Mine did take longer to cook than the recipe suggested, so I was glad I got it going before I started everything else. It smelled delicious while cooking.

The Verdicts:

I liked it, but it had a pretty good kick to it, and was a bit much for me. I think if I were to do it again, I'd just add diced tomatoes instead of Rotel, then kick up the seasonings a little. I ended up mixing my black beans into mine and then was able to eat it which counter balance the heat, and I liked it that way.

Chip has never been a fan of Mexican or Spanish type rice, and this one really didn't do it for him either. He was surprised I was eating it at all due to the heat factor.

It was too spicy for Ruthi.

So sadly, this was kind of a thumbs down dish for us. Not that it wasn't good, just didn't suit our tastes.

Restaurant Style Salsa

This was VERY similar to a recipe I've been using for a few years that was given to me by a friend. There were only a few differences, so I was curious to see if it came out much differently from mine. I followed Ree's recipe exactly, except I did remove some of the seeds from the jalapeno first. Oh, and my limes were really small, so I used the juice of the entire lime. I LOVE cilantro and am usually pretty heavy handed with it. But Chip seriously dislikes cilantro, so he usually eats the stuff from a jar. I measured it out this time so I didn't use more than the recipe called for, and hoping that since there wasn't as much in there, Chip would like it.

The Verdicts:

I liked it. It was very similar to the one I usually make, just a slight difference in taste. However, it was quite a bit hotter than I usually make it. I believe that's due to the use of Rotel. But I liked it anyway. Even though don't usually like really spicy foods, somehow if it's good salsa, I can deal with it!

The hope of using less cilantro causing Chip to like it didn't work it. It was still too much for him. He did say if there was more heat to it, it might be ok.

Too hot for Ruthi.

CJ tasted it today. This boy LOVES hot food...really hot food. And he said there was too much jalapeno in this! He also said there wasn't enough cilantro. So he wasn't a huge fan.

Guess I have a lot of salsa to eat now! I don't mind a bit.

However...not sure what I"m going to do with all this rice that is leftover!!!

I'm making a couple of recipes for Easter tomorrow. I'll be back to let you know how they turned out!


  1. Anonymous4:11 PM

    You are so funny! Cottage cheese for the pic. cracked me up! We're really picky about Mexican and don't like pineapple so I wouldn't have even tried those recipes. So you get two big thumbs up for trying them :))

    1. Lorrie, we LOVE just about any kind of Mexican around here, but this was definitely a twist on the usual. I was honestly surprised I liked the pineapple. But too bad I was the only one!

  2. Anonymous2:49 PM

    I love rice you can always bring it to me ;)

    1. Well Shannon, it probably wouldn't be so good now. Too bad I didn't know that before! ;)


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