Monday, July 26, 2010

A Busy Week Cooking

As promised, we spent a busy week trying out new recipes. The first was Black Bean & Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Guacamole.  Again, this meal started with an intriguing recipe emailed to me from Fine Cooking magazine. They also provided a recipe for homemade tortillas, so I tried that too. 

The tortillas were more trouble than I expected and left the kitchen covered with flour - probably the fault of the cook not the recipe.  The instructions said, "It should be more or less circular, though an amoeba shape is fine too."  We had the amoeba shaped variety, though a few got closer to round as I practiced with the rolling pin.   Jose, our HVAC tech, says corn meal tortillas are better and not as messy.  I'll try them next.  (Jose only works on the system when peppers are being harvested from our garden!)

The tortilla recipe will be posted at, but with a few modifications.  Next time I would use a teflon coated skillet and very little olive oil, and as previously suggested, I would try cornmeal.

The Quesadillas themselves were very dry, but the leftovers were improved greatly by reheating so making them ahead of time may be the key.  I have had better Guacamole.  This recipe was nothing but the avocados and fresh lime juice.  It definitely needed more.

The hit of the week was last night's Portabella Mushrooms with Garlicky Swiss Chard.  That is definitely a keeper!   Fine Cooking had suggested Sirloin Steak with Chard, but I wanted to improve the heart healthy aspects of the recipe, so we substituted large portabellas.  I took a hint from our old favorite broiled mushroom recipe and brushed the mushroom caps with an olive oil and lemon mixture, adding some fresh chopped rosemary.  The Swiss Chard in the garden had just gotten big enough to yield some leaves so the timing for this was great.  Larry couldn't get over how good it was.  The little bit of olive oil and a sprinkling of cheese contributed the only fat in the meal.

Garlic is a wonderful addition to so many of these meals.  The next adventure will be planting our own.  We have done it before with good success.  You plant on the shortest day and harvest on the longest day according to Georgia gardening lore, so now is the time to order. The catalog recommends planting between October and January.

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