Quesadillas. You may not be able to say it, if you don’t speak Spanish, but you can taste it already. That is, when a big north-easterly howls over the Pacific Ocean, carrying with it the flavours of Mexico.
At such times, your nostrils, if refined enough, will distinguish the subtly aromatic palate of the quesadilla from the salty scents of the open ocean and the off-tang of refrigerated fish piled high in commercial vessels.
Perhaps, when you find yourself in open spaces where the wind can howl unimpeded over the land, the scent will be strong enough to conjure a faint mental image: a red dusty street, donkeys drinking, vultures circling, fast flamenco guitar drifting from the dark interior of a cantina; through the door of an old house covered in flaking paint, an old woman folding a quesadilla with withered hands, wrists clacking with beads...
There she is now, in your mind’s eye, cranking up the Smev two-burner, rinsing her hands with the hot/cold tap fed by a 100L water tank, sliding out the 60L fridge/freezer and cracking open an ice cold beer...
It is perhaps more likely you are picking up the smell of the burrito place down the street, owned and operated by Anglo-Saxons who have never set foot in the Americas. In any case, it’s sure got your stomach rumbling. Time to appease that appetite.
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 8 medium to large tortillas
- 4 tomatoes
- Half a red onion
- Minced garlic
- Half a bunch of coriander
- White wine vinegar
- A lime or lime juice
- 1 or 2 chilli peppers (optional)
- Grated cheese
- One roast chicken
- A can of black beans
First up, prep the tomato salsa. Peel the tomatoes and chop them up, then finely dice the red onion. Add these to a bowl, and then add in the minced garlic, the salt and pepper, a dash of white wine vinegar, the lime juice and the chopped coriander. If you can handle a bit of pain, dice up some chilli peppers and chuck them in with reckless abandon. Stir everything together thoroughly, then give the mix a stint in your fridge/freezer to cool it off, making sure to avoid freezing it. No one likes tomato ice cream.
Later in the day, come game time, crack out the foil; lay sheets on plates, with an individual sheet of foil for each wrap. Doing this first, rather than prepping on any old surface, will save you the chaos of fumblingly transferring a loaded wrap afterwards.
Place your wraps on top of the sheets, then spread your salsa over them. Keep in mind to not go overboard with fillers, because you want your wraps to close properly for toasting purposes. Tear apart your roast chook into medium-sized pieces then add them; feel free to leave on the skin for added flavour. Cut your avocados in half, then chop out slices and add these in too. Rinse and drain your black beans and then, predictably, add them into the equation. Finally, sprinkle the toppings generously with grated cheese. If you think you have enough cheese, you don’t. It is only when you run out of cheese, and perhaps not even then, that you have enough.
Roll the wraps up, thoroughly, in imitation of a perfectly dust-sealed camper trailer – making sure to fold over the ends before folding in the sides. Then, enclose the goods in the foil, put them in a pan without oil, and crank up the two-burner. The option is yours: keep the wraps rare with a mild crust, or leave them on longer to raise the merc inside, thereby melting the cheese to its optimal state. Then, it’s as simple as enjoying. Your work is done.