Friday, August 24, 2012

Food Friday: California Dreamin'

If I have my way, I'm in California less than 24 hours before I score a cheese enchilada.  I love good Mexican food and no place has more of it than the Golden State.  Alas, I make my home in the Garden State and while there is some good food here, there is no homestyle Mexican food that can hope to compete with California.  So I improvise and make my own.

The arrival of garden tomato abundance has really helped me along on that front.  The other day I took a look at all those fresh tomatoes and decided it was time for some salsa fresca.  It's a friendly recipe because you can make as much (or as little) as you need.  I made enough for about one and a half cups of chopped salsa.  I used mine to season a quesadilla, which is standard fare around Sassafras House.  

The salsa ingredients were easily collected. Note: if I were in California, that lime would have been home-grown.
Here's what you need:
1 cup tomato, chopped fine and seeded (this removes excess liquid)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno
1/4 teaspoon salt
squirt of lime
After you've placed all the ingredients in a bowl, stir them together.  
The salsa is tasty with chips on its own but is also a nice addition to a basic quesadilla.  For that you need a large flour tortilla and some freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese.   I make mine by briefly heating both sides of the tortilla on medium heat.  For this version, I layered in some cheese, a spread of the salsa fresca I had just stirred up, and then a bit more cheese.  
Fold it in half and cook until the cheese is melted around the salsa (it should take about 3 minutes on medium heat).  
Flip it over and cook the other side for about 2 minutes.
Let it sit for a minute then slice it in half and serve up the melted goodness.
Quesadillas and salsa are comfort food in my world and the next best thing to being in my home state.

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