Mapped out meals: Tandoori chicken, quesadillas, more

Simplify your weeknight dinner (and grocery) routine by shopping for four meals at the same time. Here, celebrity chef Marcela Valladolid makes wild mushroom quesadillas, rosemary skewered shrimp, cilantro tandoori chicken and beef albondigas soup.

Grocery list:

- 1 pound raw, medium-sized shrimp

-1 4-pound chicken

- 2 limes

- Pineapple

- 8 tomatillos

- 1 white onion

- 4 chiles de arbol

- 2 serrano chiles

- 1 shallot

- 1 cup chanterelle mushrooms

- 1 cup oyster mushrooms

- 2 medium ears of corn

- 1/2 cup carrots

- 2 stalks of celery

- Tomato paste

- Cilantro

- Thyme

- Fresh ginger

- Ground cumin

- Ground coriander

- Ground chipotle chile

- Dried crumbled oregano

- Bay leaf

- 15 rosemary sprigs

- Salt and freshly ground black pepper

- Sugar

- 8 flour tortillas

- 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese

- 1 egg

- Plain yogurt

- Olive oil

- Vegetable oil

- 6 cups chicken broth

- White wine

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Makes 4 to 6 servings


  • For the pineapple salsa:

    • 1/2 ripe but firm pineapple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1/2 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and diced
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    • Pinch of sugar
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the tandoori chicken:

    • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
    • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
    • 4 garlic cloves
    • 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 4-pound chicken, cut into 6 pieces (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs)


Baking Directions:

To make salsa:Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Add the pineapple slices and grill for 2 minutes per side, or until tender and grill-marked. Transfer the pineapple to a cutting board and chop it. Put the pineapple in a medium bowl and stir in the cilantro, serrano chile and lime juice. Season the salsa to taste with sugar, salt and pepper. Serve warm. For tandoori chicken: Blend the yogurt, cilantro, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander and salt in a food processor or blender until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Grill the chicken for 12 minutes per side, or until just cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a platter, top with the salsa, and serve.

Wild mushroom quesadillas
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Makes 4 servings


  • For the tomatillo and chile de arbol salsa:

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 8 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
    • 1/2 white white onion
    • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
    • 4 chiles de arbol, stemmed, seeded, and torn into pieces
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For quesadillas:

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 shallot, minced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 cup chanterelle mushrooms, chopped
    • 1 cup oyster mushrooms, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
    • 1/4 cup white wine
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 8 flour tortillas
    • 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese


Baking Directions:

For the tomatillo and chile de arbol salsa: In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the tomatillos, onion, garlic and chiles. Cook for about 7 minutes until the tomatillo skins are browned.Carefully peel the garlic cloves and add to blender along with tomatillos, onion and chiles. Add the cilantro and 1 cup water. Process until smooth, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.For quesadillas:In a large, heavy saute pan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic and saute until fragrant and translucent in color. Add mushrooms and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add thyme and cook for another 2 minutes. Add wine and cook until the liquid is fully evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Heat a griddle to medium-high heat. Heat 1 tortilla, place 1/2 cup of cheese and 1/2 cup of mushroom. Saute mushrooms on top of the tortilla. When cheese begins to melt and the bottom of the tortilla turns golden in color, top with another tortilla and flip, allowing for the other side to cook and turn golden in color. Continue doing the same process for the other 6 tortillas so you end up with 4 stuffed quesadillas. Serve immediately and top with tomatillo and chile de arbol salsa.

Rosemary skewered shrimp
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Makes 4 servings


    • 15 fresh rosemary sprigs
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 tablespoon dried crumbled oregano
    • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 pound raw medium-sized shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left intact
    • Lime wedges for serving


Baking Directions:

Remove the leaves from half of each rosemary sprig. Reserve the sprigs. Chop enough of the leaves to make 1½ teaspoons. (Reserve the remaining leaves for another use.) Combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, dried crumbled oregano, ground chipotle and chopped rosemary in a medium bowl. Season the marinade with salt and black pepper to taste. Add the shrimp and toss until coated. Let stand for 5 minutes. Skewer 2 shrimp on each rosemary sprig. Heat a heavy large sauté pan (or comal) over high heat. Add the skewers and cook for 1 minute per side, or until the shrimp is cooked through. Transfer to a platter and garnish with the lime wedges. Serve immediately.

Beef albondigas
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Makes 6 servings


    • 1 pound ground beef
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried crumbled oregano
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1/3 cup white onion, finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
    • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
    • 6 cups chicken broth
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 serrano chile
    • 1 cup corn off the cob


Baking Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, mix ground beef, egg, oregano, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper by hand until everything is evenly incorporated. Using a spoon, measure 1 tablespoon of meat mixture. Roll to form a meatball and place on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. In a heavy saute pan, heat vegetable oil on medium high heat. Add onion and tomato paste. Add carrots and celery. Saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil, add albondigas (meatballs), bay leaf, serrano chile, and corn to boiling liquid and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Degrease with a large spoon. Discard the grease. Serve warm immediately.

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