(Wouldn’t that make a catchy name for a blog?)
Well, as sometimes happens as we get older, I find myself increasingly in agreement with my mom. Mom, this post is for you. Because I finally get it.
I finally understand why you seemed so frustrated on those nights when none of us – Dad, brother, nor I – came to the dinner table when you said “dinner’s ready!” Finally, I sympathize with the agony you must have gone through when my teenage-self reply to the aforementioned announcement was “coming!” followed by 55 more seconds of instant-messaging on AIM (with the occasional grin at the computer screen). That must have seemed an eternity while you sat there, staring at the meal you had just prepared. At last, I recognize your strategy of announcing dinner’s arrival “five minutes!” before it landed at the table, and our cues to “set the table,” or “get drinks for everyone,” or “cut up some oranges for dessert” in hopes that we might all be seated quickly and not wander off to other things, even for a second.
Finally, I get it. Of course, I value the fact that we ate dinner together at the table most nights. And you are usually one of the most patient people I know. But, I see now you had every right to be upset with us for not arriving promptly when the food was ready, patience be damned.
You were freakin’ hungry!
The tricky thing about blogging on the subject of food is that at the end of a long day at work (and possibly a killer workout at the gym), it’s taxing enough to get food on the table. I won’t complain about being busy; everyone is busy. But who
in her right mind has the time to compose a thoughtful photograph of the meal she’s just made when all she wants to do is shovel it into her mouth before it gets cold?
Not me, apparently. That’s why I end up with hastily composed phone photos like this:
I know, I know my food styling leaves a little something to be desired here. Indeed, aren’t quesadillas normally served sliced into wedges rather than these floppy, pancake-like sandwiches we have here?
Nevertheless, that, my friends, is the dinner that sat on my plate while I impatiently waited for Alex to feed Nero, pour himself a new glass of water, and check some fantasy football stats on the computer. I wondered with increasing volume (in my head, of course) why he hadn’t done those things before I sat down with this tantalizing plate of sustenance just inches from my mouth?? Why isn’t he just apparating into his chair the instant the magic words “dinner’s ready” are spoken? If this were the Olympics, “dinner’s ready” is Chad Le Clos and Alex should be Michael Phelps and this is the 200m butterfly!!!!!! Can’t you read my mind yet?!?!?
Perhaps my expectations are too high.
Shrimp, Roasted Poblano, and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas
Adapted from…my brain and leftover odds and ends in our fridge and freezer? Seriously, folks, this isn’t rocket science. Just good foods in a mouth-watering combination. Eat it, adapt it, publish it, make it your own – I dare ya!
– frozen shrimp, about 1/2 pound (peeled and thawed under running cold water)
– garlic powder
– 1 poblano pepper (or more if you like your heat)
– 4+oz. pepper jack cheese (monterey jack if you don’t like too much spice)
– small onion, sliced
– corn tortillas (homemade or store-bought)
1. Prep your quesadilla fillings.
Shrimp: Sprinkle the shrimp with paprika and garlic powder. Thread onto skewers and grill until pink (about 1-2 minutes per side). Remove from skewers. Slice each shrimp in half. Set aside in bowl. Hit ’em with some fresh lemon juice.
Poblano: Drizzle the whole poblano with a little bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and through on a hot grill for 10-15 minutes. Once it’s cool enough to handle, peel off skin (should now be charred and easy to remove), strip seeds from inside and discard, and slice pepper into strips.
Cheese: Um. Shred it.
Onion: Prepare as poblano above.
Did you catch all that? That’s 3 things you’re grilling all at once. But while we’re at it, go ahead and prepare your corn for the salad: Put a handful of frozen corn kernels in an aluminum foil packet. Wrap tightly and allow to steam on the grill for 5 minutes or so. Alternatively, grill a corn on the cob and cut the kernels off later.
2. Assemble quesadillas and heat.
I chose to grill ours. Place tortilla on grill grate over medium heat (lid open). Sprinkle with cheese. Add shrimp, poblanos, onion, and a little more cheese. Top with more cheese then another tortilla. Press down gently with spatula. After 1-2 minutes, or when cheese starts to melt, quickly and carefully flip to other side. Keep warm in plate covered with foil until ready to serve.
(You could also do these on an indoor griddle or grill pan, baked in the oven, or one at a time in a fry pan on the stove).
consider serving your quesadillas with…
Tomato, Avocado, Corn Salad
– generous handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
– 1 avocado, cubed
– splash of fresh lemon juice
– handful of cooked corn (see step 1 above)
– sprinkle of fresh or dried herbs, like basil
Assemble all ingredients. Season with a little salt and pepper. Stir gently to combine.
Alex, my love, thank you for photographing the preparation of this meal. Without your handiwork, this blog post wouldn’t be half as interesting. But allow me to share with you (and with the other he-men out there) the hungry woman’s prerogative:
The hungry woman reserves the right to become temporarily frustrated with anyone who fails to arrive at the dinner table promptly, especially when it is the hungry woman who has prepared the meal, and especially when the hungry woman is…hungry. Do not keep the hungry woman waiting.
I think Mom would back me up on this one.