Green Apple Guiness MeltThe rich, rustic dish combines sweet and tangy Granny Smith apples, savory cheddar cheese and creamy stout beer, buried in a butter-filled baguette.  And, it’s a recipe so simple you won’t even need the luck of the Irish to prepare as the perfect dish for a St. Paddy’s Day gathering.

Green Apple Guinness Melt

Ingredients

1 baguette, cut into thirds, then each piece cut lengthwise in half (6 pieces total) (“Mom” prefers whole wheat)
2 1/2 tablespoons salted butter (“Mom” prefers organic)
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 ounces dry stout, such as Guinness
14 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (“Mom” prefers organic)
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher or sea salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper
1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, cored and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch thick slices (“Mom” prefers organic)

Preparation

Turn broiler to high and set a rack about 6 inches from the heating element. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, shiny side up. Arrange the baguette pieces, cut side down, on the sheet and broil until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Remove from oven, turn the pieces over, and use your fingers to scoop out enough bread to make a channel in the center of each piece. Set baguette pieces aside, still on the tray.
 
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook until bubbling and golden brown. Add flour and whisk it in until the mixture is smooth and chestnut brown. Add the beer and whisk until smooth, then reduce heat to medium and continue stirring until thickened and smooth. Reduce heat to low and add cheese, mustard and Worcestershire, stirring continuously until melted and smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
 
Spoon a generous amount of cheese sauce into each baguette piece. Lay a few overlapping apple slices over the cheese, then transfer to the oven and broil until browned and bubbling, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve hot.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

*Recipe and image courtesy of the U.S. Apple Association.*