Category Archives: Appetizers

Char Roasted Salsa

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We all know the best part about going to a Mexican restaurant is knowing you will be rewarded with chips and salsa upon arrival.  Ideally the chips are warm and the salsa is homemade.  You can tell a lot about a Mexican restaurant when you eat there chips and salsa.  I have had amazing and I have had pretty bad.  Fortunately, you have landed on your new “go to” char roasted salsa.  Just a couple of easy steps and you will be rewarded with a smokey, sweet, and tart salsa that your friends and family will love!  Given the number of margaritas your guest has had, they might even encourage you to start selling your own line of jarred salsa!

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We all know great ingredients produce great food.  Seek out the best tomatoes you can find.  A traditionalist might tell you to use Roma tomatoes when making salsa.  Continue reading

Chunky Guacamole

 I once worked with a Brazilian chef at a restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale.  We had some ripe avocados and when I suggested that we make guacamole he looked at me like I had two heads.  For him avocados have only one purpose.  In Brazil they make a blended sweet drink with them.  I tried his avocado “shake” and thought it was pretty good.  In France, we would mix avocado with white chocolate and use it as a dessert garnish.  But my favorite use, hands down is guacamole.  Whether it’s just with corn chips or used to garnish my Spinach and chicken quesadillas, I love it!

I make a minimalist version of guacamole.  I prefer to leave out aggressive flavors like bacon or garlic.  Depending on my mood, I sometimes add a spoon of homemade salsa to mix it up.  

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Grilled Chicken Quesadillas with Spinach and Mushrooms

What can I say about quesadillas? They are such a comfort food for me.  I think of them as a Mexican grilled cheese.  It’s mind boggling how many variations there are to this dish!  I like the classic combination of grilled chicken, spinach, and mushrooms.  It elevates the dish from a simple appetizer to a killer entree!  Of course the dish would not be complete without my Char-roasted Salsa and Chunky Guacamole. 

I start by cooking thin sliced onions and over high heat.  Once a nice color is achieved, I add minced garlic and cook just until brown.

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