Recipe: carne adovada quesadillas
Reminder: You have until March 1, 2011 to get the early bird registration discount of $50 for the Food and Light food photography and styling workshop in Boulder, Colorado this summer!
California does it to me every time. I get a nip of the flowers, the greenery, the warmer weather and I start feeling excited for spring despite my sworn love of winter and skiing and fleece and down. Boulder will start blooming in April well before our early mountain flowers bloom come late June, so I can travel down the canyon to get my spring fix as necessary. The difference in the seasons from one place to another can be quite drastic all due to geography.
yosemite’s geography and weather dictated winter last weekend
I have mixed feelings about Yosemite. It is one of the most heavily visited of our national parks and in summer it is a veritable tangle of cars and people all wanting to experience the wilderness while loving it to death. We call it the sacrificial lamb. It’s the small area of wilderness you open up to the general public in order to save and preserve the rest of the park which sees far less traffic. Woodland critters run up and beg for food when they ought to be running away from people. Part of the reason I love these stunning natural places is because I want to hear the rush of the rivers and waterfalls, the chirps of the local birds, the breeze rustling the leaves – not some couple arguing over their broken marriage (yeah, we heard that one night in camp) or car horns bellowing because we can’t be courteous to one another. We bring our outside problems in and they are at their height in summer. Traveling to Yosemite in the off season reminds me of just how amazing this place is any time of year.
a squall blows through the valley
Have you been? The famous towering outcrops and sheer valley walls really work that third dimension. I was in awe the first time I laid eyes on the valley 18 years ago. It doesn’t fail to take my breath away today. It’s special and worth seeing at least once. The best part about the snowstorm was that it kept a good bit of the holiday weekend crowds at bay. Actually, that’s not true. The best part about the snowstorm was the snowstorm.
can’t resist a clearing storm
As the clouds lifted and sucker holes (patches of blue sky) materialized to the west, the wet snow on the trees began to melt under the sunlight and fall. It felt like the aftermath of a big spring storm as we walked through the stands, pelted by a never-ending snowball fight with the trees. I have always held the opinion that everything looks magical under a blanket of white snow. Yosemite valley looked candied, dusted, and ready to eat.
view from the gates of the valley
You can see more of the photos from the trip on my photo blog.
It’s still winter over here in Colorado, but the longer daylight hours and our bluebird days cue me to shift my cooking habits. I associate slow-cooked stews and soups with the cold and dark nights that seem to stretch on forever. Rummaging through the freezer recently, I found a jackpot of carne adovada I had prepared back in December to make life for Future Me easier. I love to cook, but if I cook and bake too much when the sun is up, I start to get ornery. I honestly don’t know how some of my friends like Shauna and Jennie crank through recipe after recipe (sometimes the same one over and over again until it’s perfect), but these ladies are dedicated baking and cooking machines. My hat is off to them. But me? I’m a lazy bum and sometimes lazy bums just want a quick and easy quesadilla.
you will need tortillas, cheese, and carne adovada
even distribution is the ocd’s mantra
Gosh, I don’t even know when I learned to make a quesadilla. Perhaps in college as it is simple dorm fare. I had never heard of one before college (the height of my exposure to Mexican food in southern Virginia was Chi Chi’s). We did it up all ghetto – cheese and tortillas. It wasn’t until I met Jeremy when I discovered that you can put OTHER STUFF in that there quesadilla. Carne adovada became a favorite ingredient – spicy, porky, tender, and dangerous because it stains everything bright orange on contact.
sprinkle more cheese for better adhesion
slice it up
If you’re going to make this, you need to have the accompanying avocado because it really brings the awesome. It’s like the holy trinity of fatty deliciousness: carne adovada, avocado, cheese, and crisped tortilla. Okay, that’s the holy trinity and friend. We’re very inclusive.
drippy, melty, fantabulous
Carne Adovada Quesadillas
2 flour tortillas
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup carne adovada
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Place a flour tortilla on the pan and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Distribute the carne adovada evenly over the cheese and top with the remaining cheese. Place the second tortilla on top. When the cheese begins to melt and the bottom tortilla turns golden underneath, carefully flip the quesadilla and let cook until the bottom turns golden. Remove from heat, slice and serve with salsa and avocado slices (or guacamole). Makes 1 quesadilla.