TJT: Apple Gouda Quesadillas
Another day…another apple! That’s right; more apple recipes. Don’t fret, though—I’m done with the apple cake recipes (for this year anyway!). The Wine Imbiber was giving me grief for challenging his wine recommendations with too many dessert recipes. One can only drink so much champagne and sparkling wine with desserts (he had to start thinking outside of the bottle). So, on to the appetizer/main course suggestion that I previously promised. And just to mess with Mr. WI’s mind, I’ve included a quick seasonal drink (that doesn’t have wine as an ingredient!) that will suit both kids and adults alike at those family Halloween parties.
I originally saw the recipe for Apple Gouda Quesadillas on all recipes. It’s an easy one to adapt with Trader Joe’s ingredients, and maybe even a little tastier. One ingredient that worked really nicely was the specific cheese I found at TJ’s. They have a great cheese selection, so choose one that works best for your tastebuds. We tried a variety of cheeses for this, but everybody seemed to like the Gouda with Walnuts best. It occurred to me (a little too late) that a Smoked Gouda might have combined well with the apple and onions, but I’ll have to try that one another time.
TJ’s carries both flour and corn tortillas. Be sure to get the flour ones. I don’t think corn tortillas would work as well for this particular quesadilla. Instead of brushing olive oil onto the tortillas, save yourself some trouble (and calories) and use the Olive Oil Spray that TJ’s makes. It’s much easier and less messy to deal with. We use it for all kinds of recipes that require oiling. It gives a much more even coat and doesn’t create greasy puddles on your food. As far as the apples go, we liked using tart, green ones best. Red apples seemed to overpower the savory flavor of the cheese with sweetness. Also, go lightly on the mustard as it can overpower the other flavors very quickly if too much is used. The addition of bacon was my suggestion, because as Emeril says, “Pork rules!” and goes great with apples (feel free to quote me on that last part!).
WI wine recommendation: These quesadillas go well with Palmina’s Traminer (which can be hard to get) or a nice Gewürztraminer, from the spicier offspring of the Traminer grape.
Apple Gouda Quesadillas
8 flour tortillas
Olive Oil Spray
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups shredded Gouda with walnuts cheese
2 green onions, chopped
2 green apples, cored and thinly sliced
Crisply cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
Preheat a large heavy frying pan on medium–high heat. Spray one side of each tortilla. Spread a thin coating of Dijon on the other side of only half of the tortillas.
Place one tortilla (oiled side down) in pan. Layer shredded cheese, onions, apples (and bacon bits, if using) on top of the mustard. Place a second tortilla on top (oiled side up). Grill until the bottom tortilla is crisp and lightly browned and the cheese has melted. Flip and then grill the other side until crisp. Remove from the pan to a cutting board. Cut into quarters (a pizza wheel works great for this). Serve warm.
Spicy (Spiked) Cider
1 bottle Trader Joe’s Spicy Cider
1 bottle Trader Joe’s Lemonade
Dark rum (to your taste)
Dried apple rings (or dried fruit of your choice)
TJ’s pre-spiced cider makes this simple to throw together. For the young ones; mix the cider and the lemonade (2 to 1 ratio) and pour into mugs. My kids like it served both ways (hot and cold). They usually don’t bother garnishing it with the cinnamon sticks when served cold, but like to drop one in when drinking it hot for some unknown reason.
For the adults, mix the Spicy Cider with as much rum as you like (boo yah!) in a mug or hot drink glass. Heat in the microwave for a minute or two; garnish with a cinnamon stick and dried fruit of choice. This is a great cold weather drink and also goes well with the quesadillas (at least I thought so; I’ll have to check with the Wine Imbiber for his opinion!).
November 1, 2008 at 9:11 am
Cheese and apples are such a great combination! I never thought about combining them into a quesadllla before. I’m going to give this a try as an appetizer for a little get together I’m having this weekend, though I think Appletinis are in order for this one!