5.24.2012

Mexico, Tortillas + a Tuesday Tradition




There’s nothing like a rainy Thursday afternoon for telling a tale you meant to tell on Tuesday. This past Tuesday, to be exact, when I was eating this very stack of quesadillas in my kitchen. The tale goes like this...



We were smack in the middle of a blissful honeymoon week in Mexico, András and I, when we had our first fight as a married couple. We had spent three amazing days and sultry nights in the buzzing Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City, strolling and eating our way through the scene, feeling not so far away from the life we left behind in New York City. Then, we then traveled down to the South Pacific via Taxco, the charming colonial silver capital nestled in the mountains of Guerrero halfway between Mexico City and a little surf spot called Troccones, our final destination.

I have no memory of what our fight was about. Certainly something not worth the fuss. Most of our fights have gone like that, thankfully. But we were both sure of our stance. So, in this gorgeous old village I marched ahead of him straight up a steep hill lined with white colonials until I stopped, dead in my stubborn tracks, straight in front of a line of women and young girls forming outside of the local tortilleria. Each had a worn, bright colored cloth, which they would hand over with a few pesos to be returned with 20 or 30 freshly minted corn tortillas steaming in their hands. I stepped in line, and before long, András and I were sitting arm in arm at the foot of a cathedral overlooking the entire city, laughing and eating our way through a stack of fresh tortillas with nothing but salt, lime and a smashed avocado. It was the perfect feast.

In the three years since, tortillas have earned special status in our home. They are often our fresh bread, our starting point, our inspiration for at least one week a meal. We turn tortillas --sometimes made by our hands but not always -- into fish tacos and enchiladas and endless combinations of quesadillas like this one {made of squash, Manchego, thinly sliced garden radishes and a sprinkling of feta}. They are always simple and intensely satisfying meals. And in that vein, I almost always document them in the most pared down form possible, Instagram. Forgive the lack of fluff and perfect pictures, but this is how, mostly likely, I’ll also bring my tortilla inspirations to you.

In the spirit of forming traditions, I love the idea of our tortilla meal falling on the same day every week—like Tuesday, week after week until our kids are grown and still talk about that thing we do as a family. I’m prone to getting carried away. But for now, in our busy, insanely inconsistent life with a little one, our Tortilla Tuesdays could happen on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and Saturdays too. But, it will be Tuesdays when I share them with you.

Welcome to Tortilla Tuesdays. 

~

Squash Quesadillas with Radishes

Serves 2 to 4

8 corn tortillas
2 cups roasted winter or summer squash
1 cup shredded Manchego cheese
4 or 5 radishes, sliced paper thin
Fresh feta, crumbled, to taste

Heat a large cast-iron skillet or grill pan over high heat. Add two or four tortillas, depending on the size, and stack each with a handful of cooked squash and shredded Manchego. Add remaining tortillas to the top and press lightly together. Cook until the tortilla is toasted and the cheese has melted enough to hold the two tortillas together. Flip and continue cooking until both sides are crispy and golden brown and the cheese is entirely melted.

Cut in half and serve with thinly sliced radishes and fresh feta to taste. 

3 comments:

Ashley Hayne said...

Hi Sarah,
I am a big fan of your blog and love your cookbook. I am so looking forward to your next cookbook. I was hoping you could give me some advice. I am extremely passionate about healthy whole living. I believe wholeheartedly that people should eat things in their most natural state and live a lifestyle that follows that as well. I am Alice Waters biggest fan. I love to cook and have been told by everyone I cook for that I have a real talent for it. I am writing to you today because I have so much passion and drive and I don't know where to apply it. I want to teach people about whole food cooking, gardening, composting, etc. (especially with children) but how? You inspire me so much. You touch so many lives and share your knowledge of healthy living with people all over the world. The lifestyle you promote is exactly the lifestyle I live and also want to promote. If you have any advice at all about how to reach my dream please let me know.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this,
Ashley Lewis

PS I am twenty three years old and I have a teaching credential

Lola said...

Yummy! My husband is mexican and he showed me how to make "sincronizadas", same process of your recipe, but with your favorite ham and cheese. A fast and delicious breakfast!

Sarah Copeland said...

Ashley,

I'm so sorry I missed this earlier! Thank you so much--it's so, so wonderful to hear from people who have enjoyed my work! I can't wait for my new book, either. I hope you love it!

I'd love to give you some advice. So many generous people gave me tiny arrows pointing in the right direction along my path, and I love to do the same for anyone chasing their dreams! I am sure you have so many wonderful things to contribute to the world, and a voice worth sharing!

Send me an email at inquiries@edibleliving.com and I'll write you back!

Looking forward to chatting.

And Lola, I LOVE when you stop in! Ham and cheese sincronizadas sound wonderful! Yum.

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New York City, United States
Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, and the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, and The Newlywed Cookbook. She is the Food Director at Real Simple magazine, and has appeared in numerous national publications including Saveur, Health, Fitness, Shape, Martha Stewart Living and Food & Wine magazines. As a passionate gardener, Sarah's Edible Living philosophy aims to inspire good living through growing, cooking and enjoying delicious, irresistible whole foods. She thrives on homegrown veggies, stinky cheese and chocolate cake. Sarah lives in New York with her husband and their young daughter.