17 June 2009
Having a 3 hour lunch break certainly has its advantages on stunning summer days like these. I can enjoy the day just as I would like to by having lunch with friends, reading at the beach, shopping, running errands, just about anything, or of course I can go home and catch up on some blogging!!! Problem is if I am sitting at a lakeside lunch spot or on the beach it is a little difficult to gain strength and go back to work. You can see that can't you:D In August our office will be moving to a heritage home in the downtown core. Imagine all the distractions I will have then!!!!!
Yesterday L'il Burnt Toast and I had lunch at a relatively new restaurant, Cabanas, which is owned by Ned Bell. Close to the beach and the "young" crowd it offers fabulous and innovative cuisine. I had to tear myself away from the conversation and head back to work. Today I am having lunch with another friend at an orchard so I will have to drag myself back to work again. Good thing I love my job!!!! When I am at home after a day at work or during my lunch break quick and easy often falls into play. That is why the barbecue is my best friend!!!
The quesadilla is loosely defined as a Mexican version of a grilled cheese sandwich and fits the bill perfectly. The word comes from the Spanish language, and literally means "little cheesy thing" or "cheesy." They are one of the easiest, healthiest and delicious recipes to prepare on the grill.
The basic quesadilla is made up of a tortilla, cheese, and anything else your little heart desires. They are so wide open to interpretation and don't really even require a recipe!!!! Just do your thing!!! The tortilla is folded over and then browned or grilled on both sides before cutting it into wedges and serving.
I am told that the sincronizada (Spanish for "synchronized") is a tortilla dish frequently confused with quesadillas by tourists in Mexico, because it is what is typically called a quesadilla in most Mexican restaurants outside of Mexico.
There is a wonderful Mexican restaurant south of here along lake Okanagan that serves up authentic Mexican dishes. It is an hour away but well worth the drive for the sensation that you are actually in Mexico!!!
This is my version of a quesadilla. It is vegetarian but you can always add chicken, shrimp or beef to boost the protein factor.
I served it with this guacamole from Rick Bayless.
**Grilled Black Bean Quesadillas**
4 whole wheat flour tortillas
1/4 cup black beans, cooked and lightly mashed ( I most often use canned to simplify the process)
8 red and yellow pepper strips, grilled
2 tablespoons roasted corn ( for a quick solution use frozen corn)
2 tablespoons tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup (8 ounces) fat-free mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 cup goat cheese feta (optional) ( I use cojita when available)
Pinch of cumin
Pinch of chili pepper
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat grill to a medium setting. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
Thinly spread 1/4 cup of mixture on top of tortilla, fold in half. Lightly spray the top and bottom tortilla with cooking spray. Place quesadilla on grill and allow one side to brown 4 to 5 minutes. Flip quesadilla and brown the other side for a few minutes. When cheese is melted through, remove quesadilla and allow to cool slightly and cut into wedges. Serve with your favorite salsa, sour cream and guacamole.
Makes 2 quesadilla's.