Pineapple Red Chili Pepper Fresh Salsa
We are big fans of fresh salsa. There's something about the crisp bite in a good pico de Gallo compared to salsa from a jar that you just can't beat. And, I'm no stranger to cheesy nachos and salsa, but the more I cook, the more I try to make everything myself. Even salsa.
I have a tried and true pico recipe that I altered many times until I got it just right and I will be completely honest it skips the fresh chopped cilantro and garlic and replaces it with the dried alternatives. There are a lot of people who claim to hate cilantro, I am not one of those people BUT, I have a fix for those who are and it's dried cilantro. The tangy earthy scent and flavor that hits people's taste buds like soap is totally gone with this version, and then I add cucumber for a fresh crunch.
I used this same base for the upgraded situation of fresh salsa, so diced plum or Roma tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers, lime juice and olive oil I went fresh with the garlic and cilantro, because I dig cilantro. Then I took some red chili's, and some green chilis. Market 32 only had an array of them and in the entire selection, there was only 1 red chili. It's fine though because you do not need a lot to make a statement with a Serrano pepper. And I had a few that were red and greenish, so in they went. I sliced them down the center and gutted the seeds out to reduce the heat incase my kids wanted some, but you don't have to if you want that kick.
Wash your hands, and do not touch your eyeballs for three days after cutting.
I'm kidding, mostly. But I did wash my hands like 40 times since cutting these and when I took my contacts out last night, it still burned a little...
Then a diced up some fresh pineapple, added some salt and stir, stir, stir, cover. Store it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to really marinate the flavors and either serve it up with some really good tortilla chips OR
If you really wanna elevate your taste buds, add this pineapple red chili pico into a quesadilla! We had chicken quesadillas and to start, I seasoned the chicken breast with chicken seasoning, chili powder and cumin. Drizzle with a little canola oil and cooked in my Foodi. I like pulled chicken in a quesadilla so I did low and slow bake in the Foodi, but if you want to pan sear, or grill and don't want to do the pull apart method, thin slices to chopped chicken works fine in a quesadilla too!
My trick to making them the best they can be is with a little Mexi-Ranch dressing on the inside of the tortilla before placing onto heat and then cheddar jack cheese. Then, I add a little spread of Mexi-Ranch onto the inner side of the top tortilla and place it over the top to sear, melt and become delicious.
I will be trying this pineapple red chili fresh salsa on every Mexican/Spanish cuisine dish for the rest of time until I've tried it all. Enjoy!
for the fresh salsa:
3 plum or roma tomatoes, diced
2 round slices off a red onion, diced
4-5 cucumber slices, diced
chopped cilantro OR dried cilantro
chopped garlic OR garlic powder
fresh pineapple, diced
2-3 red or green Serrano chilis, seeded gutted (optional) and diced
for the chicken quesadillas:
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded/chopped/sliced
cheddar jack shredded cheese
DIRECTIONS for fresh salsa:
mix all the fresh ingredients together
squeeze lime over the top
add olive oil and season with salt
stir, and let sit for 30 minutes, enjoy!
DIRECTIONS for chicken quesadillas:
cook seasoned chicken on LOW in a frying pan OR on 250 degrees in an over/Foodi for30 minutes or until done, then shred, chop or slice into strips
cook tortillas spread with mexi-ranch on LOW/MED heat layered with chicken, fresh pineapple red chili pico and cheese
top with another tortilla spread with mexi-ranch, dressing side down
cook until browned on both side
let rest for 2 minutes then slice into triangular sections, enoy!