Rules, Schmules!


I’ve never been very good at following some kinds of rules. In most cases, I am a stickler for them. I always use my turn signals and never follow too closely. I don’t jaywalk. If I were a smoker, I would never think of smoking somewhere where there is a no smoking sign and I try to treat others as I would want to be treated (yes, I feel that comes under the heading of rules. If it didn’t, it does now. I just made it a rule 😛 ) and so on and so forth. But when it comes to recipes, I am simply horrible at following the rules. I can barely follow a recipe much less cooking rules. Mix soy sauce with BBQ sauce? Ewwwww! I’ve done it… it works.  Fruit with meat? I was doing it long before it was fashionable. Wear white after Labor day? Oh wait, wrong kind of rules and a stupid one to boot. Mix two totally different types of cuisine? Yep, been there done that. It’s one of my favorite ways of cooking. Tonight I wanted Quesadillas. But I was also craving the Andouille sausage I bought a few days ago. I wanted Gumbo. I wanted Tex-Mex. In other words, I was completely confused… aka my normal state of being. Pretend you didn’t read that. I am never confused. I walk through my days in utter logic and straight thinking. I also have a dinosaur named Barney who hides in my closet.

So as usual, I decided to play. Sometimes my playing ends in utter disaster like what happened here . Sometimes I get lucky although I like to delude myself into thinking it is my skill. Yeah… right. Pure luck. I tend to think that that is how most decent dishes came about. Luck or mistakes. Tonight I lucked out. I hope you like it. 🙂

Cajun Panini Quesadillas With A Spicy Lime-Cilantro Mayo

  1. 1 lb andouille sausage, cut into bite size chunks (you can also just take it out of the casing altogether but I tend to like the bite you get with the casing)
  2. 1 package pre cooked chicken strips ( the kind in the lunch meat section)
  3. 1 large green pepper, cut into strips
  4. 1 large onion, cut into half moon slices
  5. 8 10 inch flour tortillas
  6. 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  7. 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  8. 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  9. 1 cup cheese (just use your favorite. I used a four cheese Mexican blend)
  10. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  11. 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  12. zest of one lime
  13. juice of half a lime
  14. 1 tablespoon chili lime hot sauce (Franks makes the one I used but you could just sub your favorite hot sauce. You DO have a favorite hot sauce I hope? Please tell me that you do.)
  • Dump your andouille, green pepper and onion in a large saucepan with the oil.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the andouille is thoroughly cooked and the veggies are soft.
  • Add in the Cajun seasoning, tomatoes and chicken strips. Continue cooking over medium heat until the chicken is heated through and the tomatoes are softened.
  • While this is cooking, preheat your Panini press. If you don’t have a press, you can use a frying pan lightly greased with oil but it is going to prove more difficult to get out of the pan w/out thing flopping out of it.
  • Put one tortilla in the press. Cover with 1/4 cup cheese and a quarter of the sausage mixture. Top with the other tortilla and close press. Cook for about 4 minutes or until it is nicely browned. It’s thick so you may have to press the heck out of the panini press.
  • To make the spicy cilantro-lime mayo, mix together the mayo, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice and hot sauce.
  • Serve the quesadillas  cut into fourths with some of the mayonnaise and a lime wedge on the side for drizzling over.
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