Garden Tomato Pepper Cheese Crisp
My son and I went up to visit my mom and dad this weekend … their garden is producing like mad and, as usual, it is difficult keeping up with it all. The tomatoes and peppers are thick with fruit and mom and dad have been canning tomato juice and salsa, but after 20 jars of salsa and who knows how many jars of tomatoes, they told me they’re done canning. Their pantry is full of tomatoes … what more do they need? I know there is no need for more, but yet …
I have such a hard time watching those beautiful garden tomatoes ripen on the vine, knowing mom and dad cannot possibly eat them, and even though they are retired, they don’t have the time to process them all … the harvest has over-taken their lives and we are rushing to keep up. I decided I would do what I could to help “save the tomatoes”. I picked like mad, filled up 2 1/2 boxes of tomatoes plus lots of peppers and eggplant and other garden goodies … my son helped me load all of this into the car and we started on our trip home. But it wasn’t long after we started our journey that I noticed the tire pressure sensor light was on. We stopped at the first town to check the tires and I filled up the front tire with air. We started again on our journey … but not 30 miles down the road before I noticed the light was on again. We pulled in at the next town and filled again with air, hoping to make it home.
Before we even hit the road, though, I could HEAR the tire leaking, and my son said he could hear it from inside the car. Not a good sign. I thought we could try to make it for the next town, though, so we started going, only to notice very quickly that the indicator light was on once again. I chatted with my dad on the phone who said we need to pull over and change the tire. There was a rest area up ahead so we pulled off to change the tire. The car was so full of produce that we had to unload several boxes before we could even get to the jack, but neither of us could even begin to loosen the lugnuts. Oh dear … what to do? I talked to my friend who asked if we had roadside assistance on our insurance plan? I wasn’t sure, but I gave them a call, and yes! there was roadside assistance on the plan. Whew! We called the insurance, they sent someone out within 30 minutes and we were back on the road again in about 45 minutes.
By the time we got home and unloaded our garden treasures, I was starving. For some reason, I remembered a long-lost love: the ChiChi’s nachos I used to love popped into my mind. I don’t even remember what they were called — they were so simple: just tomato, jalapeno and green onion, but they were ordered often and totally one of my favorites. My mind recalled there were tortillas in my fridge and right there and then I decided to make my own version of those nachos … within a few minutes, I had a lovely cheese crisp in front of me. This little crunchy crispy treat along with a cold beer was just what I needed to set things right in my world again.
- 1 large tortilla (burrito sized)
- 1 small sweet pepper, sliced
- 1/2 of a fresh garden jalapeno, chopped fine
- 1 green onion (with greens), sliced thin
- About 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or Mexican blend)
- 1 small garden fresh tomato, chopped
- For the top: fresh cilantro leaves and/or garden greens and more chopped tomato
- Heat the oven to 425 F with pizza stone on the rack. Set the tortilla on the baking stone and let cook for about 5 minutes or until just lightly browned on the bottom. Slide the tortilla onto a pizza peel or flat cutting board and flip it over with a spatula. It should be crisp enough to easily flip it.
- On the browned side of the tortilla, sprinkle with pepper slices, jalapeno, green onion and then sprinkle with cheese. Top with tomato bits and slide back onto the pizza stone to cook for about 5 - 8 more minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Top with cilantro leaves and greens and/or more chopped tomato, if desired. Serve with your favorite salsa if you want a little more kick.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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