Saturday, 18 April 2020

Quesadilla

I hope this post finds you safe and well, and you are managing to navigate through these unprecedented times. We are trying to take as many of the positives from this pause as we can, and while staying home can be challenging at times each one of us has just about settled into our new rhythm.



The good weather has certainly helped! And last Friday - with cloudless blue skies, and the sun warm on our faces - felt exactly like a perfect summer day. I had that rare heavenly feeling of having nothing to do, and the best part about it all it’s still only spring 🥰

It’s not often that a single day can go down on the calendar as one of ‘the best days’ but Friday 10th 2020, for us, definitely could. It was a yin and yang kind of feeling though but for me that’s always been the best kind. The best memories come when things don’t go to plan when opposites collide and make magic. It was Friday, a long bank holiday Easter weekend, usually a time when the summer season unofficially starts (this weekend we're usually in Sea Lodge), yet everyone on the island was in semi-lockdown. It was odd for us to stay indoors at such a festive time so we flipped it to a positive and turned our lockdown into a forced staycation of sorts – our holiday spent at home.

The past few days of exceptional weather are days when I find myself spending as little time as I can indoors and as much time as I can outside. In a practical sense, this means I usually have our evening meal outside in the garden on chopping boards, meals you can eat with your hands. It’s a no plates, no cutlery kind of thing. While I’m usually a stickler for table manners (especially indoors) that goes by the wayside when temperatures start to soar - some of us are even able to eat while playing football..! I did say etiquette goes out the window on days like these.

Here is a recipe for one of our most loved garden meals.

What you will need:





To poach the chicken:
  • 1 liter of water
  • 2 teaspoons of fine sea salt
  • 4 chicken breasts 
To prepare the Quesadillas:
  • Olive oil
  • 8 tortilla wraps
  • 300g jar of mild salsa
  • 100g frozen sweetcorn
  • 100g cheddar, grated
  • Chicken pieces
  • 200g sour cream

The best equipment to use:
  • Large pot
  • Pancake pan – substitute: large flat frying pan

How to make handheld garden quesadillas:

Firstly poach your chicken. Poaching the meat will ensure that it stays beautifully tender and moist and can be easily shredded once cooked.

Add the cold water, salt, and chicken breasts to a large pot (just cover the chicken - approximately one litre). I usually add a small carrot, half an onion, and celery at this point to flavour the water but this is not a necessary step. You need the water to come up to the boil, keep a good eye on it, and as soon as it starts to bubble immediately lower the heat to a simmer and cook over a very low heat for 10-12 mins, or until the juices run clear in the thickest part of the breast. Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid, leave to cool and rest for 10 minutes and then tear or shred into bite-sized pieces. To easily shred the meat, slice the breast in half lenghtways and shred apart with two forks. You could also buy a rotisserie chicken and shred the meat into pieces with a fork in the same way.


To make the quesadillas, heat the pan over a medium-high heat and brush with olive oil.

On one half of your tortilla wrap spread generously with salsa. Next, on top of the salsa, sprinkle the grated cheese and sweetcorn (no need to defrost as the corn will cook from the heat of the pan). And lastly, place pieces of chicken on top. On the other half of the tortilla spread the sour cream then fold in half and press down firmly. Assemble all 8 tortillas in the same way.

Place two folded tortilla halves onto the pan and cook on one side until golden, 4 - 5 minutes approximately depending on how hot the pan is. Once cooked on the first side flip the two halved tortillas and cook until golden on the other side. 

Remove from the pan and place each tortilla on the chopping board and slice each tortilla half into four slices. Cook the remaining tortillas on the pan, serve just as they are or with a side of guacamole for dipping - staycation heaven!


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