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.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Roasted red bell pepper makes Pimiento Cheese Quesadillas a standout.

As already has been established in this blog, I’d walk a mile for a good pimiento-cheese sandwich. If any magazine contains a PC recipe, I’m drawn to it like a magnet. I blitz to add it to my collection of great ways to prepare this Southern concoction.

But I never had imagined pimiento cheese spread on tortillas to make quesadillas. Prevention magazine’s September 2011 edition took care of that with its recipe section on perfect pairings. It paired the quesadillas featured here with Tortilla Soup, which I’ll feature in the very near future (attractive to me since the soup recipe includes squash).

The appealing feature about these quesadillas is that instead of opening a jar of grocery-store-ready canned pimientos, you make your own by sautéeing a small amount of chopped red bell pepper in a small skillet coated with cooking spray. When the pepper begins to brown and starts to soften, take it off the burner and mix it into the grated cheese. The red pepper’s what unlocks the door in this recipe. It kicks what could be just another spread WAY up another notch.

Once the spread covered half the tortilla, I folded the top over it and cooked it on my countertop grill. Easy! Waiting to cut it into wedges until after the quesadilla cools is important so the little cheese sandwiches will harden a little and not cut jaggedy.

Don’t need to convince me that pimiento cheese is God’s ultimate gift to the palate; here’s just one more way that it shines.

Grilled Pimiento-Cheese Quesadillas

2 ounces yellow Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
1 tablespoon 0% Greek-style yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped roasted red bell pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon minced onion
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Mix together the first 6 ingredients for pimiento cheese (makes 1/2 cup). Spread each of 4 tortillas evenly with 2 tablespoons of the pimiento cheese. Top with remaining tortillas; press to adhere. Heat grill pan coated with olive oil spray over medium-high heat (can also use countertop grill sprayed well). Grill quesadillas in batches; turn once until golden on both sides and cheese is melted, about 4 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into wedges. Makes 4 servings.

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