Cilantro Ancho Pepper Turkey Cheddar Quesadilla with a refreshing Salvadoran Cabbage Salad!
"Hey mon! Not every plate of south of the border food has to have guacamole, salsa, lettuce, sour cream, refried beans and rice! Okay mon?" Ha Ha Ha! That statement is true!
Certain Mexican entrees and Central American entrees do have specific accompaniments. Many trendy hispanic chefs simply choose accompaniments for their creations that accent or compliment the theme of the creative entree. Many accompaniments are seasonal. Refreshing light accompaniments are served during hot summer months. The French are not the only creative chefs in the world, as you know. Hispanic chefs do have a knack for making entrees exciting and appealing!
I was impressed with how refreshing the vinegar and cabbage flavor of a Belize Garnache was. I also was impressed with the refreshing flavor of Salvadoran curtido de repollo. Curtido de repollo is a Salvadoran cabbage salad and it is the traditional accompaniment for papusas. San Salvador is located in the tropics. Chefs from the tropics are experts at making food that refreshes customers who have been out in the heat.
I dusted this plate with ancho chile powder as a garnish. Dusting is a nice way to garnish, if it is done with good taste. Dusting cannot be done on plates that are served in open air outdoor breezy dining areas or in dining areas that have ceiling fans. The chile dust would blow away and become an eye irritant. Nobody wants to see a dining room full of customers that look like they are crying!
Salvadoran Curtido De Repollo Recipe:
There are several versions of Salvadoran cabbage salad. This is a very basic version. It is important to allow the salad to marinate for 5 minutes. Never marinate curtido de repollo for so long that the cabbages becomes limp! The cabbage should have a crisp bite when served. The curtido de repollo is always served with the marinade intact when it accompanies papusas. When placing the salad directly on a plate, like this recipe, drain the marinade off. Save the marinade to make more curtido de repollo. You will crave more!
Place 1 large handful of very thin sliced savoy cabbage into a mixing bowl.
Add 1 tablespoon of Korean or Vietnamese coarse red serrano chile pepper sauce.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
Add 2 to 3 pinches of sea salt.
Add black pepper.
Add 1 or 2 pinches of coriander.
Add 2 teaspoons of sugar.
Add 1 tablespoon of chiffonade sliced cilantro leaf.
Add 1/4 cup of water.
Toss the ingredients together.
Set the salad aside for 5 minutes, so it marinates.
Cilantro Ancho Pavo y Queso de Cheddar Quesadilla Recipe:
Place a large flour tortilla or large whole wheat flour tortilla on a counter top. (I use a whole wheat tortilla.)
Sprinkle some grated cheddar cheese on one half of the tortilla.
Place about 3 to 4 ounces of thin sliced roasted turkey strips on the cheese. (Sliced roasted turkey from a delicatessen is fine for this recipe. Cheap pressed turkey loaf style deli turkey is taboo!)
Sprinkle 2 pinches of ancho chile powder on the turkey.
Sprinkle 3 or 4 pinches of chopped cilantro on the turkey.
Sprinkle some grated cheddar cheese over the turkey.
Fold the plain half of the tortilla over the quesadilla ingredients.
Heat a large saute pan over medium/medium low heat.
Add 1 splash of vegetable oil. (About 1/4 cup)
Place the quesadilla in the hot oil.
Grill the quesadilla on both sides, till it becomes toasted and crisp.
Cilantro Ancho Pavo y Queso de Cheddar Quesadilla con Curtido De Repollo:
Place the quesadilla on a cutting board.
Cut the quesadilla into 4 equal size pie slice shaped pieces.
Place the quesadilla on a plate, so the points of the slices are pointing outward and so there is a space on the middle of the plate for the salad.
Place a small bed of cilantro sprigs on the empty space on the middle of the plate.
Drain the curtido de repollo marinade off of the salad into a separate bowl.
Place the curtido de repollo on the bed of cilantro sprigs.
Garnish the salad with a cilantro leaf.
Dust the plate with small sprinkles of ground ancho chile powder, but try not to get any on the quesadillas. (Skip the ancho powder dusting if the dining area has a breeze or fans!)
The flavors of the quesadilla classically go well together. I chose cheddar, because it goes nicely with turkey. The ancho and cilantro add an appealing flavor. The curtido de repollo is crisp, mildly spicy and very refreshing! Yum! ... Shawna