Sunday, May 06, 2007

Strawberries and Chocolate: Quesadilla-style

Spring is good here. Real fruit actually haunts the aisles of our little store. Strawberries with real strawberry taste have been making their debut here in the village and the cartons disappear faster than ice in a heatwave.

Begging and wheedling are a part of my lifestyle at the village store. Sometimes some extra goodies lurk in the back room. I've never been brave enough, like some, to just walk in the back and take what I want, so I must resort to begging and wheedling to get the goodies. I've gotten things like radishes, Ribena and, yesterday, strawberries in such a way.

Yesterday there were only three cartons left in the back to go on the shelf: mine, the ones I saved for a favourite village elder, P., and one that was whisked away in the space of one minute while I was searching to give the saved, desired box to said P. I swear to you, that those strawberries didn't last two minutes on the refrigerated shelves before they were all swept away. Money is no object for fresh fruit in this village once spring rolls around.

While I could have eaten them all straight up, I did actually have a plan for those beauties that would hopefully turn out to be everything I could hope for in a dessert: fruit, chocolate and bread. Thus the strawberry and chocolate quesadilla was created for yesterday's dessert. I wish I could claim it as my own inspiration but I came across it in my newish cook book: Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates by the Moosewood Collective. There are many recipes I've enjoyed from Moosewood books and this one turned out to be a new favourite and potential inspiration, too.

Strawberry Chocolate Quesadillas

3 cups thinly sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
6 flour tortillas (8 inches across)
vegetable oil
3/4 cup chocolate chips [I used milk chocolate chips]

Combine the strawberries, cinnamon and 3 tbsp of the confectioners' sugar in a bowl. Leaving a 1/2-inch border at the edges, spread half a cup of the strawberry mix on one half of each of the tortillas.

Brush two large heavy skillets with oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Place one tortilla in each skillet and put 2 tbsp of the chocolate chips on the plain half of the tortilla, leaving a border of about 1 1/2-inch at the edges. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the chocolate [starts to] melts. Fold the tortilla in half and press the edges together with a spatula. Remove the quesadillas from the skillet and repeat the procedure with the remaining two pairs.

Serve immediately, dusted with the remaining confectioners' sugar and sliced in half.

Notes: An unbelievably easy and fast dessert. The strawberries could even be prepped ahead of time to sit a moment in the sugar and cinnamon. Really be careful of the heat as I burned the first tortilla, even on a lower heat, the moment I took my eyes off to say something to my guest. But the rest were an amazingly quick process with few ingredients but still looked good enough for my last-night guests to elicit gasps of admiration.

I've been dreaming of making a pear version in the "Belle-Helene" style now. I'm sure it would be good too. Yum! :9


sher said...

Yumm!! Fabulous! My mom lived in a small town and she finally started asking the produce man for better things that were back in the storage room. Who are they keeping the better stuff for? The people who demand it, I guess---because it worked for her.

Nerissa said...

I actually know what "they" are thinking with some of the items: "it'll never selllll". That is exactly what I heard about the radishes. They actually put them out once I and a teacher friend begged pretty please for them and were astonished to find, when they did, that the radishes all disappeared. Duh!!! Pity they never got any back since... *sigh*

Christine said...

That looks so good! It sounds like you're learning the ropes. You know the saying, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." So you just walk into that store and, without batting an eyelash, walk straight into the back room to see what's waiting for you. Maybe squeak a little as you walk through. :)

Nerissa said...

Thanks for dropping in, Christine. :D Yes... I don't think I could do it without the squeak but perhaps I should become more the mouse that roared when it comes to food around here. *S*

Jasmine said...

Glad you got some strawberries...warm weather is next :)


Jenny L said...

Nerissa! That was my best friend's name in high school...I think it's so beautiful.

So I bought a box of strawberries and started to make a tort (an excuse to use one of those sweet new Bosch mixers) and I had a bunch left over. Luckily I saw your post and made an awesome dessert from you recipe. Thanks for the tip!

Lucas said...

Hi Nerissa - I see you are also having a quiet time with the blog, like me and so many others. Maybe we all need a dash of inspiration!

PatL said...

Hi, Nerissa,

Great recipe! I cook occasionally for groups and can imagine setting this up buffet-style, with someone making the tortillas w/ strawberries & chocolate and the guests doing their own dusting with powdered sugar. I'm going to try it on the Huz ... strawberry season is coming soon up here! Thanks! PatL

Nerissa said...

Hope all goes well! It's such a fast and easy dish. Let me know how it goes.