Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Quesadillas, Jake's Round Up, and a Funky Atmosphere

I love quesadillas. My favorite is at Jake's Round-Up in South Glens Falls where I order the marinated grilled shrimp quesadilla. It comes with refried beans and the most succulent little shrimp. It also comes with Spanish rice and is presented beautifully with a drizzle of sour cream and a flower carved from a carrot. For about $10, it's a plate full of flavorful goodness. The atmosphere is funky, too. In the lowly-lit dining room, cow-hide printed tablecloths, antique books, lava lamps, taxidermied beasts on the wall, and chili-pepper lights make for a festive if not eclectic dinner setting.

I started making quesadillas at home when my kids were in high school. Basically a south-western grilled cheese sandwich, I take two flour (or any type) tortillas. I place one on a hot skillet (prepared with a little bit of cooking spray), sprinkle Monterey Jack cheese or any combination of good melting cheese you have, toss on some cut up grilled chicken and a little bit of drained salsa, a bit more cheese for glue, and top it with the other tortilla. When it's nice and golden on the bottom and the cheese has started to melt, I flip it over and cook it until the other side is nicely golden and the cheese has melted all the way through. I cut it in sixths and serve it with shredded iceberg lettuce (really the best for this), salsa, and sour cream. You can add pickled jalapenos and guacamole if you wish, but sometimes simpler is better. The three toppings I must have are lettuce, salsa, and sour cream. And if the only filling you have is cheese, that's enough too.

The next time you're stumped for dinner, take a trip to Jake's Round-Up and have a wonderful meal, or throw together your own quesadillas. They're easy, quick, inexpensive, and fun.

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