Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Seitan and Collards Quesadilla

Do you know what goes inside a quesadilla?  Whatever you want.   That's the beauty of it.  Ok, so really, it's whatever you want, plus cheese, but you wanted cheese, right?

It's a grilled cheese sandwich on a tortilla.  With stuff inside.  And it's great for using up what needs to be used.  Last time I posted a quesadilla, it was a clean-out-the-fridge meal.  This time it was just the collards that needed to be used.   And of course, we bought five pounds of seitan a while back, so we're all set on proteins.

I started with the collards, chopped up small and simmering in a pan with mostly water and a splash of apple cider vinegar, a bit of sugar and cumin.

Even sliced small they need half an hour to get to the delicate buttery goodness of a well-cooked collard green, so they went on first.  Then I chopped up a half pound of seitan. 

I tossed the seitan, drained but not dried, with paprika, cayenne, oregano and cumin. 

And got some onion going in a pan with some oil.  I also added a chopped garlic clove to the seitan, and then threw it into a frying pan with the onions. 

Seitan can be a bit chewy, kind of in a bad way, like a fatty piece of meat.  It's my favorite of the vegetarian proteins, but getting it crisp at the edges is important sometimes.  This is one of those times.  So toss it around, let it sit, toss it around some more until it crisps a bit and browns at the edges. 

Like this:

Meanwhile, your collards should be about done.  The only way to know is to put one in your face and give it a shot.  If they're appropriately tender, great, if not, turn down the heat on your seitan and wait for your collards to be perfect. 

So add oil or butter* to a pan on medium, and layer in the goodness.  I like to use a little cheese on the bottom, my fillings, and a lot of cheese on top.  This is smoked cheddar, but use what you like.

Immediately place a second tortilla on top and press a bit to melt the cheese and seal the tortillas together a bit. 

Flip and cook until crispy and slightly golden on both sides. 

If you're feeling it, hit it with a pizza cutter to make easy triangles, and top with hot sauce and/or sour cream.

*I swear I use butter to do this all the time, but tonight it didn't work.  The one with the butter stuck to the pan like wild. 

That quesadilla required extra sour cream. 

A bit of avocado oil worked just fine.  Grease as you will.

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