Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cheese, Apple, and Bacon "Quesadillas"

I eat apples at an amazing pace this time of year, but don't really cook that much with them beyond desserts. I had some sprouted grain tortillas leftover from Chipotle Black Bean Burgers, along with an abundance of different Wisconsin cheeses and wonderful local bacon, inspiring me to make these "quesadillas". (I hate to even use the word quesadilla to describe these, but I can't think of anything that conveys the idea more clearly.)

The crisp and fresh apples are a wonderful contract to the rich and salty bacon and cheese; I would recommend using an apple that is somewhat tart, but not something as tart as a Granny Smith as some degree of sweetness is a nice added contrast to the bacon and cheese. Cheddar and Swiss are my preferences for cheese, though provolone might be good as well, and smoked cheese is an added bonus. Flour tortillas are not rich enough in texture or flavor for this recipe, so make sure to use whole wheat or other whole grain tortillas for their nutty flavor and sturdy texture. If you don't have any tortillas, these ingredients would also make for a fantastic grilled cheese sandwich on some crusty whole grain bread.

Cheese, Apple, and Bacon "Quesadillas"
serves 2 (as a main dish) or 4 (as an appetizer)

4 slices smoked bacon
4 small whole wheat or sprouted grain tortillas
4 slices cheese (I used two cheddar and two smoked Swiss)
1 apple, sliced into 16 pieces
Canola cooking spray (or butter or oil)

1. Fry bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels. Break each slice into two pieces and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat electric panini press (such as a Cuisinart Griddler) or large frying pan.

2. Place one slice of cheese, 4 apple slices, and 2 slices of bacon (1 piece) on one half of each tortilla and fold in half.

3. Spray preheated panini press or pan with cooking spray. Place quesadillas on panini press and grill until cheese is melted (or grill in pan, flipping halfway through cooking). Serve warm.

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