rock shrimp and mango quesadillas

I've been spending a lot of time working on ways to make this little food blog better. When I started, it was more of a journal and I didn't think anyone would look at it besides me. It was easier to keep recipes online than in a book. But then, the better I became at cooking and the more I started to think of cooking and taking pictures of the food I prepared as a creative outlet, the more I wanted to share the food I made with others.

Then I discovered other food blogs, real food blogs, where people shared their own love of cooking. I wanted my blog to look more like theirs. I'm also a bit of an overachiever, and if I invest my time in something I want to do it right. So I read more and more food blogs. One of my favorite authors, Stephen King, says that if you want to become a writer you have to read a lot. So I figured since I want a pretty food blog, I need to look at a lot of food blogs.

One of the things that make photographs pretty is the backgrounds. They shouldn't overwhelm the picture of course, since the picture is about the food and the meal. But a nice placemat with lovely colors and designs compliments what's really important in the picture. So I went to World Market and bought some individual wrapping paper and to Hobby Lobby for 2 foot blocks of fabric to use as backgrounds for my dishes. This is the first picture I've used them with, and I think it looks really nice.

Now about these quesadillas.

I used rock shrimp, which are a cross between shrimp and lobster. They taste sweet like lobster and went so well with the mango and the fire from the jalopeno. They have hard shells (hence the name) and so come with the shell removed. They are not cheap, but are worth the extra price for special occasions.

This dish is easy to prepare. I love using my cute little quesadilla maker. It's bright red and has chili peppers for handles. 

1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 tbs garlic
1 large serrano or jalopeno chile
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 teas oil
1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined
juice of one lime
1 teas salt
1 teas cumin
1/2 cup cilantro
1 mango, cut into small chunks
8 tortillas
2 cups grated cheese

In a medium skillet, saute onion, garlic, tomato and chile in oil. Add shrimp through cilantro and cook a few minutes more. Add mango and cook another minute or so.

Plug in quesadilla machine. When hot, place one tortilla in machine, top with 1/2 cup shrimp mixture and 1/4 cup cheese and top with another tortilla. Cook according to directions. Serve with salsa. 

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