New Year’s Eve is always a gamble.
When I was little, the bet was always whether or not I could keep my droopy eyes open till midnight. Middle school brought the toss up of whose parents would give them the freedom to leave the family for the night. And high school was a roll of the dice over what kind beverages would be obtainable (crappy beer vs. sparkling cider, which these days, I’d likely choose the latter).
As I entered college, the gamble became whether or not you’d have a date for the night. Which I did last year. We conveniently got into a fight just before midnight. Even with a boyfriend and confetti all around, last year’s countdown was a strike out.
This time, however, I don’t care what the night brings; it’s going to be a winner. There will be no droopy eyes, no friends stuck at home, and while I can’t promise a lack of crappy beer on site, there definitely won’t be any fighting taking place. This, and letting any other expectations walk out the door, is all I need to know that this year won’t be a gamble.
Although…just in case something does go wrong… I’ll be whipping up these Brie and Butternut Quesadillas. Because seriously, you just can’t go wrong with these. If you’ve never tried brie melted on sliced butternut squash, just removed from the oven, I recommend you do so just before assembling these. With a sprinkle of cinnamon, too. It will be a nutty, creamy, pre-New Years celebration in your mouth. For the more finger-friendly option, stick with the quesadillas. These are a crowd-pleaser that will likely set you apart at the party.
- - 4 (7-8 inch) whole wheat tortillas
- -1 1/3 cup roasted butternut squash, mashed (and seasoned with S&P, if not roasted with S&P)
- -27-30 medium shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- -24 medium sage leaves, chopped
- -10 oz. extra soft brie
- -Salt and pepper, to taste
- -1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
- In large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add shiitakes and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in sage, season with salt and pepper, and continue to sauté mushrooms until tender, 3-5 minutes. Place in a bowl.
- Spread 1/3 cup of mashed butternut squash over half of one tortilla. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Divide shiitake/sage between tortillas on top of the squash. Thinly slice brie and cover the butternut squash half of each tortilla with the slices. Fold the unused half of each tortilla over top of the squash/mushrooms/brie.
- Heat the same sauté pan over medium-high. In batches, place folded tortillas onto the pan and gently press them with the top of a spatula. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until outsides are brown and cheese is melted. Cut each tortilla in half, and then in half again, so that you have four slices. Serve.