Musical pairing – Pink Houses by John Mellencamp
We enjoy a good Mexican dish as much as the next person and, having lived several years in Arizona and having a Hispanic sister-in-law, I think it’s safe to say, I’ve had some pretty stellar Mexican food; so when TortillaLand asked if I’d like to try their uncooked flour tortillas, I must admit I was a bit skeptical . . . and curious. In fact, I’d never heard of uncooked tortillas (unless you make them yourself, which I have not ) – just corn or flour tortillas on my grocery store shelf and obviously those have been cooked.
One of the first recipes I made were the enchiladas for our Memorial Day family gathering – the original recipe called for corn tortillas but I prefer enchiladas made with flour tortillas – perfect! I’ve also made breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs, fresh salsa, a slice of avocado; roll into burrito and you’re done – better than any drive-thru . . . and we may, or may not, have stuffed a warm tortilla with a scoop of ice cream . . . sigh. TortillaLand makes their tortillas with five ingredients: wheat flour, water, canola oil, salt and sugar – all good stuff and non of the bad. If they’re available near you, I recommend you keep a package or two on hand . . . it’s quite easy to eat them warm, straight out of the pan!
One of my favorite dishes is my own take on a quesadilla – filled with simple vegetables like zucchini, onion and peppers, spicy cheese, serve with a dollop of chipotle cream and a few slices of good-for-you avocado; add a few pieces of chopped tomatoes and you can have lunch or dinner on the table in less than 10 minutes . . .
You know . . . with the 4th of July holiday coming up, why not cook up a stack of these to serve as appetizers for that party – switch up the veg, add a bit of chicken if you want a protein, spice up the chipotle cream and make your own signature quesadilla . . . pour yourself a cold one, crank up some Mellencamp, light a sparkler or two . . . then head out to a local fireworks show . . . and be sure to thank our military men and women for their sacrifice and service!
Here’s the Smith Bites riff . . .
VEGETARIAN QUESADILLAS WITH CHIPOTLE CREAM
- 4 TortillaLand Flour tortillas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise then sliced into ½-inch pieces
- ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 3 jarred roasted peppers, drained of juice (I used piccio because that’s what I had)
- 4 slices pepper-jack cheese, each piece cut into fourths (can use shredded too)
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 4 grape tomatoes, sliced into quarters
- 1 dollop of Chipotle Cream (recipe follows)
- cilantro for garnish
- In a non-stick skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil; add onions, season with a pinch of salt/pepper and sauté for about 2-3 minutes until onions begin to soften
- Add zucchini and continue to sauté for anther 3-4 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender (not mushy); season with another pinch of salt/pepper. Add jarred roasted peppers, torn into long pieces (approximately 1/8-cup, more or less depending upon what you like); stir together and turn off heat; set aside.
- Dry pan: heat tortillas for about 30 seconds on each side prior to filling with vegetables
- Place one tortilla in dry pan over medium-low heat; place 4 pieces of cheese on top of warm tortilla; add half of the vegetable mixture on top of first layer of cheese. Add second layer of cheese on top of vegetables; place second tortilla on top and press gently.
- Continue to heat until bottom layer of cheese begins to melt; flip the quesadilla over and repeat.
- The whole process should take about 5 minutes
Cool quesadilla 3-5 minutes, cut into wedges; serve with slices of fresh avocado, chipotle cream, tomatoes and cilantro.
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped chipotle in adobo sauce (include adobo as well)
- Mix together and serve – it’s really that simple!