Post #508 Cheesy Toasty Goodness

September 29, 2016 at 7:18 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Another windy, damp, gray day.  I have the day off (yay!) and I’m spending it catching up on a lot of things I’ve been not doing due to work and chores.  So far today, I’ve caught up on laundry, done some baking, straightened the kitchen, baked scones (more on that in a later post), am about to bake cheesecake brownies, did some editing on a writing project, and getting ready to meet a self-imposed quota of 6000 words written today (and this blog post counts,)  In the midst of all that, I need to plan and make dinner.  Dinner on a windy, damp, gray day has to be warm and satisfying or it just isn’t worth it.  No cold supper tonight.

It has to be tasty.  It has to fill the house with comforting aromas.  It has to be easy.  It has to be interesting.  And it has to be good.

I was thinking about a casserole.  Simple, easy, tasty, but I’m not really sold on casseroles these days, and I don’t really want to make something saucy tonight.  It’s getting close to lunch time, and I was going to fix up a couple of quesadillas until I blitzed to the realization that quesadillas for dinner would be perfect!

So, you haven’t heard of quesadillas?  First, let’s learn how to pronounce it.  (Reminiscent of the old joke, “How do you spell it?  You don’t spell it; you eat it!”  pronouncing it is necessary.)  It’s  KAY-SUH-DEE-YUH.  It’s a Mexican treat of toasted flour tortillas with melty cheese inside.

quesadilla-1

I was first introduced to quesadillas growing up in Arizona.  It was the local version of the grilled cheese sandwich.  There are two versions of the quesadilla method: folded and topped.  Folded quesadillas consist of one huge flour tortilla with the cheese filling on half and the other half folded on top.  The topped quesadilla is one smaller tortilla with the cheese filling all over it topped by another tortilla so cheese oozes out all around it.  We loved quesadillas and ate them as often as we had cheese and flour tortillas.

The basic quesadilla consists of a flour tortilla heated in a skillet.  Place a heavy skillet large enough to hold the tortilla comfortably over medium heat and allow the skillet to become hot.  Grate your favorite cheese (I typically use sharp cheddar, but you can use whatever you like).  When the skillet is hot, place the tortilla in the skillet and allow to brown and crisp, about 30 seconds.  Flip the tortilla and quickly spread with the grated cheese.  If using the folded method, spread the cheese over approximately half the tortilla.  If using the topped method, spread the cheese over the entire tortilla.  When the cheese had started to melt, either fold the clear area of the tortilla over the filled area, or top with another tortilla.  Press lightly to adhere the tortilla to the cheese.  When the cheese has melted completely, flip the tortilla and cook for about ten seconds, then remove to a plate or cutting board.  Rest it for about ten seconds, then cut into wedges.  The quesadilla can be eaten plain as is, or served with a sauce for dipping.  Salsa, guacamole, mole, salsa fresca are all good choices, but play around with it if you like.

Easy peasy, right?

Quesadillas can be filled with lots of things in addition to the cheese.  You can make steak quesadillas or chicken quesadillas, or taco quesadillas, or vegetarian quesadillas.

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Tonight, though, we’re having pork quesadillas.  So I have to make the pork filling.  Not a big production, but it’s a simmer all afternoon project.  Right now, there are four pork tenderloin slices simmering in the electric skillet.  I took them right from the freezer and broke them into pieces that would fit.  I heated some olive oil, and browned the frozen slices on each side.  Then I added some diced jalapenos, and now it’s simmering and filling the house with the warm aroma of cooking meat and spicy peppers.  In a few hours, when the meat is cooked to the falling apart stage, I’ll let it cook then break it up, mixing the peppers into the meat.  I’ll add some chopped mushrooms so they cooked by residual heat, but still firm.

Once it’s time for dinner, I’ll open a can of black beans and rinse them off.    For each quesadilla, I’ll put down some cheese, a small spoonful of black beans, and a quarter cup of the meat mixture.  I’ll top with another cheese (pepper jack, I’m thinking) and once the cheese starts to melt, I’ll top it with another tortilla, the topped method.  I think two of these each with fill everyone up.

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Okay, so the rain tiddled down all day, and I didn’t have the flour tortillas I thought I did and I wanted more wine, so FiL and I ventured out into the weather and got the items needed (and wanted.)  I didn’t do the topped method, but did the folded.  They turned out perfect!

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Here’s one before it was devoured voraciously.  So good.

Enjoy

 

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2 Comments

  1. I like to think of Quesadillas as the ” other grilled cheese”. It’s so similar but feels a bit more “exotic”. And like grilled cheese the sky’s the limit as far as variations.
    My ex-wife and I used to add surimi and some taco seasoning just to jazz it up. And usually had sour cream on the side.
    A few years ago I found a mix of Ranch dressing and salsa to be a really tasty dip.

    • Never ever thought of ranch and salsa together. But since I despise ranch in any form, that’s not a surprise.


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