I may have forgotten to defrost something for dinner but fortunately I have back-up meals that can quickly be thrown together. Tonight it is carnitas that I purchased pre-cooked from Trader Joe's. They are frozen but easily defrosted in the microwave. I remove the carnitas from the packaging, place in a microwave safe bowl and set the timer for 2 min increments.
On top of that I picked up a can of whole organic pinto beans during my last shopping trip so I open those and throw them into a saucepan to heat up. Luis is a bean purist so he prefers I leave them plain. However, adding a crushed clove of garlic enhances the flavor a bit.
My first plan was to make some fresh guacamole since I had a large avocado, some tomatoes and cilantro. Unfortunately, when I cut open the avocado I find it is has gone bad so I have to change my plan and make a fresh tomato salsa. This salsa has to be made quickly since my meat is already warmed up and Luis is making the quesadillas as I set everything up. I core two tomatoes and slice each into eight wedges. I remove some of the seeds as I go but don't get too picky about it. I mince some onion (about 1/4 cup worth) and add the juice of 1/2 of a lemon. (Lime would be preferable but I am making due with what I have.)
As I look for the cilantro to finish it off I realize that I threw it out two days ago. Fortunately, I purchase frozen herbs as a backup. Many grocery stores sell little flats (4x3 inches) of cubed servings of frozen herbs and garlic. I keep basil, cilantro and garlic in the freezer in case I happen to have a recipe that calls for them and I have either run out or not had time to buy fresh herbs in advance. I throw three cubes of cilantro into the salsa and add a pinch of salt.
While I have been setting everything up, Luis was making quesadillas on the comal. He briefly heated each corn tortilla on the comal, add a bit of shredded monterey jack (about 2 tablespoons per tortilla), folded and placed back onto the comal to heat them each enough to melt the cheese. (If you don't have a comal you can us a skillet for this. A pan typical to what you would use for a grilled cheese sandwich but don't add any oil.) You want to time them so that they come off the comal as you are serving your food since they get cold really easily.