I get fully inspired by various cultures... and then I make it my own, usually blending cultures along the way.
Take last night, for example. We had corn tortillas and I was not sure where we would end up, but Mexico was my inspiration and I managed to convince the ingredients to join our culinary adventure.
RECIPE: Cheese Quesedilla
> put your skillet on medium low heat
> put tortilla into the dry pan, spread a little cheese over half the tortilla and fold in half
> cook gently on both sides until the tortilla is golden and the cheese is melted
> allow to cool for a few minutes on a cutting board before slicing into the gooey hot cheesiness
I used mozzarella and some home made paneer (an Indian cheese) that I had on hand.
RECIPE: Salsa Fresca
6 fresh tomatoes, diced
1/4 red onion, minced
1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
> put it all in a bowl and mix it together
RECIPE: Chickpea Bean Dip
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 sweet bell peppers (red, orange, or yellow)
1 tbsp garlic
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp paprika
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
3" stems from 1 bunch cilantro (or 1/3 bunch), finely chopped
> turn the broiler to high and pop the whole peppers into the oven RIGHT UNDER the broiler; you want to char all the skin so it is blistering, brown, or black
> keep your eye on the peppers and turn them every few minutes so they char on all sides
> while you are doing that, dump the rest of the ingredients into a food processor or blender
> once the peppers are well charred, carefully remove them from the oven and place them on a plate
> now, you can either pull the charred skin off or leave it on - both had great flavour when I tried them; that being said, if you have BLACKENED pieces of the skin, pull those off for sure, keeping in mind that this is a hot vegetable you are working with - be careful!
> remove the seed pod and stem
> put the peppers in the food processor (or blender) and blitz the works
Serve with tortilla chips or quesedillas or use in tacos and burritos.