This week is all about easy things to make for myself while Adam is out-of-town. I usually don’t like to cook when Adam isn’t here to enjoy it with me because, ultimately, after he hears how wonderful my dinner was, I will have to make it again next week when he returns. So, what’s easier than a quesadilla? Not much. Quesadilla = tortilla, cheese, tortilla, flip once during cooking, and enjoy with salsa. Bam, dinner! I decided to take the quesadilla to a whole new level.
I was inspired by a fellow food blogger, Kate in the Kitchen, who made Apple, Brie and Sweet Salty Praline Quesadilla, back in October. This was actually the recipe that got me hooked on reading her blog. Not only did it sound fantastic, her photos made me want to reach into the computer screen and grab it. Kate’s quesadilla reminded me of Los Angeles. Back in Los Angeles, my go-to sandwich at my favorite restaurant, The Alcove, was the Apple and Brie Panini. The granny smith apples and brie are snuggled up to caramelized onions between two fabulous pieces of focaccia, and grilled to perfection. Mouth-watering and seriously amazing! So, I thought I’d give Kate’s recipe a try. I bought the tortillas, brie, and pecans. I thought I had apples at home, but alas, I did not. So, instead of making a trip to the store, I improvised with cranberry sauce. I hoped that it would mimic baked brie – the tortilla being the puff pastry. It did. The gooey, mild brie with the salty, sweet, nutty pecans and the tart and sweet cranberries definitely worked! It was one sophisticated quesadilla.
Cranberry, Brie, and Praline Quesadilla Printable Recipe
1-2 TBS cranberry sauce (whole berry, or regular)
Two slices of Brie cheese cut into sections
Sweet Salty Pralines (recipe below)
Two Flour tortillas
In a skillet, heat one tortilla until starting to crisp and brown. Remove to plate and add second tortilla to pan. While second tortilla heats, spread brie, cranberry sauce and scatter pralines on the tortilla on the plate. Remove second tortilla, and return the tortilla with the toppings to the pan and heat until you can see the cheese melting. Cover with second tortilla. Carefully flip tortilla once during heating. When cheese is melted, place on plate and cut into wedges. Serve hot.
Pralines (adapted from Kate)
1 cup pecans
1 TBS unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS brown sugar
In a medium-sized skillet, melt butter over medium heat until foamy. Add pecans and stir to coat. Cook, stirring regularly for about 2-3 minutes, then sprinkle in brown sugar and salt. Stir to coat pecans, breaking up any chunks that form. After a minute or two, carefully pour 2 TBS of water into the skillet and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring regularly, until syrup thickens and pecans are fully coated. Pour onto a plate and spread to cool, being careful not to touch the caramel.