Brie Quesadillas with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Beer-Glazed Onions
For those of you that read this blog on the reg, you know how I feel about the aforementioned band. However, for the newbies, I will give you a quick recap. Widespread Panic is an old jam band with legions of freakishly loyally devoted fans that follow them all over the country to noodle and cry at their concerts. These die-hard followers are commonly referred to as “Spreadheads.” Logan is their leader.
Obviously, my roommate bought tickets for this event months ago, at which point he began a Christmas-like countdown to November 16. I later found out that we would be hosting a pre-Panic party at our apartment when he sent out several group emails hyping the upcoming “rowdy fiesta.” Each was signed “Peace, Love and WSMFP” (Widespread Mother Fucking Panic). The last message addressed the party’s details, including time, date, and attire, which, according to Logan, is “whatever will allow you to boogie and fist pump the hardest.” Dear God.
Despite being anti-Widespread, I am very much pro-party, so I’m actually pretty excited about Saturday’s festivities. After all, you know I love nothing more than being complimented on my food and hospitality by a large group of men. In an effort to avoid thinking about the concert itself (which is tough, since it’s all my roommate has been able to talk about for the past few days), I’ve been seriously brainstorming party foods. As always, I was drawn to quesadillas.
I love serving quesadillas at parties since they’re simple, shareable, and a major crowd-pleaser. While I’m partial to a good chipotle steak or grilled vegetable version, I feel this weekend calls for the big guns. So, it is with great pleasure that I give you the mother of all ‘dillas: Brie Quesadillas with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Beer-Glazed Onions.
This quesadilla is easily one of the best things that you will ever put in your mouth. It’s the type of creation that makes me want to post 70 glamour shots of melting cheese, Brussels sprouts browning in bacon grease, and caramelizing onions accompanied by a string of expletives and leave it at that. However, for those of you who enjoy details, I shall do my best to articulate the all-consuming awesomeness of this delightful taste treat.
First, I’d like to address the haters who think that putting Brussels sprouts in a quesadilla is weird. Shut up. It’s an unexpected choice, yes, but it is glorious. The sprouts themselves are thinly sliced, and then cooked in rendered bacon fat until they become tender, golden brown, and slightly crispy. Just before they finish cooking, they’re drizzled with a tiny bit of maple syrup, giving them a hint of maple-y sweetness that perfectly complements their savory, earthy flavor. It’s pretty magical.
Next up, we have crispy bacon. Crispy bacon speaks for itself. Moving on.
Let’s talk beer-glazed onions. I can honestly say that they are my favorite part of these epic quesadillas. After lightly browning the thinly sliced onions, I cooked them in pumpkin ale until they were beautifully caramelized and infused with badass beer flavor. Obviously, you can use whatever beer you have in your fridge, but I strongly suggest trying a fancy pumpkin ale, which gives the onions a little extra je ne sais quoi. Plus, it’s seasonal, and seasonal things rule.
Clearly, all of the elements of this quesadilla are pretty bomb on their own, so imagine how mind-blowing they are when covered in an absurd amount of creamy, melted Brie and sandwiched between crisp tortillas. “Life-changing” pretty much sums it up. Oh, and I recommend seeking out a double crème Brie for extra richness because it is heavenly, and you’re worth it. Go big or go home.
Brie Quesadillas with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Beer-Glazed Onions make a great anytime meal as well as an excellent option for entertaining. While I will be feeding these bad boys to Logan and his fellow Spreadheads this weekend, I also look forward to serving them at classier affairs where people will actually remember eating them. Conveniently, you’ll only need a single pan for this entire recipe, and you can easily assemble the quesadillas in advance and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them (which takes a total of 6 minutes). Do it.
Brie Quesadillas with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Beer-Glazed Onions: (Makes 3 Quesadillas)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
½ cup beer (I strongly suggest using a pumpkin ale, but you do you.)
4 slices thick cut bacon, sliced into ¾ inch pieces
2 cups thinly sliced Brussels sprouts
1 teaspoon good quality maple syrup
3 whole wheat or multi-grain tortillas
12 ounces Brie cheese, preferably double crème
Preparing your Brie Quesadillas with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Beer-Glazed Onions:
-Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick pan (preferably a cast iron skillet). When hot, add the onions.
-Continue cooking the onions until all of the liquid has evaporated and the onions are beautifully glazed. This should take about 4 minutes. Remove onions from the pan and set them aside until ready to use.
-Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan with the bacon grease.
-Now it’s time to assemble your quesadillas, friends. On one half of each tortilla, add about 2 ounces of Brie in as even a layer as possible. Don’t worry about it being perfect, it’s all going to melt together. (I like to remove the rind because I don’t like it, but you can leave it on you like.) Top the Brie with beer-glazed onions, bacon and Brussels sprouts. Add another 2 ounces of cheese and fold the tortillas over.
-Heat your pan or cast iron skillet. When hot add your quesadillas (you may have to do them one by one, depending on the size of your pan), and cook for about three minutes on each side until the tortilla is lightly browned and crisp and the cheese has fully melted.
-Remove the quesadillas from the pan and place them on a cutting board. Allow them to cook for a minute or two before slicing each quesadilla into three triangles. Serve immediately. Fanciest quesadillas ever.
As always, I’m thrilled to be a part of Food Network’s Fall Fest this week. For more badass Brussels Sprout recipes, check out the amazing blogs below.
Feed Me Phoebe: Roasted Brussels Sprout and Gruyere Toasts
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Tangy Brussels Sprout Apple Salad
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Roasted Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Vinaigrette and Crunchy Breadcrumbs
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad with Tahini Vinaigrette
Red or Green: Spicy Skillet Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Yogurt Garlic Dip
Virtually Homemade: Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Butternut Squash
Dishing: Brussels Sprouts with Plain Omelette
Devour: Chefs’ Best Brussels Sprouts
Weelicious: Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Poppy Seeds
FN Dish: Thanksgiving’s Finest Brussels Sprouts Sides
Dishin & Dishes: Brussels Sprouts Gratin
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