Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tina's gluten-free quesadillas

There are a number of things Tina does really well, one of them is cooking and baking. She is actually the baker in the house. I do bake, but I don't really like it and Tina does. She has a way with dough. 

When I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease Tina was simply devastated. I wrapped my mind around staying positive and she cried off and on for a few weeks. She thought our days of enjoying food, sharing food and going out to dinner were over. Well, we didn't go out for dinner for a long time, and we had to navigate the creation of a safe kitchen, not a gluten free kitchen but a kitchen that was safe. That meant labeling jars in the fridge that were being kept gluten-free (read no double dipping with a utensil that had been glutenized), getting a second toaster, establishing a second set of gluten-free wooden spoons, and maintaining a level of vigilance around cleaning that we were not used to. For example if a wash cloth was used to wipe a wheat flour covered counter down, or crumbs from wheat bread, it went straight into the wash. It wasn't easy and it took some time to settle into a routine and get used to new habits.

It took equally long to discover gluten-free alternatives for me. Figuring out how to cook gluten-free pasta, coming up with a gluten-free onion ring, making buckwheat savory creeps were big challenges. Tina spent a great deal of time figuring out how to make some of my most favorite foods gluten-free. For the longest time we simply couldn't find a gluten-free tortilla that was any good. The ones we tried were dry, brittle and tasteless and hardly passed for a Mexican treat. Corn tortillas worked for some things but when it came to making a good quesadilla, forget it.

Then, a few months ago I saw a post on Gluten-Free Girl. Some how Shauna and Danny had gotten a package of a gluten-free tortilla made by French Meadow Bakery. Imagine that, a local bakery, right here in the Twin Cites. I called them immediately only to find out that the delivery to Seattle was a promo. The tortilla would not be available to the general public for a few more months. I kept my eye on their website and a few weeks ago they appeared. Thank goodness I live here, a mail order of one package runs about $20, way too much for 6 small tortillas. I called them and learned that if I placed an order prior to Friday, I could pick them up myself at the Eagan plant the following Tuesday.

I picked my French Meadow Gluten-Free Tortillas up on Tuesday. They were frozen and on the smallish side. Tina gave me a grocery list and when I got home I sat in the kitchen and watched her work her magic.  

The tortillas themselves are far better than any other product I have tried, and they sure beat a corn tortilla for making a quesadilla. They are chewy, which is not a great quality but they are darn good. Tina made chicken quesadillas for me with chipotle sour cream. Oh my goodness they were so good I hardly noticed the chewiness. I love it when Tina cooks for me, especially when she works so hard to recreate my favorite things gluten-free. These chicken quesadillas were simply wonderful and a great treat. I will surely be asking for them again soon.


Katrina said...

I have never seen those tortillas. They sound heavenly! It's wonderful having a supportive partner in life, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I'll make them for you any time!! And if you want to post the "recipe", I'll try to put it on paper.

I Am Gluten Free said...

I've been hearing a lot about French Meadow bakery. I haven't seen anything of theirs yet in the northeast - I'll keep my eyes peeled. Looks great!

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