Fear not, it is perfectly clear to me that Mexican food isn’t composed entirely of a long string of dips and side dishes, such as guacamole and refried beans. Indeed, how strange it would be to have a nation of perennial nibblers living among us. So, safe in the knowledge that there exists, on this planet, no colony of human sized rodents in possession of an immoral number of carrot sticks, I embarked upon the first “proper” dish of the ‘Frugal Does Mexican’ series.
Traditionally, a Mexican quesadilla is a corn tortilla filled with Oaxaca cheese, since the word for cheese in Spanish is ‘queso’. Of course, other regional ingredients can be added, but cheese is the most important. The American version of the quesadilla changes this tradition a little; they tend to use flour tortillas instead. Indeed, it seems as though my recipe is a fusion of Mexican ideas, American method and British springtime ingredients. There is one interesting tit-bit to be had regarding queso; cheese has only existed in Mexico for as long as Europeans have settled there, a process which began in 1519 with the arrival of Spanish conquistadors.
I’m glad you all like my photos; they really are a lot better. My only quibble is that this camera is too good for me and I don’t quite know how to use it properly, though I love how many settings one can change. Really and truly I could do with a macro lens, but such a thing will have to wait until my funds have replenished. At the moment I’m rather destitute… but I do have a delightful camera and an increasing array of bowls. What more could one want?
Potato, Pea and Mint Quesadillas
• 4 small or 2-3 large tortillas
• 1 fairly large potato, around 250g
• A hearty glug of double cream
• 1 tbsp roughly chopped mint
• Just enough garden peas to make them ever-present
• A generous handful of mature cheddar cheese
• Salt and pepper
• Olive oil for frying
1. Peel, chop and boil the potato in salted water. When tender, drain and mash, before adding the cream, mint, peas and cheese. Season to taste.
2. Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of your frying pan and pop in the tortilla. When it starts to bubble turn it over and spread some of the filling onto one half. Turn the other half over to form a sandwich and cook on both sides until browned. Repeat this process for the rest of the tortillas, be sure not to fill them too much or it could get messy.
Cost: As long as one either makes or gets a good deal on the tortillas, this dish is very cheap indeed. All four of these quesadillas should set one back no more than 80p. That’s a damn fine price considering they make disgustingly perfect lunches.
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