These ones are quite different from the first. But equally as delicious. I’m in love with both.
I recently had a strong craving for peanut sauce. I think I have made it once or twice before, but it’s not a regular thing I eat. So when I got a craving for it, I decided to give it a try.
You know how a lot of Asian-inspired dishes and sauces call for a bunch of ingredients that you never have on hand? That is how it is for me. Well, I decided to try a very simple peanut sauce, using just ingredients that I probably already had or would use the entire thing of in this recipe. I hoped the sauce would still taste delicious without buying all the extra things, and guess what? It did!
This sauce is amazing. It is simple and uses few ingredients. If you’re looking for a delicious peanut sauce that you can simply whip up any night of the week, this is it!
Let’s talk about the shrimp and pineapple. Greg and I once made shrimp and pineapple kabobs on the grill. They are the perfect combination for peanut sauce. Juicy, plump shrimp + sweet, tangy pineapple + slightly salty peanut sauce = the best ever. And, roasting pineapple takes it to a whole new level of deliciousness.
Now let’s talk about the cheese issue. Or, in this case, the non-cheese issue. Nope, I did not put cheese in these quesadillas. That is definitely not a usual situation, but if these are done right, it works so well. I promise!
Greg is the biggest cheese lover ever, so I made him one with cheese. After he tried one with and one without, he agreed that this quesadilla does not need it. There is already so much amazing flavor going on, cheese is not needed!
So, the only problem with having no cheese in a quesadilla is the sticking together part. They key is the texture of the peanut sauce and being sure to cook the quesadilla long enough.
Let me explain. If you make these, this is important, or your quesadillas may not stick together! So, the first time I made the sauce, I used 1/2 cup of water to thin it out. The sauce was delicious and a nice texture, but not for these quesadillas. Using 1/2 cup of water made the sauce way too thin for these. It would be a great texture for making peanut noodles or a peanut dipping sauce, but not for these. These quesadillas require a thicker sauce. 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons of water was the right amount. I started with 1/3 of a cup and needed just a bit more. Now, I will say this. Depending on the thickness/texture of your peanut butter, you may not need that extra 2 tablespoons of water. Or you may need more. My peanut butter was fairly thick but yours may be thinner or thicker. Start with 1/3 cup of water and go from there. I tried to show you the texture of the sauce in the picture right below.
The other important detail to making these “eatable” is to cook the quesadilla until just crispy. You don’t want it to be crispy to the point of being a hard taco shell but you want it to bend and stick in place once it’s folded over. You want it to be slightly crispy, to hold everything together.
I made these one night for dinner. The next day, I made them again so I could confirm the recipe and photograph it. When I made them the second time, I only had intentions to take one bite, so that I could get some photographs with a bite taken out of the quesadilla. I had already had lunch. These are so good, that once I took that bite, I thought, there is no way I’m not eating the rest of this. Help! 🙂
*This is what I used to make two quesadillas. These are easily doubled, tripled, etc.
2 tortillas (I used rice tortillas (gluten free))
6 large shrimp, peeled, deveined and cleaned
1/2 cup pineapple chunks, sliced into thin pieces
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 large garlic cloves, divided, one in the peanut sauce and the other for the shrimp
1 lime, divided, one half in the peanut sauce the other with the pineapple
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons hot water
Preheat the oven to 400*. In a bowl, mix together pineapple, a drizzle of olive oil and the juice from 1/2 of the lime. Transfer the pineapple to a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
In a blender or food processor, combine the peanut butter, 1 clove of garlic, the juice from the other half of the lime, soy sauce, brown sugar and hot water. Blend on high speed until the sauce is completely smooth.
Once the pineapple and sauce are done, begin the shrimp. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add a minced garlic clove and cook for a minute or two, to flavor the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the shrimp. Let cook on one side for about 2-3 minutes and then flip. Add a couple of spoonfuls of peanut sauce to the pan. Let the shrimp cook completely through. Once the shrimp is done, transfer it to a plate and cut it into small chunks.
To assemble the quesadillas, start with a cast iron or regular skillet. I made mine in my cast iron and it worked perfectly. Place the skillet over medium heat on the stove. Add the tortilla to the pan. Add about 2 tablespoons of peanut sauce to one half of the tortilla. Place half of the shrimp and half of the pineapple on the peanut sauce. Let this cook until the tortilla begins to get crispy. Top the shrimp and pineapple with additional peanut sauce, if desired.
Once the tortilla is slightly crispy and the peanut sauce on the bottom has slightly thickened, fold the tortilla over. Using a spatula, press down on the folded over tortilla to mesh everything together.
Cut in half and enjoy!
-The amount for the peanut sauce made one cup of sauce. I had leftover sauce after making the quesadillas. It will keep in the refrigerator for several days. I tossed some leftover sauce with sauteed veggies and soba noodles and it was excellent!