Dormroom cooking: Apple quesadillas
    Photo courtesy of Lauren Kravec / North by Northestern

    With all the dining hall food offered lately, it's nice to try a few things on the gourmet side. With a limited kitchen (and let's face it, a limited budget), there are only so many different recipes you can take on. Sometimes, it's just best to play with classic college meals. That's why apple quesadillas are the perfect fruity twist on a dorm room staple. 

    This recipe requires four ingredients: flour tortillas, butter, apples and a cheese of your choice. You can get all of these ingredients from the dining hall. Score! I recommend going to "Plexican" night to get the tortillas.

    Photos courtesy of Lauren Kravec / GIF by John Hardberger

    Other than these ingredients, you will need a frying pan and a sharp cutting knife.

    The only recommended prep is to thinly slice your apples. I thought of this too late and had to quickly slice the apples while my tortilla cooked. You want your slices pretty thin. Otherwise, when you bite into the quesadilla the apple might a rip that takes out half of the quesadilla with it. Let's face it, we've all experienced this at some point with sandwich meat. Apples can be pretty fierce too.

    Photos courtesy of Lauren Kravec / GIF by John Hardberger

    To begin, melt a slice of butter until it sizzles in the frying pan. But, be careful not to have the heat too high on the stove top or your butter will burn. This will leave you with a pan full of brown muck that is far from yummy. Not to mention, a waste of perfectly good butter.

    Next, take a flour tortilla and press it flat onto the pan. Don't let it sit too long! I've made that mistake before. The tortilla ended up completely burnt, which doesn’t look or taste good. While your tortilla is heating, place half of the thinly sliced apples on top.

    Now comes the creamy goodness. Shred, spread or grate some of your cheese over the apples and fold the other half of the tortilla over. Cook both sides until they are golden brown. You don’t have to use a spatula for this. I found that the knife I used for the apples was also a sufficient tool to flip the quesadilla in the pan – not to mention less dishes. Just think like you're cooking a panini. It’s important that the cheese is fully melted for the full effect. 

    Once your masterpiece is cooked, slice it into wedges, and you’re ready to eat. This snack is perfect if you want something substancial, but that's also quick to make. Plus, cleaning up is a breeze with only the pan and knife to worry about.

    Photos courtesy of Lauren Kravec / GIF by John Hardberger

    Cheese and fruit may sound like a strange taste combination, but it has a similar flavor to dipping apples in fondue. There are two tricks to maximizing tastiness: Use a cheese that compliments the apple (like cheddar, Gouda or brie) and don't add too much of it. The apple slices should have the dominant flavor; the cheese is mostly there to accent it. But hey, if you still think this won’t please your palate, you can always substitute the cheese for nutella or peanut butter. It can be your take on a Mexican crepe. Just like any dish, feel free to be creative and make this quesadilla your own. Nothing says dorm room cooking can't be gourmet or a little weird.


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