While making that latest batch of "cheesy" shells, I ended up with a lot more sauce than the pasta needed, so I saved a bit of the excess sauce, thinking it would make for a tasty spread, dip, or filling for another dish. With talk of Cinco de Mayo circulating around the Internet--it is tomorrow, after all--I was getting a hankering for something spicy. It started with dry-fried, Cajun spice-marinated tofu yesterday--not Mexican or even Mexican-inspired, but I really like that spice blend. I wanted something bread-like with which to eat this delicious tofu, but the heat convinced me that using the oven was ill-advised. Homemade whole wheat tortillas became a suitable alternative. Then I remembered the reserved, serrano-spiked shews sauce. Long story short: I made quesadillas. They were good--a little gooey and nothing like the "real thing" (i.e., the dairy cheese-filled type), mind you, but definitely good and something I'd make again.
Before creating this Cajun-Mexican fusion snack, I figured it might need a little something to go along with it, so I threw together a corn salsa of sorts. Apparently, broiling thawed sweet corn kernels gives them an almost fire-roasted-like flavor, which was what I hoped to achieve. Using whatever was on hand, I combined the sweet corn with green onion, tomato, avocado, garlic, cumin, serrano, salt, pepper, cilantro, and calamansi juice. The resulting salsa ended up being a lovely, sweet-salty-spicy side to the quesadilla and appropriate addition to a somewhat unconventional concoction.
If you ever find yourself with some sauce to spare from a batch of Mac & Shews, you may want to take advantage of its versatility (maybe spice it up) and try it in another tasty way. To those of you who celebrate it, have a happy, safe, and delicious Cinco de Mayo!