Thursday, October 07, 2004

A Meal Not on Wheels

John visits his best friend Mike once a week. I am not quite sure what they do with their evening, but I imagine that they decompress by escaping into a world of video games and football. What I do know is that Mike has been experimenting with his recently purchased gas grill and John will sometimes bring home leftovers such as a chunk of smoked salmon or an entire pork loin. But this was not a night fueled by grilled meats; John came home ravenously hungry.

I am usually prepared to whip up a late-night snack, especially if I can prevent John from stopping for fast food. He has sat down to 10:30 meals ranging from potstickers and fried rice to oven-roasted rainbow trout with orzo and haricots vert. But tonight, I was experiencing a culinary perfect storm: I was tired and the pantry was nearly empty.

There were exactly two flour tortillas in the refrigerator. I also spotted a container of pan-fried chicken breasts I had been eating with my lunch salads. Then I found a piece of jack near the back of the cheese drawer. Eureka!

I placed one tortilla in a frying pan over low heat while I grated the cheese and mixed it with chopped scallion and half of a diced seeded tomato. I spooned this mixture over the tortilla and started to shred the chicken. This gets topped with a spoonful of black beans. I can never flip a quesadilla with the filling intact, so I slide it open-faced onto a plate and heat a second tortilla for the top. A lone, ripe avocado got mashed with some salsa and a few drops of hot sauce for an impromptu guacamole to accompany the quesadilla.

John happily munched this thrown-together meal. It had no claims to authenticity, but it was an example of how a little creativity and a hunk of cheese can mean the difference between a home-cooked meal and fast food.

Yummm! This blog makes me want to learn to cook. In fact, I'll just pop in regularly to get direction.
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