Friday, June 6, 2008
You know what I miss most about my home town, besides mumsy and the fam of course? No no, its not the widely accessible Gun and Pawn shops, sillies. It is the food! I know they get tired of it, since they have it all the time, but I love it. There are at least 7 Mexican restaurants, 2 Chinese, a couple of pizza shops and one or two random ones. You can see it is a little lopsided as far as choices, but we are a Mexican food lovin' kind of people. I always make them go to 3 of the Mexican ones when I go home. Mexican food is so diverse. There are as many different styles as there are places to eat. Oh, hi dad. (This is our favorite)
Safford definitely has it's own style. The most popular things are bean and cheese burros (that is what we call burritos) enchilada style and various things made with green chili, which is actually a chili made with green chiles and pork. Delicious. We have our own style of quesadillas as well. At least in my favorite places, when you order a cheese quesadilla, you actually get a giant party on your plate. Since I can't go home very often I had to learn how to make them myself, and now they are a regular dinner for us.
I have been wanting to do this post for awhile when I saw the June Recipe Box Swap over at "I have to say". Since there is no theme this month I thought this would be a perfect time to jump in. Follow the link to the start site to find all the other delicious recipes for the month. This is my first recipe tutorial so please bear with me, you will love them.
This is for 2 quesadillas. It is really easy to make more though, but I always just make for 2 of us.
Cheese Quesadilla's Safford Style...
-2 flour tortillas
-About a cup of shredded (or mexican mix) cheese
-1 can diced green chile's
-Sour cream on the side
-1/2 T butter for each quesadilla
-An avocado or guacamole (optional)
-Medium to large frying pan (my 80$ frying pan ended up being defective, so I am using my sautee pan which works well too, it is just harder to flip the quesadilla and remove it from the pan)
-plastic glove (nice to have but not necessary)
We usually have all of the ingredients on hand so it is easy to make on short notice and impressive for company.
Begin by heating up frying pan on med heat. While that is heating prepare rest of ingredients to form an assembly line. Chop the tomato in half and scoop out most of the innards. There will be plenty of moisture without them. Dice each half and keep them in two piles.
Next, open the can of green chiles and use lid to empty the excess juice into the sink, like you would with tuna. There should only be a little, don't go crazy here.
Grate the cheese into a bowl. You want a couple of good handfulls for each one. I usually buy it pre shredded (I know I'm a cheater), but love grating it fresh when I have some on hand.
Get out your tortillas and the butter. You can wing this as well but I usually just cut a tablespoon in half for each one.
Once everything is out you are ready to roll. Your pan should be nice and hot by now. Turn the heat down just a tad. Right before you put in the tortilla, add the butter and make sure it coats the pan.
Quickly put in the tortilla. Since you have everything out and ready to go, it will be easy to fill the tortilla before it cooks too much.
First, add the cheese. You want this to cover a little over half of the tortilla. At this point, check the bottom to make sure it isn't cooking to fast. You want a steady browning. Turn the heat down a bit more if you need to. (If it looks like it is barely cooking, turn it up. Just keep an eye on it. You want a steady but not overpowering heat)
Then spread half of the tomato over half of the tortilla. Do the same with the green chiles, using half a can for each quesadilla). They are messy (hence the glove) and I like to use my hands but you can just as easily use a spoon. Try to spread as evenly as you can, but you are doing this quickly, so don't fuss to much. Add a tiny bit more cheese to act as a glue.
At this point you fold it in half. The top will already be browned, which is a good thing. You will only flip it for a few seconds to make sure all the top cheese has melted.
The key, is to have to outside crispy without being burnt. If it isn't cooked enough, it is difficult to handle. You will want to be able to lift the whole thing with your spatula without all the inside falling out. Just be patient and watch the heat.
When the bottom is nicely browned and the cheese is mostly melted, use your spatula to flip it over. I tried to get a photo of this, but since I only have two hands, it nearly ended in disaster. If the bottom seems too flimsy still, let it cook a bit longer. It will flip easily when it is ready.
Let it cook on the other side until it is cooked to the same degree. It shouldn't take nearly as long.
When both sides are nicely browned and crisp, gently slide the whole thing out of the pan onto a cutting board. It isn't a bad idea to let it sit for a moment, so the cheese can settle a bit. Cut it into four sections, and slide it on to the plate.
At home, I will always have guacamole, but since my husband doesn't like it (shame, I know) and I can't always get avocados, I usually just go for sour cream. But feel free to add guacamole and salsa to the side if you like. They are also great with avocados on the inside.
Once you have your garnishes on the plate you are ready to eat and enjoy. I usually cover the first one loosely with tinfoil while I make the second one. It will go much faster though since you have the heat figured out and everything else ready to go. When I cook for more people, I use two frying pans. As long as you are prepared, it will go smoothly.
The star here is really the green chile's. They are about 1-1.50$ a can out here, but much less in the southwest. My mom usually throws a couple cans in every package she sends. They add enormous flavor without being too hot. They are great in just about anything. Put a 2 lb pork roast in the slow cooker with a cup of water and a can of green chile's. Eight hours later, shred the pork and you have a delicious main dish or burro filling.
I hope you all enjoy this little taste of southern Arizona. If you give them a try, please let me know how they turn out.
Nothing but dark clouds, wind, and drizzles all day. (Rainy days are great for quesadillas though, just a thought). The weekend looks much more promising. Here's to hoping. On the good news front, I won! I won two wonderful giveaways this week. A beautiful folk angel painting that I have been craving from my best gal Tipper at The Blind Pig and the Acorn (she does a drawing every month, all you have to do is comment, the more the better). And...an amazing wonky house quilt from Upstate Lisa, another one of my favorite people. I almost feel guilty, because I won her first giveaway as well, but the quilt is fantastic! I can't thank you both enough for letting me take part in such a gesture of kindness. I needed a lift this week so they came right on time. Both their blogs are wonderful. Go check them out, you won't be disappointed. And I promise to not enter Lisa's next drawing so you will all have a chance, he he. Have a great day everyone.