You decide to have a party for Cinco de Mayo- yet your Southern friends want to know if they can view the Kentucky Derby as well? Could be a fun mix of cultural exploration. But how are you going to pull off the the food and drink to satisfy both?
Margaritas and stuffed pork quesadillas versus mint juleps and Benedictine cucumber sandwiches. Of course, we all know each event has an immense more to offer than tacos and bourbon, but today we are seeking one recipe that can tie them together seamlessly.
This Spicy Strawberry and Mint Grilled Cheese Quesadilla Sandwich is a crazy exploration into marrying these two festivities through one recipe. Imagine you are walking around the party while munching on a warm, cheesy quesadilla and you trip - but catch yourself by landing your cheese filled hand into a fellow party-goer's mint julep, which proceeds to knock into a bowl of fresh strawberries. Yup, that's what this is. Cue the fireworks.
Sure it's far fetched, but it could happen. More important is the how the warm Grand Marnier kissed goat cheese envelopes the sweet strawberries and fresh mint. Simple toasted walnuts add a touch of luxury and refinement to the sandwich while the spicy jalapeno jelly lingers on the tongue. I know it sounds odd, but it's a fun little appetizer; could even be a light lunch on the right day.
It's a fancy sandwich that that resembles a quesadilla and has all the makings of lip smacking and finger licking. Breathe easier knowing you have your party bases covered ... unless a Sox game is on at the same time!
Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: Let the goat cheese come to room temperature for easier spreading. For a fancier looking sandwich/quesadilla, use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of the white bread.
Whip together the goat cheese, cream cheese, one tablespoon of the Grand Marnier and a sprinkling of fresh black pepper, set aside. Pour the remaining Grand Marnier in a small, shallow bowl (you will be dunking the strawberries in this.)
Assemble the sandwiches: Spread a spoon of the goat cheese mixture on one side of the bread. Tear up one medium sized mint leaf over the goat cheese and then sprinkle with a spoon of chopped walnuts. Dip the sliced strawberries in the Grand Marnier and lay on top of the goat cheese. Spread a spoon of the jalapeno jelly on the remaining bread slice and bring the two halves together. Repeat for each sandwich.
Brush a hot griddle or large fry pan with butter. Place the sandwiches on the griddle and cook until lightly golden brown. Flip over and repeat on the second side. Enjoy while warm.