Sunday, January 17, 2010
I have to admit that my motives were not pure when deciding on this new venture. I recently was inspired to be creative with quesadillas after ordering a goat cheese, mushroom and spinach quesadilla at a modern Mexican restaurant. I loved the creaminess that goat cheese lends when it is heated; rather than the typical mealty/gooey cheeses (Although, I do love that too.). I've made quesadillas before so that alone wouldn't qualify this as a "new food venture", but I figured if I attempted an element of the dish that I had never tried before, I could sneak it by. The element of choice: roasted beets. I think they are stunning but have never had them outside of restaurant fare, as they seem somewhat tedious to make. In fact, roasted beets are simple: wash and scrub beets, lightly cover in olive oil, wrap in tin foil and place on a tray in a 375 oven for about 45 minutes. After they have cooled, you peel the skin away and you have a succulent, flavorful roasted beet.
I love the combination of avocado and beets; the density of the beet paired with the creamy avocado has a tremendous mouth-feel, and the tartness and sweetness of both are prominent when combined. I thought this combination would pair nicely with a creamy, tangy goat cheese to complete the dish. Because all of these elements have fairly tart flavors and tender textures, I decided to create a fruit salsa with grapefruit and pomegranate seeds. I marinated the fruit with jalapeno, Cayenne, cilantro and lime to offset the citrus, and to give it some Mexican flare.
It was a messy process but the end result looked beautiful, and tasted great! It was the first time I have truly been innovative with cooking, and I can check another food venture off my list for 2010. I have a few more things lined up for the next few weeks, but have been searching for new things to try. I want to go outside my comfort zone. I want to study recipes and learn how they work. Suggestions are always welcome!!