Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hey, I Was Going to Read That!

Once, when we were out at a restaurant in Philly, some friends and I decided we needed to know if you could mail a napkin. So we addressed the napkin, stamped the napkin and put that sucker in the nearest post box. It arrived about a week later (despite having been mailed a block from my apartment) in a little plastic baggie with a note attached apologizing for the condition of our mail. Ahem. We mailed a napkin; there was no need for such a formal apology. Which makes it all the more infuriating that two weeks ago when I received my July issue of Real Simple there was not a single page between the covers. It was an empty shell. It had the post office's lovely yellow forwarding label on it, but nothing else. Post office, let me share with you, I will notice if the magazine part of my magazine is missing. And I will care. Because the magazine part is the part I want. The cover can go hang for all I care. Luckily due to extensive complaining on my part to anyone who would listen I ended up with 2 July issues (one from my mother and one from Real Simple) plus an extra June. And even more luckily, there was something in those missing pages that intrigued and inspired me. In the three ingredient recipe section they had portobello quesadillas. Now, I couldn't be satisfied with any three ingredients, so I gussied them up a little for you. And I'll even give you the recipe in case you've received a pageless edition of Real Simple as well.

Inspired by July's Edition of Real Simple
makes two full sized quesadillas

2 large portobello caps. Mine were huge. Get three if you're worried.
1 - 1/2 C thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 t balsamic vinegar
1/2 C pepper jack
1/2 C cheddar cheese (I used all pepper jack but found the pepper overwhelming, you do what you like, just get yourself a cup o' cheese)
4 flour tortillas
olive oil

In a smallish pan, put 2 tsps of extra virgin olive oil. Turn the heat to medium Then add your thinly sliced red onion (I cheated and sliced on a mandolin because my knives are dull and I am lazy, also I don't usually wash the dishes). Add a healthy pinch of salt. Watch them, you want them to be sort of carmelized not crisped, so let them cook low and slow. Once they're more soft than hard, add your 1 1/2 t balsamic vinegar. It took mine about 10 minutes on medium low and they had the tiniest bit of resistance when you bit in, just make sure you like how done yours are. When they're done, put them in a dish. Take your portobellos. Wash/wipe the caps. If you're anti-gill like I am, scrape them out with a spoon. (I'd eaten the gills for years, and then once they tasted like dirt and now I always scrape). In a small bowl whisk up 1-2 T of extra virgin olive oil with some salt and pepper. Then rub this all over your mushrooms. Put them in a medium high pan and cook 5-6 minutes per side (if you had a grill, you could grill them, but I don't so I don't know how). When they're nice and soft, chop them into largish chunks. Grate your cheeses and mix them together. When it's time to make the quesadillas, sprinkle on half the cheese, then half the onions, then half the portobellos. Distribute evenly so each bite tastes good. I like to put a pat of butter in a large pan over medium heat, lay down the first tortilla and assemble right on it, so I don't have to move it with the fillings falling out. Then I just lay the other on top and cook about 4-5 minutes until the bottom is goldeny brown and the cheese is melty. Then flip and cook another 4 minute until done. If you're making them one at a time, keep them warm in a warm oven covered with foil, otherwise you can use all the pans in your kitchen and to them simultaneously. Evil to do to the dishwasher but efficient for the chef I say. Cut in wedges with a pizza cutter and serve with a dollop of guacamole, or salsa or whatever makes you happy.

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