Thursday, September 18, 2008

Culinary Tales of a Hungry Law Student

by Erin

First, apologies for being sort of absent from the blog recently. Three weeks ago I started my third and final year of law school (eee!) which has turned out to be super-busy and hectic. All that business about "third year's a breeze"? It's a myth. I'm booked solid these days with class, clinic, journal, and the all-important job hunt.

With all that's going on, I don't have much time for grocery shopping (though Xani and I try to hit the farmer's market every other weekend or so), so when I want to cook dinner, I have to get creative. Last night I came home from another 13-hour day and was starving, so I looked in the fridge and unfortunately didn't see much. I did see, however, some eggs, corn tortillas, and shredded mexican-style cheese. So I busted out my vintage Le Creuset frying pan (thanks Mom and Dad!) and whipped up a variation on huevos rancheros that turned out to basically be...a quesadilla. While I am usually an egg snob (preferring to only eat BCD Dad's omelettes or poached eggs over roast beef hash at the Spotted Pig in NYC), I needed some protein and I knew they would be a good filling for my quesadilla.

Here's how I did it:

Step 1: Make an omelette

Step 2: Remove omelette and set aside

Step 3: Add oil to the pan (make sure it's hot!); add corn tortilla and let it start to fry up in the oil

Corn tortillas beat flour tortillas HANDS DOWN

Step 4: Add cheese, then half of omelette, then more cheese, then the another tortilla

I've found putting cheese on both sides of the filling helps the quesadilla hold together

Step 5: Flip to crisp the other tortilla

Step 6: Remove from pan and drain on paper towels

Step 7: Sprinkle with salt and add hot sauce to taste

Step 8: Enjoy while watching Project Runway (or if you missed it, read the best PR blog ever)

I try to keep eating and studying separate if I can, even if I can only take 10 or 20 minutes away from my work. That way I get to enjoy and appreciate the food I've made (or purchased) and give my brain a quick breather. That's a lesson I learned from my old friend from college, Josh, when during our freshman year I tried to make him continue studying with me through dinner. "No working dinners!" he said.

And speaking of college, this quesadilla (and others I've made recently using different fillings like roast chicken and fresh corn) reminds me SO MUCH of the quesadillas we used to get at Wash U from our award-winning dining hall. The key is super-high heat to get a crispy outside and a melty inside.

And that's all I've got time for. Back to the books! Stay tuned for a Podolny family cooking showdown in Kitchen Stadium at Blackacre when Uncle Michael and Aunt Gloria come for a visit! It's gonna be ridiculous, to say the least.

Happy study breaks,


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