Colorado’s state motto is Latin. What does it mean? It depends upon who you ask. Most say Nothing Without Providence, while others claim Nothing Without God. There is evidence that those who chose the motto meant Nothing Without the Deity, a general translation without a reference to a particular god. Now that could be a reference to Colorado’s Garden of the Gods with its beauty beyond compare.
Welcome to Colorado Day. Colorado is the first of the Four Corner States. When we think Colorado, we think Rocky Mountain High. We think of the Spanish influence as they sought to find the city with streets paved in gold. But it’s not gold that boomed in Colorado, it was silver.
This summer, we are taking a break from our usual vacation destination and we’re heading east, to Colorado. We have family and are looking forward to a nice long visit. My Colorado Cousins are more like siblings to me. As children, we lived near one another. We grew up as a family of nine children partially living under one roof. There wasn’t a Sunday without attending Mass together, then having Sunday Supper in the same house. Like most siblings, what one didn’t think to try, someone else did. We performed science experiments by dissecting golf balls and cooked up big pots of Muddy Bark Stew. (A pot of water, dirt, landscape bark and dandelions – yum!) If one of us got sick, that was a signal to our parents to put all of us under the same roof and let the cold or flue or chick pocks run its course rather than drag it out. Herd immunity was the norm.
As adults, we scattered. Most of my sibling-cousins settled in Colorado, while my actual siblings remained on the west coast. When Brother Dear passed, it was the first time in years that the surviving eight were under one roof. For me, it made his death more real – he should have been with us. When my daughter was called home, it was the first time since Brother’s passing. Really? Death is what it took. We decided right then and there not to wait for the next final good byes to celebrate life as we once knew it. So this summer Hubby, Kiddo and I are spending time in Colorado.
Here’s to National Colorado Day. From her rugged wilderness, old west rails lines and even older Pueblo Dwellings to all the small town charm – we’ll be embracing you soon.
In the meantime, hope you enjoy Quesadillas in the spirit of the Rocky Mountain State.
Sheet Pan Chicken Quesadilla
1 Rotisserie Chicken
1/2 cup Salsa Verde
1 tablespoon Taco Seasoning
1 can Black Beans, rinsed
3 tablespoons butter, melted
8 burrito-size flour tortillas
1 jar Nacho Cheese
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles, drained
Sour Cream as desired
Additional Salsa Verde
Remove skin from rotisserie chicken. Pull meat from the bones, place in a large bowl and shred with an electric mixer. Add Salsa Verde and sprinkle chicken with taco seasoning. Mix well to coat meat with flavors and set aside.
Drain and rinse black beans, set aside.
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Melt butter, brush a large sheet pan or rimmed cookie sheet with half of the butter.
Arrange 2 tortillas along the longest side of the sheet pan with half hanging over the rim; repeat with the other long side of the pan. Place one tortilla, also half hanging over, at each end. Place 1 tortilla in the center so the whole bottom of the sheet pan is covered.
Spread tortillas evenly with nacho cheese, reserving some of the cheese for the last tortilla. Spread all of the chicken over the tortillas, then black beans and finally the diced chiles. Spread reserved nacho cheese on remaining tortilla, place in the center of the pan, cheese-sized down.
Fold the overhanging tortillas over so that the filling is completely covered. Brush with the remaining butter, top with another sheet pan and press down firmly.
Bake until the tortillas are crispy and the inside is melted and hot, about 20 minutes, rotating the pan about mid-way for even browning.
Carefully remove the top sheet pan. Slice the quesadilla into squares using a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Garnish the slices with sour cream and additional salsa as desired.
Great with margaritas for a laid back evening.