I always wonder how they manage to keep business afloat if a margarita only costs $3, which by New York City standards, is practically free. But then as I’m laying awake at night–pondering the meaning of life and how much I hate the smell of other people’s cigarette smoke, which is wafting in through my window from the 10 people outside the Mexican restaurant shouting their conversation at each other—I realize that this establishment is here to stay.
I’ve only been inside the Mexican restaurant a few times, and never before the hour of 2am. It’s probably for this reason that the people who work at the Mexican restaurant hate me as much as I hate them.
When late night pizza is no longer a viable gluten-free option, the next best thing is a late night quesadilla. And you can imagine how many late night quesadillas you might eat if there was always a possibility of sourcing one 5 feet from your front door.
The only problem is that traditionally, quesadillas are made with flour, not corn tortillas. This is a simple enough substitution. Simple enough for even a drunk girl at 2am to communicate. A lot simpler than noticing that the tortilla you’re drunkenly shoveling into your mouth is actually flour, not corn, after the fact.
This obviously happened once with the Mexican restaurant. And worse than eating half of a non-gluten-free quesadilla and not being able to finish it, was being asked to come downstairs to return the half eaten quesadilla before they would make you a new one. Which you would then have to wait for 20 minutes for…
So I’ll conclude my rant by saying that now, even in my most desperate circumstances, I refuse to get my quesadillas from the Mexican restaurant downstairs. Instead, I try to keep all the makings in my fridge/freezer.
Since I love them so much, I even experimented before the hour of 2am with this veggie inspired broccoli and cheddar variation. This healthy quesadilla recipe uses this winning combination, just creative enough that you’d never find it on the menu at a Mexican restaurant that sells $3 margaritas.
Broccoli Cheddar Quesadillas
- Olive oil
- 2 small shallots thinly sliced
- 2 cups finely chopped broccoli florets from 1 small head broccoli
- Sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Six 6-inch corn tortillas
- In a medium non-stick skillet heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Saute the shallot until fragrant, about one minute. Add the broccoli and cook until vibrant green, about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the florets are tender, about 3 minutes more. Season with salt and the chili poweder. Remove the broccoli to a medium mixing bowl and wipe out the skillet.
- Add the cheese to the mixing bowl and stir to combine. The cheese will start melting, so make sure it doesn't clump too much.
- On a cutting board, arrange three of the tortillas. Divide the broccoli mixture between them, spreading to form an even layer. Top with the remaining tortillas.
- Brush the skillet with oil. Pan fry the quesadillas over medium-high heat until golden brown and the cheese is starting to ooze out the sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a baking sheet. Keep the quesadillas warm in the oven until ready to eat or cut into four wedges and serve immediately.