Campfire quesadillas

Build up a good pile of glowing red embers in the fire pit. If you’re lucky, you might be able to fuel the fire almost entirely with half-burned charcoal logs scavenged from nearby, unoccupied campsites. Put four handmade corn tortillas on the grill. We found ours, and the rest of the ingredients in this recipe, at Trader Joe’s. I’ve never much liked corn tortillas (except in chip form), but I’ve been developing a growing appreciation for them as of late, especially when they’re well cooked—the outside crisp and the inside soft (thank you La Taqueria). Flip them after a minute or two. You’re just trying to ensure that the thick tortilla gets cooked through—you don’t want to create a tostada. Now pile a healthy layer of grated cheese on two. We used a pepper jack blend, but really anything will do. We had some vine-ripened tomatoes with us, so I put a few slices on top of the cheese. Finally cover with the remaining two tortillas. Once the bottoms are getting brown and the cheese is melty, flip the quesadillas over and brown the other side. Remove from the grill and quarter. We only had a small swiss army knife with us—this was a messy affair. We also brought an avocado along, so we put a few slices on top of each quarter. But don’t omit the key ingredient: top with a healthy swirl of salsa verde (tomatillo salsa). If the quesadilla is swimming, you’re doing it right. There’s nothing quite like the combination of corn masa (in the form of tortillas or tamales) and the heady fruit of the tomatillo. Stephanie and I made these while camping at Lava Beds National Monument, and neither of us could help from exclaiming, with mouths open and full of food, how incredibly good they were.

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