Thursday, March 26, 2009
Katie's Feel-good Applejack Quesadillas
Havin a bad day? Me too, girl. I have a whole routine dedicated to tackling this problem, and it involves a lot of Mariah Carey, an empowering inner monologue (which often becomes an outer monologue if I'm home alone) and quesadillas!
I was having a bad day for most of 2003. Luckily, my downstairs neighbor, Katie, served as a live-in shoulder to cry on and on-call snack-maker. Our routine would go a little something like this: I would let myself into Katie's house via the back door, we'd chitchat about our day, I'd mention that I was hungry and accept her offer to make us a snack as if the idea never would have occurred to me. I'd offer the contents of my kitchen cabinet--which was usually two or three kinds of hot sauce and some celery salt--but the magic of the bad day snack cure was all in Katie's creativity. She's especially good at inventing new twists on the classic quesadilla, so I asked her for her favourite combo to share with y'all. Try it with a side of guilty-pleasure pop music, and your day is guaranteed to get better!
Ingredients (serves one; screw everyone else):
1 whole wheat tortilla
1/4 onion, sliced as thin as possible
1 granny smith apple, coursely chopped
1/2 a 6-oz. bag of spinach
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella or monteray jack
1 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp sugar
optional: diced chicken, light sour cream, and maybe a little guacamole? mmm!
1. Caramelize your onions. This is usually done with tons of butter and sugar, but Katie suggested using olive oil, and I found it worked well (and we all know olive oil is better for your heart.) Throw onions, oil and sugar into a pan and stir 'em up. The caramelization process takes at least 10 minutes and requires pretty frequent stirring, but you can leave 'em long enough to chop up your apple and wash your spinach.
2. When the onions have started to become translucent and the first sticky brown edges that characterize caramelization are beginning to form, throw your apples into the pan "just long enough to get them acquainted; they're not movin' in or nothin!" (says Katie.)
3. Set the apple-onion mixture aside and let the spinach have a turn. When it's wilted, add it to the apple and onion mixture.
4. Lay your quesadilla in the pan, sprinkle one half with cheese, add the veggie mix and fold the top over. Fry each side to your preferred melty crispness. Keep the music playing and sing away your troubles with your mouth full of quesadilla goodness!