Wednesday, January 20, 2010
"the best quesadilla ever"
first i should mention that these pictures were taken using my iphone just like the pictures of the vegan reuben that are in my last post. i have a proper camera that i will use to take pictures once i get a china ball to light up my kitchen. for now these shoddy quality snaps will have to do.
tonight i went to my favorite little locally owned grocery store, figueroa produce, to try some bbq that they have in from some guy named nick. the bbq was okay. i've certainly had better but for "california bbq" it was alright. i might go back on sunday when nick is doing a sampling of his full offering of bbq delights and taste the other items to see if there is something i like better but otherwise i will stick with bludso's which has, by far, the best bbq in los angeles. anyhow, enough about bbq. some of you are probably about to cry thinking of all of the dead animals. nom nom nom.
while i was waiting for my sandwich to be prepared i walked around and grabbed some fresh produce and decided to make a quesadilla.
to most people i assume a quesadilla is just a tortilla with cheese melted inside of it. these people are really missing out. this format can really provide a delicious means to get all kinds of stuff into your mouth. not just cheese. this vegan quesadilla is healthy and really fucking delicious. zane said it was the best quesadilla he has ever had. hence the title of this blog.
you can use whatever is in season and available locally where you are. eating local ingredients is really important to me and should be important to you as well. i had a swell of guilt the other day when i realized that gardein products (a really great vegan faux-meat line) come all the way from canada. you can imagine the strain that this might put on the environment... an environment that is also important to animals.
my ingredients were as follows.
one yellow spanish onion roughly chopped.
four zucchinis. these guys were smaller than i am used to seeing them. if they were average sized then i would have purchased two.
cut them up like so
two fresh jalapenos. sliced. if you want less heat then you should remove the seeds. that's where the big heat is.
one ear of fresh corn.
removed from it's cob with a sharp knife. like so!
three portabello mushrooms. stems removed and sliced into strips.
a couple of tomatillos. if you don't have access to these then you could use a regular tomato but these are sooo delicious. i cut mine into little pieces. 'little' is the technical term. oh and remove their little outer leaf thing first. i don't think you're supposed to eat that!
these are purple potatoes. they are sooo pretty. one of my favorite ingredients to use. if you don't have purple potatoes available at your local grocer or farmer's market then you can use ANY potatoes.
slice your potatoes into thin slices. about twice as thick as a kettle potato chip. i think i used two potatoes. the above picture is misleading.
a little daiya cheese...
and last but not least..
tortillas! these were in size ginormous. also a technical term. ginormous.
heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat while you are chopping your onion. add your onion and jalapenos to the pan and begin to caramelize.
when the onions begin to look clear and magical add your sliced potato.
salt to taste and don't forget to stir occasionally.
in a second pan add a teaspoon or so of oil and over medium-high heat begin to cook your cook zucchini.
allow zucchini a minute or two to get started before reducing the heat to medium and adding your portabellos. season with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes until mushrooms and zucchini are soft.
in the last moments of cooking your potato mixture you should add the tomatillos.
i used a little bit of daiya cheese on zane's quesadilla and a little bit of non-vegan cheddar cheese in mine. i am convinced that daiya cheese gives me a little bit of a stomach ache but zane loves it. it's also possible that my stomach ache was caused by the fact that the last time i ate it was after consuming a great deal of alcohol and then eating it on about 8 slices of pizza... i will definitely eat it on occasion but i had some leftover cheddar to use so i went ahead and finished it off.
my stove has a griddle in between the burners so that is what i used to melt the cheese and form the quesadilla. if you don't have a griddle then any pan that fits your quesadilla will be fine.
a few sprinkles of cheese is the most that i recommend here. the vegetables should be the star of the show. cheese is just a little treat and helps hold your tortilla in place. do not PILE cheese on or it will get greasy. =(
i folded my quesadilla into a half moon and set my heavy pan that i cooked the potato mixture in on top of it while it was on the hot griddle to help hold it together/press it down.
cut into three or four slices and ta-da! magical vegetable quesadilla. we ate ours with a little bit of fresh pico that i bought at figueroa produce. their house-made salsas are awesome. i was wishing that i had an avocado to slice and put on top. next time..