Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Healthy Tex-Mex appetizer as close as one’s stovetop

Some days a body would almost walk as many miles as necessary to eat a few bites of of Tex-Mex cuisine.

Fortunately when that occurs today, the nearest Mexican-food eatery often is as close as one’s neighborhood street corner. But such was not always the case, especially outside the “Tex-Mex Belt” (the Lone Star State and environs). In the late 1960s when Hubby and I lived in Louisville, KY, for him to attend graduate school, our desperate hunt for enchiladas and tacos and guacamole yielded sad results. The city was without Hispanic cuisine. That’s how I learned to make my favorite guacamole and Mexican-fried rice and homemade enchiladas—totally in self-defense. We knew we couldn’t live without our regular Tex-Mex fix, so we invented our own until such time as Mexican-food eateries spread eastward.

Today those almost-manic cravings for dining on Tex-Mex still seize me. I still cook my standby favorites as well as add new ones to the collection. The one featured in today’s blog arrived a few months back in my mail in the form of a Kroger grocery-store flyer, often the source of some terrific recipes. Cheese, Mushroom, and Corn Quesadillas are easy and diverse. Originally featured to inspire pre-Super Bowl 2011 food preparation, this recipe is versatile for any occasion and, as in our case, was served as a meal and not just as an appetizer. 

The combination of fresh mushrooms and fresh corn topped with cheese made an extraordinary flavor and a very healthy dish.

Today local Tex-Mex offerings exist from sea to shining sea and even in foreign countries (Hubby and I got the shock of our lives when we encountered some of the world’s best Tex-Mex in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in West Africa. Really. The Lebanese owner of the restaurant had married a Texas gal, who had to have her Mexican cuisine even on the Dark Continent. This place probably served the best salsa I’ve ever experienced.) They can also exist from one’s own stovetop, thanks to the likes of Cheese, Mushroom, and Corn Quesadillas.  

Cheese, Corn, and Mushroom Quesadillas

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup fresh corn kernels, cooked
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon each salt (or salt substitute) and pepper
8 (7-inch) flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups Mexican-blend cheese

In skillet over medium heat melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add onion; cook for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, corn, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Melt remaining butter; brush one side of each of 4 tortillas. Arrange tortillas, buttered-side down, on baking sheet; top with 1 cup cheese, mushroom mixture, and remaining tortillas. Brush tops with butter. Bake at 450 degrees for 6 minutes. Top with remaining cheese; bake 1 minute or until cheese is melted. Top with salsa. Served as an appetizer, serves 8 to 10.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds REALLY good to me right now. I'll have to put that on the menu for us soon. I've not tried adding thyme to quesadillas and I think is sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing.