Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Tex Mex NY Style

How's that for a blog post title?

I'm under deadline this week, so the other night my daughter and I decided to have dinner out. I'd been writing hard all day and was happy for the break (and not to have to cook). She had a few days in a row off work and was getting restless.

There's a TexMex place in my neighborhood that I've been wanting to try (even though it's been here a long time, I hadn't managed yet!), so we went to The Santa Fe Grill.

At this point, I'm thinking how little I know about this stuff. Why is it called Santa Fe if they serve Tex Mex?  Mindy???? Yoo hoooo. Help, please.

To be fair, the restaurant calls it southwestern food. It's the Yelp reviewers who call it Tex Mex.

But who cares. The food was great.

Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a photo.

My daughter ordered Steak Quesadilla and I had a Cheese Enchilada. Both came with rice and refried beans. Yum!

I could easily have gorged myself on it, but I decided I'd rather save the leftovers.

But then I nibbled more, so there really wasn't much for leftovers. I needed to come up with something to add to it for dinner.

One other menu item was a roasted vegetable quesadilla. That gave me an idea.

So, tonight, I roasted some zucchini (yellow and green) and mushrooms. I already had some broccoli that I had roasted with garlic, so I threw that in and dusted the whole thing with Parmesan.

I bought a bag of soft corn tortillas and heated them in the pan before loading with the roasted vegetables.

Here's where I confess to the big oopsie.

When I was buying my veggies, I bought a container of shredded cheese.
When I got home from the store,  I forgot about the cheddar cheese - for hours in really hot weather.

I'm on deadline. I was not taking any chances with yucky cheese.

So we went a little international with the Parmesan and some Mozzarella that I had on hand.
Trust me, it was good.

You'll be able to tell what I did from the photos, but basically I heated the tortillas, smothered them in pre-roasted vegetables. covered with cheese, and baked until the cheese was gooey.

I doubt this was authentic anything, but it was so delicious!

Final product along with the leftovers.


  1. It was authentic Cate cooking! I love Tex Mex so much we had super nachos for our wedding! On the Boarder has brisket tacos that are AMAZING!

    1. Love it, Katie. Cate-Mex.

      Okay, it's only 10:30 here, and I don't usually eat meat, but the idea of brisket tacos is making me hungry! I remember Jan sharing photos of those wedding nachos!

  2. Mary Cate, your restaurant is more southwestern than Tex Mex. So what's the difference, you ask? Southwestern (hence the Santa Fe dubbing) usually uses a lot of green chilies. Think Hatch green chilies. And green chilies, which are a larger pepper, can run anywhere from mild to pretty warm.

    Tex Mex tends to rely more on jalapenos for their heat, though you may also find some green chilies, usually on the milder side.

    The styles are a little bit different, but both are delicious. I will say, though, that people from the New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado areas love their southwestern flavors. So much so that very few will be swayed by Tex Mex.

    So there's your tutorial. Now about your post. Parmesan and mozzarella on a quesadilla? (insert lifted brow) Almost sacrilege, but as a cook, I realize that sometimes you just gotta make things work. And you did and I bet it was yummy.

    Have I mentioned how glad I am to have you back, Mary Cate?

    1. Thank you for the welcome back and for the lesson, Mindy.
      What you said makes so much sense. My daughter's only complaint about her food was that she wished it were spicier. There were a few jalapeno items on the menu, but most did seem milder. Maybe that's why the place is so popular - our weak Yankee palates. LOL

  3. This sounds wonderful, Cate!

    Back when I ate cheese, I would quite often make quesadillas with black beans as the main ingredient (along with lots of melty cheese!). The roasted zucchini and mushrooms sound fabulous, too!

    So, can you make "queso"dillas without cheese? I don't think so. But maybe I can call them something else... "zuk-a-dillas?" "frijole-dillas?" Hmm. Maybe not.

    1. I didn't realize you weren't eating cheese anymore, Jan. I keep trying to give it up for health reasons, but oh I do love it so.

    2. I love it too! But, alas, it suddenly stopped liking me last summer.

      Sometimes I'll have some - a slice of pizza or something like that - but I keep the Lactaid handy and endure the discomfort. :-)

    3. Sorry. I understand that. I have an on again off again relationship with dairy. I have no idea why sometimes it bothers me and sometimes it doesn't. Just curious, have you tried any of the vegan cheese alternatives?

    4. Oh, I'm so thankful I can eat cheese until the cows come home.


    5. I went and bought cheddar for the leftovers. 😇

    6. Jan, it's such a pain when our bodies do these change-up things. What's up with that????

  4. That's my kind of meal, Mary Cate! I'm trying to talk my daughter into going to get Mexican food tonight. But she's leaning toward Thai again. :)

    1. Believe it or not, Missy, I’ve never had Thai food though both of my daughters love it. Enjoy, wherever you go.

    2. Mary Cate, my favorite dish is massaman curry. You'll have to try it!

  5. This looks amazing.... I love anything with roasted veggies. And cheese of any kind is a wonderful addition. Thank you for this, Mindy!