OUR STAY AT VILLA COCOA MAYA ~ Oceanfront, Candidasa, Bali


What happens, you ask, when the toasty, caramelized flavours of the seasoned sear of a perfectly grilled steak meet the toasty, caramelized flavours of golden-edged, sauteed, sweet onion and Poblano, while the Pepper Jack cheese is watching? Well, silly, the cheese melts, of course, irresistibly, bringing it all together, tucked, sassily between ever-so-lightly, butter-sizzled, crispy-soft, flour tortillas. Olé!

Lucky for us Mexican food has always been one of our favorite go-tos.  It all started from my treasured, childhood vacations to Mexico City and Acapulco, with Mom and Dad, and then, of course, from Mom's fantastically delicious take on Mexican home-cooking. 

From there, Forest Grump, enthusiastically, caught on, from the get-go, and decades later, our Mexi-cravings continue. 

As we are bringing in this shiny New Year whiling away, on a sunny hillside, overlooking the blue Pacific and beautiful Kona town, my Hawaiian kitchen always has an enviable stash of luscious, fresh picked, island fruits and veggies, from local Farmers Markets.  I know, so cool!

QavoLast Saturday my favorite vendor, Earthly Delights Farm, at the Keauhou Farmers Market, had a bag of Ranpur limes, stashed away, for me.  Yes, apparently, I am now known in these here parts.  Oh, how I love Big Island Rangpur limes. They're always hard to find, but when you do, no one can wipe that smug, sour-tangy, smile off your face.  They look like an orange, inside and out, but the juice is all limey, and sour, and deeply floral.  Sublime.  Mahalo oodles, Earthly Delights Farm.

And then another, close-by, market vendor had big, dark, dark, green avocados, boasting smooth, melt-in-your mouth goodness.  Nature's butter.  Yum-O!

QcuttingHmmm......just-picked Ranpur limes and buttery avocados temped me to grab some sweet Maui onions, fresh Poblano peppers and cilantro.

One thing lead to another and Grilled Steak Quesadillas were in the making. 

I don't know if it's my imagination, or not, but when I am, in the kitchen, concocting Mexican food, and can glance out the window and see palm trees swaying and fishing boats out on the ocean, I think it adds some kind of serendipitous umami to whatever I am making.

Either way, these quesadillas are pretty damn quick and easy and indulgently quell the Mexi-cravings.  For now.

Oh, but wait, I had a really good idea, while I was throwing these together, and Ta Da!.........Ranpur lime Margaritas were gulped sipped.  Saludos!


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About 1 pound boneless New York striploin + hefty sprinkling of your favorite steak spice
(we usually use Hawaiian sea salt mixed with a hefty dose of crushed red chili flakes)
1 plump Poblano pepper, thinly sliced
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon each butter and olive or avocado oil for frying veggies
2 cups Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
About 4 tablespoon butter, softened
8 - 6-inch flour tortillas

Serve with your choice of:
Sour cream
Fresh avocado slices
Fresh lime wedges
Salsa fresca

Preheat BBQ.  Grill steak to your liking.  Remove from grill and cover with foil, for 5-10 minutes. Slice into thin-ish strips.

Meanwhile, plop 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over high heat, add sliced peppers and onions. Stir, stir, adjust heat if necessary, to medium-high, and cook until softened, with toasty golden edges, about 5-8 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Butter one side of each tortilla.  Heat non-stick skillet over med-high heat.  With buttered side down, top four tortillas with cheese, onion and peppers, and steak slices.  Plop other tortillas on top, buttered side out.  Slide one quesadilla into the skillet at a time and sizzle each side about 1-2 minutes, until cheese melts and tortillas are golden toasty.  Slice in half, and serve with a Margarita-tinged smile and a quiet Olé!


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