5 quick and easy dinners using the humble tortilla.
With exams looming and revision taking priority over just about everything (except partying to judge by the turnout in Arena last Tuesday!) more and more of us turn to potnoodles and takeaways, secretly wishing that someone would invent a magical food that could be used for any meal, at any time of the day or night.
Thankfully somebody has – about 700 years ago in fact! Tortillas were first made by the Aztecs, out of ground maize mixed with water and dried in the sun. What they did with them after that is anyone’s guess, but here are 5 quick and easy suggestions for lunch, dinner and midnight snacks!
1) The Pizzadilla
Essentially a bit more substantial than a quesadilla but a bit lighter than a pizza – place cheese and spring onions between 2 tortillas and fry until golden. Top with any kind of tomato sauce, and then add your favourite toppings and some cheese. Grill until the cheese is melted and the edges browned.
Based on a Mexican snack, these are ideal for those moments when you just need something sweet but everything in the cupboard looks dull and boring. Take a dull and boring tortilla, cut into little squares and fry until golden. While still hot, toss in a 1:4 mix of sugar and cinnamon. Mmm…
3) Vegetable enchiladas
Not only are these tasty and filling, they also contain shed-loads of vitamins and iron, which are probably miles better for your brain than all those ready meals! Cut ½ a butternut squash into cubes, drizzle with oil and roast for 45 minutes. Meanwhile boil some milk, chuck a roughly chopped spring onion in it and leave to cool. Don’t stand there watching it, get on with some work!! When the squash is ready strain the milk, make a white sauce and add plenty of nutmeg. Wilt about 4 massive handfuls of spinach in a large pan, add 1tbsp of butter and more nutmeg. (There’s nothing like mildly psychoactive spices to pick you up when you’re bored!) Fill a couple of tortillas with squash and spinach, with the sauce shared out between them. Roll up, cover with any tomato sauce and cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes.
4) Mexican cupcakes
I won’t lie; I was excited when I discovered you could do this with boring, floppy tortillas: cut them into circles, push into cupcake moulds, lightly brush with oil and bake for 5-6 minutes until crisp. Fill with whatever you like (chilli con carne or leftover risotto work well) top with cheese and grill for a few more minutes. It is worth heating up your chosen filling to piping hot before grilling these.
5) Mexican Lasagne
Fry up some diced chicken, then add fajita spices and chopped tomatoes. Layer tortilla-chicken & sauce – tortilla – cheese sauce & sweetcorn – tortilla – chicken – tortilla – cheese sauce & grated cheese then bake for 25 minutes. Grill each layer of tortilla as you add it to crisp it up slightly. Great for those days when solid food just seems like too much effort… I think we all know the ones!
6) A cunning disguise!
If all else fails and you finally lose your marbles to the pressures of work, cut out a cheeky mask and go postal with anonymity!
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