My cousin and his girlfriend came out for a short visit last month. Both are bloggers and love to cook. In fact, Terumi is a food blogger! We ran around town visiting some of my favorite haunts like the Santa Fe Farmers Market, The Shed Restaurant on the Plaza, hamburgers at Bobcat Bite and an awesome firework show in Albuquerque. One night they decided to cook. The recipe that was the lucky winner: Blackjack Quesadillas!
Since I’m more of a bystander when it comes to cookin’ I decided to break out the video camera. It was hours of slicing, dicing, marinating, roasting and frying.
Everyone was taking pictures of the food being prepared for their blogs. It was the most documented meal in history!
Mid-way through the process I decided that margaritas were in order (I’m great at accessorizing). Terumi, H.H. and I packed into the car and went off to the store. As we marched in I noticed what great purses we all had and wished we had someone to take our picture (yes, I did have my camera with me ). Thank god I live in a small town with an even smaller community because sure enough I ran into my good friend Noelle and her daughter. After taking a few shots of us they joined us back at the house.
The sun went down and the cool air came in. We all sat back eating and drinking while being entertained by Noelle’s 7 year old daughter. She was so excited to stay up late she figured it was the least she could do!
Update: Corey has a post more on our black jack quesidilla night which includes the history of the recipe and more photos!
And just in case you want to make your own black jack quesadillas here’s the recipe: (some of these quantities seemed totally wacky so my notes are in parenthesis -Michael)
1 quart Korean chili paste (1 cup – I used Siracha garlic chili paste)
3 jalapeños, stemmed
1 cup sugar (1/2 cup)
1 cup garlic cloves (1 head)
1 pint soy sauce (1 cup)
1 cup chopped green onions
½ cup sesame oil (1/4 cup)
1 cup orange juice (1/2 cup)
1 can Sprite soda (1/2 can)
2 pounds pork belly, sliced (found this at a Mexican grocery/butcher)
4 cups diced onions
1 quart canola oil (1 1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, peeled
5 jalapeños, stemmed
¼ onion, peeled
10 bunches fresh cilantro, chopped (1 1/2 bunches)
1¼ cup lime juice
1¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup roasted sesame seeds
To Assemble and Serve:
½ cup canola oil
4 12-inch flour tortillas
4 cups shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese
4 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds
12 sprigs fresh cilantro
For the Spicy Pork:
Puree all the ingredients except the pork belly and onions. Marinate the pork belly in this mixture for at least 2 hours. Cook the onions and marinated pork belly on a hot plancha or griddle until slightly charred, about 8 minutes. Chop the pork into bite-sized pieces. (I cooked the onion in a pan w/ some marinade til soft and barbecued the pork. I diced the pork after it was cooked.)
For the Salsa Verde:
Stir oil and garlic in a pot on low heat until the garlic browns. Roast the jalapeños and onion in a dry pan until almost black. Cool the garlic, oil, onions and jalapeños, then puree with the cilantro, salt, juices, and sesame seeds. Reserve.
To Assemble and Serve:
Pour 2 tablespoons of oil on a griddle and place a tortilla flat on top of it and add 1 cup of cheese on half of the tortilla. Add the spicy pork (and onions) on top of the cheese and fold over, cooking until the cheese has melted. Cut the quesadillas into four triangles and top with 2 tablespoons of salsa verde and 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds. Garnish with 3 sprigs of cilantro.
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