Wednesday, January 26, 2011
To whom shall I tell my sorrows, asked the man quietly to his horse as he rubbed the horse between his eyes, and they faced the expanse alone together. I don't know who to attribute that to; I must have read it somewhere sometime; but I made Punjabi Quesadillas for my dinner today, and they tasted good to me.
To begin, I threw a couple of frozen chicken breasts into a pot of water with salt and pepper and boiled them until they were not quite cooked. This is a good method for thawing frozen chicken.
In the meantime, I started the Punjab with three scallions, four cloves of garlic, and about a tablespoon of freshly grated ginger, an ingredient I am growing to appreciate more these days since it tastes good and it acts as a digestive aid, so I have heard. Into the pan it all went with a little olive oil.
As those items sauteed, I pulled the spices from the cupboard: paprika, turmeric, coriander, garam masala, and a spice we bought awhile back but have never used: the fragrant green cardamom. I opened the cardomom pod and crushed the seed with my fingers slightly before adding it to the melange. I gave a stir and allowed the spices to cook with the ginger, scallion and garlic for a few minutes.
I find that it is helpful and useful to me to have a bowl of tomato sauce in the fridge for whatever I might want to use it for throughout the week. For example, I made couscous a few days ago that I cooked in chicken broth and tomato sauce, and I found the addition of the sauce to work so well. So I added about a half cup of sauce as well as some of the water from the chicken , which I had diced and added to the spice mix, also. I added a little salt, and now it tastes good to me, spicy enough to nip the tongue a little, but not so spicy as to be overpowering.
To assemble the quesadillas, I spread my chicken mixture on a whole-grain tortilla and added a handful of cilantro before topping with about a half cup of shredded cheese, some kind of bag mixture that I found in the freezer. Topped with another tortilla, and into the oven she went until the cheese melted. I might have left it in the oven awhile longer to crisp the tortillas more, but no problem.
I had some plain yogurt and some mint in the fridge, so I thought I'd make a little sauce for the quesadillas, too. Into a bowl with the aforementioned, I added a little fresh lemon juice, a little fresh lime juice, salt, pepper, and a chopped tomato. I questioned the agreement of the cilantro in the quesas and mint in the sauce, but everything was complementary, to be certain.