What are you eating for lunch today? If the answer is "I have no idea!" then how about a quesadilla?
Lunch is not so glamorous as dinner. It is there to keep the self that got up in the morning and is now at work able to keep working until you punch out. So I think I'm not alone when I say that what I seek in a lunch meal is the following:
- Quick and easy
- Healthy and satisfying in that way only nutritious food can be
- Easy on the wallet
- Requires a minimum of tools to prepare
This quesadilla checks all the boxes of the above list. This simple dish of pan or griddle seared-tortilla around a filling is of Mesoamerican origin, a culture which honed a rainbows worth of corn varieties over thousands of years and invented tortillas, aka the version of bread that doesn't make you want to take a nap. The quesadilla is traditionally made with Oaxacan cheese in the cheese department, and any desired fillings including mushrooms, nopales, squash blossoms, potatoes and/or chorizo (for a great recipe on how to make mexican-style wild mushroom filling, click here). For this one I opted for a combination of prepared foods to make this the snappiest most satisfying lunch I could dream of.
You will need:
- Corn tortillas (or flour if that floats your boat)
- 1/2 avocado
- A salsa of choice
- Hot sauce, if you please
- Black beans ( I got cuban style from Trader Joes which I added a pinch of salt to). This is nice cause then you don't have to flavor your beans! But that is easy too, if more time consuming
- Cheese (again I opted for super breezy here, choosing shredded Pepper Jack)
- And butter, lard or oil
Traditionally, a quesadilla is fried using lard, another fat which is semi-solid at room temperature. Being a non-possessor of lard, I opted for butter instead.
Heat up your heavy, solid pan over medium high and add butter. When butter is foamy and burbling at a talkative rate, add in one tortilla, briefly fry, and then flip. Add your beans and cheese, add other tortilla.
Flip the whole thing once its stuck together. If you need to add more butter, go for it.
Pull it out once its got a couple dark marks and is crispy, not soggy. Slice and top with a bit of mashed avocado, salsa and hot sauce.
Want another easy lunchtime solution? Try The Chopping Block's new Taco Tuesday demonstration cooking class during the lunch hour at the Merchandise Mart. It's a cooking class and lunch for just $20! Check out the upcoming menus.