04 May 2011

Spicier Shews (and Not Just for Mac)

I've become quite fond of Isa's delicious version of vegan mac and cheese since making a slightly-adapted version of it recently. I had to make another batch soon after the first (which was actually only a half batch, silly me); it would have been simply wasteful to not put that leftover sauerkraut to use. This time around, the resulting sauce was slightly green, likely from the serrano peppers I blended in, which I've been putting in everything lately. I exercised patience and baked the pasta, as the recipe instructed. The addition of crushed rice cereal made a nice, crunchy topping.
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!


  1. I've got to make her mac version! Nice job on the salsa - that sounds awesome. There's a lot of Cinco de Mayo stuff circulating that I want to try but something simple like a salsa sounds best.

  2. Affectioknit5/5/11, 8:04 AM

    All YUM!

  3. Hi Tiffany!
    I think I'll make those shells...you've inspired me and I'm in the mood for some comfort food after so much smoothie/juice-drinking!
    Thanks for the Cinco de Mayo reminder :-)
    Lots of Love,

  4. Thanks! Something simple like salsa is a good place to start when trying to narrow down choices of what to make. I'm thinking of making guacamole later and just munching on baked tortilla chips with that and the salsa from yesterday. :)

  5. Yes, it's definitely comfort food. I hope you enjoy it! xo :)

  6. Vic (The Life)5/5/11, 4:47 PM

    I have never made Isa's mac but I have to admit, you make it look damn good! I usually make my own version but I may have to try Isa's now... :)

  7. I haven't made the mac and shews yet but your quesadilla with salsa looks awesome! I would rather have that. :-)

  8. Nice use of leftover sauce! I've been meaning to try the sauerkraut- looks yummy!

  9. I haven't tried Isa's recipe yet although it sounds wonderful. I love your idea of using the leftover sauce for quesadillas.


Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)