Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mexican Nite!!

Hello friends, X here blogging from Traverse City! More on that later. First, I'm going to take you back to Saturday night at Jayje's. The three musketeers convened with a mission – dinner. Me and Beerdsmith arrived armed with ambition and cookbooks. The night was young, and infinite culinary opportunities lay before us.
“Alright kids,” announced Jayje, “we better be making Mexican tonight. I've got a LOT of refried beans to get through. And fake cheese sauce, too.” Great. We set to brainstorming.

I had brought along one of my first – and favoritest – vegetarian cookbooks, Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home. Despite our recent lackluster meal at their restaurant in Ithaca, I still love and cook regularly from their recipes. It was a cold, rainy blah kind of day, so naturally I'd been thinking about soup. I paged through the book until I reached their tomato-lime soup recipe, which is ridiculously easy, and ridiculously tasty. It was a perfect start to Mexican night.

Tomato-Lime Soup, adapted from the Moosewood collective

3 gloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 46oz can of tomato juice (about 6 cups)
3-4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (or more if you're obsessed like me)
the juice of 1 small lime
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the cumin and garlic in a little oil, until the garlic is soft but not brown. Add the tomato and lime juice, and bring to a boil. Stir in the cilantro and salt to taste. Simmer for a few minutes, then lower the heat and keep warm until its time to eat. Serve with tortilla chips, and add a dash of hot sauce if you like.

Course number two was quesadillas! We had quite the spread of filling options:

-chopped tomato
-red pepper
-rainbow chard
-green onion
-vegan queso sauce
-refried beans
-cilantro YESSS

I took a tortilla, and spread one side with beans and the other with cheese. I quickly sauteed some mushrooms, red pepper and greens until the mushrooms were reduced, the chard bright green, and the pepper crisp-tender. I flung the veggies onto the tortilla, folded the thing in half, and fried in Pancake's wonderful cast iron skillet until the sides were crisp and brown.

You may think that a cheese-less quesadilla would be prone to falling apart. However, with an adequate application of beans and sauce, your quesadilla will remain intact, or at least until you stuff it into your mouth.

MMM iz good...

Pancake, enjoying dinner and working on the teen novel. Stay tuned.

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