Taste of Home (in green)

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I've officially decided to start on an endeavor I'm calling "Recession Gourmet." There was an article not long ago in New York magazine to a similar effect, only that their recession and my recession took place in two different stratospheres. Despite that, some of the greatest meals I've ever had have been jimmied together in strange places (sometimes a la Hidden Kitchens) and are good because they were put together with care and good company.

Recently, I had a craving for Mexican--delicious, La Taqueria, El Tayonese Mexican--because it tastes like San Francisco. Since that wasn't gonna happen, I thought of the recipe a good friend had given me forever ago for tomatillo salsa. Now, avocados stretch the idea of recession budget over here, and it can take a while to find a good one. I had to let mine ripen in a paper bag--no kind of instant satisfaction--but the wait was worth it.

I whipped out my new cast iron skillet, charred them babies up (I know you know what these are, but for further info, look here and here), and started the salsa. When all that was ready, I only needed a minute more to toss on a tortilla (I like corn best), with cheese (almost any will to. Love queso blanco, but I used a combo of edges and goat cheese, because we had it) with a little chili powder and paprika. It wasn't exactly San Francisco, but it did the trick.


For quesadilla:

Two small tortillas per person

2-4 oz grated cheese per person, or more to taste

A dash each of sweet paprika and chili powder.


For Tomatillo Salsa

Couple handfuls of tomatillos (15-20?)
1 Ripe Avocado
1 White Onion
6-10 limes as needed
2-3 Jalapenos (in combo with hotter peppers if you like)
1 bunch Cilantro cleaned and stemmed

Peel papery skin off ripe but firm tomatillos. Brown in hot cast iron skillet blackening on all sides. Remove to bowl, cover and let soften. (consistency should be medium mushy).

Rough chop avocado, onion, peppers and cilantro. Juice limes.

Combine in food processor using lime juice (maybe a splash of cold water) to achieve proper consistency. Don’t blend too much. Salt to taste.


Use or keep covered, chilled, for several days.


For quesadilla, heat cast iron or other heavy frying pan over med-high heat. Add a fat unless pan is very well seasoned (I use a combo of a tiny knob of butter and some mild flavored oil) and at tortilla. Work quickly to layer cheese, add spices, then top with second tortilla (you can put it in already assembled, but I find that more precarious). Let fry for 1-2 minutes, then flip, letting cook until cheese has melted.