Entertaining is something I genuinely love to do and also happen to be really good at. I love bringing people together, especially when it is over food and drinks. Luckily I have a lot of friends who feel the same way, which is why we do a monthly (ish) family dinner where everyone brings a dish that goes with the theme for all to enjoy. No, it’s not a potluck with your grandma’s potato salad and some soggy coleslaw. This is some gourmet, magic-out-of-a-hat, explosively tasty and overly indulgent shit. A real celebration of food and friends.
Typically laced with laughter and drunk with white wine, our family gatherings are nothing short of culinary genius. Instead of slaving in the kitchen all day, our bevy bunch of working class citizens not only has decide on the concept behind their dish once the theme is sent out, but then we must adapt the recipe to fit within the time and space constraints of a one bedroom apartment all the way downtown.
For our most recent installment of family dinner, the theme was (appropriately) Winning Family Dishes. Having roots in both Jewish and Southern cultures, I have a pretty wide range of family dishes in my recipe box. Unfortunately, most of them require all day surveillance or deep frying, both of which are not conducive to my 9-5. I had never been in such a pickle before… but life has a funny way of steering us, so I waited until the night before to decide on my dish.
Luckily, a few days before, I went to my parent’s house for an actual family dinner and re-discovered a Blatt Family Tradition I had long forgotten about. My mom had recently been very sick, so was spending a lot of time
gerbilling around the house on bed rest, giving her more time to cook and clean than her soccer mom days. She crafted this tropical take on a quesadilla that was so light and refreshing, I almost skipped dinner altogether. Apparantly she made this for me almost every day as a toddler, since I had such refined taste [this dish fell into two of my main food groups as a child – cheese & avocado] It was so quick and easy, I decided that this would be the big dish I would unveil at Family Dinner. And boy was it a hit!
I made 5 of these to feed about a dozen people, and they all went nuts. It may not be the healthiest of recipes [I used Creme de Brie and flour tortillas], but you can easily adjust it to fit your dairy-free/gluten-free/vegan lifestyle with some replacement ingredients.
What you will need:
9″ flour tortillas [1 package of 10]
2 wheels of Creme de Brie from the fancy cheese section
1 stick of butter
1 small can of diced jalapenos
1 large mango, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
3 large avocados
Lite sour cream for dipping
What to do:
Simply butter one side of a tortilla and lay flat on pan on medium heat. Alternate wedges of brie and mango in a pinwheel fashion. Drizzle diced jalapenos throughout. Cover with another tortilla, and butter the top. Once cheese begins to melt a little and edges begin to crisp, flip [Be careful! Brie doesn’t melt like other cheese so it doesn’t act as adhesive as one would like]. Keep on heat until edges begin to crisp again, dust with salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder if you have them handy. Slice into 6-8 pieces and serve with avocado and sour cream.