For many, fall is the PERFECT time of year — there is a crispness in the air that is invigorating and refreshing. Fall is also the time for football, harvest festivals and apples!! There are so many ways to enjoy apples — fresh and raw, baked into a pie, simmered into sauce or mixed into your favorite salad.
Apples pair exceptionally well with a sharp cheddar cheese. Add in some tart sauerkraut and you have a winning combination! I have been making these quesadillas for a few years, and they are always a hit. You can use flour or corn tortillas. Choose a firm, crisp-crunchy apple like Gala or honeycrisp. Use a high quality cheddar that you shred yourself (have you ever looked at what is in pre-shredded cheese?) and opt for natural fermented sauerkraut, not a vinegar based variety.
When choosing apples, look for firm, fresh-smelling fruit with smooth, tight skin. They should be free of bruises and blemishes. Apples are one of the “Dirty Dozen” so opt for organic or locally grown from a grower you trust.
Apples ripen 6-10 times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated. For optimal storage, apples should be kept at 35-40 degrees with relative humidity of 80-90%. (That is why those apples you bought at the beginning of the week and put in a basket on the counter were soft by Friday!) Apples also easily absorb odors, so store away from strong-smelling foods (like onions).
Remember, a healthy lifestyle begins in the kitchen, and what better place to start than with a bag of apples!
Until next time,
Mrs. Dornberg, your kitchen BFF
Apple, Sauerkraut & Cheddar Quesadillas
Yield: 8 pieces
1 Cup sauerkraut, rinsed and squeezed dry
2 9-10” Flour Tortillas
1 Cup grated Cheddar Cheese
1 Small firm apple, peeled and very thinly sliced
Heat a large 12” skillet over medium heat. Add grapeseed oil to coat bottom of pan. Put one tortilla in the pan and immediately sprinkle ½ cup cheese evenly over. Quickly arrange half the apple slices over half of the cheese and top with half of the sauerkraut, spreading evenly.
Heat until the bottom is golden, about 2 minutes, then carefully fold the tortilla in half, pressing gently on it with a spatula to seal. Slide the quesadilla onto a cutting board and cut into quarters. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
For a great variation, add about ¼ cup diced ham after the apple and sauerkraut.