Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ahhhhhh.....Comfort Food!

How many of us still enjoy the deliciousness that is Grilled Cheese and Tomato soup?? All that melted cheese inside that buttery toasted bread just inviting you to dunk it into that bowl of creamy tomato soup sitting nearby! Doesn't it make your mouth drool? Or at least generate a bit of a tummy growl?

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons. I prefer white American, but I'd eat this in a heartbeat!!

Were you aware that there is a Mexican cousin to this wonderful comfort cuisine? Heck yeah! It is called a Quesadilla and usually uses Mexican cheeses (or cheddar and Monterey Jack) inside one or two tortillas. It is often served with salsa and sour cream. Sometimes it even has spicy grilled meats and veggies inside with the cheese for an even finer dining experience.

Today, I really wanted something cheesy (to match my personality, naturally), but didn't have any more bread or tomato soup. What to do, what to do?!? AHA! Tortillas in the fridge! An already opened package of Monterey Jack!! And plenty of salsa and sour cream just BEGGING to be consumed!! Foodie Utopia!! (Or would that be FOODTOPIA???)

I got my tortillas out, my cheese, the salsa and sour cream, and pulled my griddle out of its isolation in the stairwell and went to work. I placed one tortilla on the griddle. I then sliced the cheese to cover the tortilla (leave space on the edges - melted cheese will spread). I debated putting the salsa on top, but opted out of that. I turned the fire on under the pan and placed the second tortilla on top. No need to butter these. They really won't stick. They just need to be browned and then flipped over to brown the other side. Once the cheese is melted and the tortillas browned and blistered, lift your quesadilla out and place it on your plate (in my case, a paper one. This is CASUAL dining.) Now cut into wedges just like you would a pizza. In fact, you can use a pizza cutter to do this (although I have no idea where mine is). I mixed my salsa and sour cream together which resulted in a coloring not unlike that creamy tomato soup you see above and sat down next to my beloved laptop and thoroughly enjoyed my lunch, dunking each quesadilla wedge into the creamy salsa mix much as I would a grilled cheese into tomato soup. 

Venezuelan Quesadillas - Wikipedia Commons

This is something anyone could enjoy, even those who are overly skeptical about eating "foreign" foods. All I can say to that is "What the heck do you think spaghetti and pizza are!!" There isn't anything we eat that didn't originate in some way somewhere else!! And, a quesadilla is a very benign way to begin. 

Another good Mexican food to try, especially if you LOVE grilled meats and veggies, is a fajita. There is nothing more wonderful than the smell of that meat and those veggies (peppers and onions) being laid out in front of you with fresh shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and shredded cheese to go with inside tortillas, also hot and steaming. Of course, if you're really stodgy, just eat everything the way you would eat anything else. Eat the tortillas as a bread and the lettuce and tomatoes as a salad and the grilled meat and veggies as a platter. I'm telling you, you won't regret a single bite, no matter how you try it!! Great for low carb diets, too!
I'd leave off the pico (the fresh diced tomatoes, peppers and onions), but the rest looks great! Wikimedia Commons


  1. I love grilled cheese sandwiches. I prefer however french onion soup or chicken soup to dip.

  2. You know, when I don't have any tomato soup around or if it's during the summer, I've been know to dunk my grilled cheese in chocolate milk or whatever soda I'm drinking (cola or root beer). Surprisingly good. Have you ever made grilled cheese with raisin bread? WOW!(I have a bit of a passion for salt/sweet combos.)