What I Made for Dinner

The Passover Quesadilla, 04.24.08

Don't mean to horn in on Trish's beat, but dinner last night at casa Goldbrenner/Ganz was such a weird convergence of culinary randomness that I felt a need to share.

Lots of music on the BPP means I've been at work pretty late over the last few weeks, and my girlfriend is running up on finals in her last year of law school, which presents its own demands on a person's time. So. Leftovers.

Also, Passover. Which, in the plus column, means we've had lots of prepared food in the fridge, and in the minus, means we have lots of prepared food in the fridge that's slowly going bad.

After the jump, see what I cobbled together, and where it came from.

I fixed up dinner while Rachel worked on some outline or another. And while the point was to use up as much of the food in the fridge as I could, I cheated a little by picking up a head of lettuce (green leaf) and an avocado (not quite ripe enough for my taste) at the market just outside my subway stop. But some cheating is necessary. Neither of us eat meat, and I'm observing Passover, which means no leavened bread. I've been eating a lot of salad this week.

My 2nd favorite salad ever (maybe 1st when the weather is nice) is pretty easy to make, and I usually have most of this stuff in the kitchen. Maybe because it's my 2nd favorite salad:

1 head of green leaf lettuce
a dozen or so cherry tomatoes
1 avocado
a couple of tablespoons of pepitos (shelled pumpkin seeds)
cotija cheese

I let the lettuce soak while I cut the tomatoes in half and sliced the avocado. Also, I tossed the pepitos in a tiny bit of oil, then dumped a bunch of chile powder and salt on them, mixed it all up and stuck them in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes, then set aside for a few minutes to cool. I rinsed the lettuce, chopped it into thin strips (across the width of each leaf), then tossed the lettuce in a big bowl with the tomatoes and avocado. Dressed the salad in olive oil and then squeezed out the juice of a lime over the whole thing. Crumbled the cheese over the salad, then dumped the spicy, toasted pepitos on top. It's great.

Rachel's not doing the Passover thing this year, so I dug deep into the back of the fridge and pulled out a package of tortillas and the end of a brick of cheese. Quesadilla time! From the living room and her law books, Rachel insisted that I use up more stuff, so things started getting a little weird, er, creative.

2 tortilla
cheddar cheese
a few cooked lentils (left over from making the vegetarian meat loaf that we had for dinner at the seder on Saturday night)
mushrooms (left over from making the gravy for the vegetarian meat loaf)

I sliced the mushrooms and sauteed in butter with some garlic. Then mashed the lentils into little patties, put some salt and pepper on top, and fried them in just a little oil. The patties didn't hold their shape, but the lentils got crispy. Then I put the cheese, the mushrooms, the crispy lentils and some hot sauce in the tortillas and grilled them until they were a nice toasty brown. They looked nice, but I was skeptical. Rachel said they tasted good, though.

My dinner was a bit modest in comparison. No quesadillas for me (yes, tortillas — flatter than matzoh — contain leavening), but we had a bunch of leftover matzoh ball soup from earlier in the week when I convinced myself I was getting sick. So I put a couple of balls and a cup or so of broth in a pot on the stove. I'm not going to recommend this soup/salad combination.

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The original plan of digging deep and coming up with...quesadillas and cheese was just not cutting it. I made Jacob pick at least two of the following things we had that were getting old: tupperware full of aforementioned plain boiled lentils, box of raw mushrooms, vanilla yoghurt in an ill-advised size extra-large (there is only so much vanilla yoghurt you can eat!), smoked sable from Russ & Daughters (so unusual for us to have we were a little perplexed by it and generally did not touch it), tub of cream cheese, potato kugel, parsley, carrots, celery, cotija cheese, fruit salad lifted from the aftermath of a catered event. Ahem. I think given the circumstances he pulled together the least-weird meal possible. And yes, I am avoiding my law school finals by posting lengthy comments.

Sent by Rachel | 5:16 PM | 4-25-2008

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