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50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #32 Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian - Cheddar, Pepperoni, and Egg Quesadilla Sandwich

the "Gourmet" prompt...
32. Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian- The gorgeous, intelligent locavores of the magazine world, Ryder and Topalian’s Edible series now numbers 60 editions, from Allegheny to WOW (southeast Michigan). And, despite the handicap of being free print mags, they actually make money!

While I had previously heard of Edible Communities...even own an "edible" cookbook and browse my local edition online, I didn't know the names behind the cover.  The following information comes from the Edible Communities website...

Tracey Ryder and Carole Topolian co-founded Edible Communities, Inc., the nation’s largest publishing company dedicated to the local foods movement, in 2002. The company currently publishes 70 titles across North America and is currently adding new magazines at a rate of 10 per year. The content for each publication is region-specific and focuses on the farmers, fishermen, chefs and food artisans from each area.

Ms. Ryder has worked as a journalist, marketer and graphic designer for the culinary, tourism and agriculture industries for over 25 years. She is a regular speaker at conferences and events in the culinary and publishing fields.

Earlier in her career, Topolian owned a Los Angeles-based multimedia company where she produced several award-winning advertising and promotional campaigns for major corporations. In the 1990s, she decided to leave the corporate world behind and study psychology at Pacific Graduate Institute. Her fine art photographs have been exhibited in over 70 shows throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Today she is an active ceramicist and gardener.
So.  You'd think in the spirit of edible living, I would have turned to my local edition, Edible Michiana.  And I did.  At first.  But since it's still fairly new (only three issues released so far...okay, that sounds like a lot when I actually write it down, but...), I decided to turn to a book on my shelf that has been begging me to give it some love.  Edible Brooklyn has a bunch of sticky notes sticking out this way and that.  And oddly enough, this recipe...though really the one that I couldn't wait to make.  And in my defense, I think the seasonal ingredients are fairly overlapping.

Other than being in a "simple" mood, I was also intrigued by the combination of ingredients in this recipe.  Pepperoni...eggs...marjoram(!)...wha!?  Oh, they worked like you wouldn't imagine.  You might be tempted to skip the marjoram, but I don't recommend giving in to that temptation.  It's those miniscule little flecks of pine-tinged green that lend so beautifully to the warm eggs and slight spice from the pepperoni.  I've made these for three meals since this.  I ran out of marjoram somewhere along the line...and while still good, the lack of marjoram left me wanting.  There was a rip in the cohesiveness of this beautiful sandwich.  Don't skip the marjoram!
Cheddar, Pepperoni, and Egg Quesadilla Sandwich

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
Keywords: entree sandwich breakfast eggs tortillas American

Ingredients (serves 1)
  • ¼ c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 (6") flour tortillas
  • 3 slices large pepperoni (sandwich slices)
  • 2 or 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. fresh marjoram
  • ½ Tbs. butter
  • Tabasco sauce
  • sea salt or kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large cast-iron (or other heavy) griddle over medium-high. Lay one tortilla on griddle, sprinkle cheese evenly over it and cover with second tortilla. Cook until cheese is melted and it's golden on the bottom. Flip and cook until this side is light golden brown, as well. Place pepperoni slices down one side of tortilla and set aside.

Beat eggs together with fresh marjoram in a small bowl. Heat butter over medium in a nonstick (or omelet) skillet. When butter is melted and foam subsides, pour in eggs and scramble softly.

Slide eggs on top of the pepperoni. Drizzle with tabasco, salt, and pepper to taste.

Fold tortillas up like a big, fat taco and enjoy your quesadilla sandwich.
A soft, yet lightly crisped shell filled with melty cheddar blankets fluffy eggs with pockets of piney marjoram and an understated layer of pepperoni for some subtle heat. Right now? I'm lovin' this way too much.

adapted slightly from Edible Brooklyn: The Cookbook
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In May '11, Gourmet posted a list of 50 Women Game-Changers (in Food) that runs the gamut from food writers to cookbook authors to television personalities to restauranteurs to chefs to food bloggers.  Some are a given.  Some are controversial.  Speaking the names of some brings fond childhood memories.  Speaking the names of others will make some readers cringe.  And of course, some of our favorites were not even included.  We food-lovers are a passionate bunch of people and whether we agree or disagree, every woman on this list has earned her place for a reason.  Being a woman who is passionate about food (cooking, eating, talking about, writing about, photographing), when I caught wind of Mary from One Perfect Bite's idea of cooking/blogging her way through each of these 50 per week...I knew I wanted to join her.  Many of these women paved the way for us in culinary school, in the kitchen, in cookbooks, in food writing, and on television and I think it is a fabulous way to pay tribute to their efforts.  Some of the women on the list have been tops with me for years.  Some I have heard of (perhaps even seen, read, or cooked from) before.  And there are even a handful that I am not familiar with at all.  I excited to educate myself on each of these women game-changers and hope you look forward to reading along.  We are going in order from 1 to 50.
Who is cooking along with these 50 Women Game-Changers?

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