Tuesday, April 20, 2021

quesadilla for lunch

It was the boss who suggested making quesadillas after I'd told him I had three ripe avocados to deal with.  I had originally thought about doing a baguette crostini with avocado spread, but the boss's idea was better, if slightly more time-consuming.  I already had a kilogram-heavy, frozen block of chicken tenderloins in my freezer; I decided to thaw them and poach them (never boil your bird:  it seems paradoxical, but boiling chicken makes it seize up and then dry out once you remove it from the water).  

Making the guac was easy enough; the avocados were truly ripe, having gone from dark green to brownish over the weekend.  My building's grocery store was selling cilantro, so I bought some and added that to the guacamole along with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, lime juice, and red chili flakes.  I also dolloped in two large spoonfuls of my homemade sour cream to smooth out the texture.  The result tasted fresh and lively.  

I prepped the quesadillas by using the cheat method:  cover half a tortilla with cheese, then chicken, then more cheese; fold over the tortilla; smear a bit of mayonnaise over the tortilla to encourage good browning and crispness (a Wolfgang Puck trick); fry in a pan at less-than-medium heat.  By going low and slow, you give the cheese time to melt before you scorch your tortillas, and the slowness also allows the meat to warm through.  

Alas, I had to stack the finished quesadillas in a plastic container for transportation to the office; that meant the quesadillas would lose their crunch.  No one complained, though; my Korean coworker was once again curious about the preparation, so he peppered me with questions about ingredients and cooking methods.

I made seven of the above; they're essentially half-quesadillas:  it's easier to "taco" the tortillas and flip them than it is to sandwich your meat and cheese between two tortillas, which you must then flip very carefully and acrobatically without everything flying apart.  

Five half-quesadillas got eaten at lunch:  two by my American coworker, one by my boss, one by my Korean coworker, and one by yours truly.  The remaining two were slaughtered by me, just now, for dinner.  Homemade guacamole made it onto the plate (they sell avocados in our building's basement; these ones, purchased this past Friday, had ripened over the weekend), along with homemade sour cream (yogurt plus cream cheese and a bit of xanthan gum), and poached chicken tenderloins, which were a bitch to prep because of that damn tendon that runs two-thirds of the way up each loin.  I poached the meat first, then dealt with the tendons.  With the meat pulled apart, it was only a matter of adding the barbecue sauce.  I had two bottles of two very different sauces; both were low, so I combined them and ended up with just enough to sauce the chicken.  Time to buy (or make!) more sauce.

The above shot was taken with the new phone's camera in "food" mode.  I can't see that it made much of a difference.  Your thoughts?

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