apple pie & enchiladas


Sorry for the long gap since my last post! Despite my silence, there has been a lot of work going on in our kitchen. One of the biggest uses was last week when I made 60 enchiladas and 3 apple pies for the Groves lab. Crazy pants!

I scaled up my mom’s pie crust recipe for pie crust and my own recipe for apple pie filling. I used the pink lady apples (because they were a steal at Berkeley Bowl for $0.89/lb!), but any firm apple will work well in this recipe. This recipe is per 9″ pie.

Directions: Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice the apples such that they are all approximately the same thickness. Melt 3T of butter in 2 large saute pans. (Or if you have a mega-big saute pan that will fit all of the sliced apples, melt all 6T in one pan.) Split the apples into the saute pans and saute until just softened (~6 min). Pour apples into a large bowl. Mix in sugar, cinnamon and cloves. In a separate bowl, wisk together the lemon juice and cornstarch until smooth. Add to apple mixture. Let the apples cool completely (~30 minutes). Add to unbaked pie crust. {Do not dot with butter. All of the butter you’ll ever need was in the saute.} Cover with remaining crust and cut vents in the top. Put the pie on a cookie sheet for baking (apple pies tend to leak juices). Bake for 45 minutes.

Make sure to have some vanilla ice cream nearby! When you make this pie!

Now for the enchiladas…I decided that this pairing was a brilliant idea about a week before I was supposed to cook dinner for the groves lab. Plus enchiladas are a relatively simple dish to make. And absolutely delicious! Especially if you have an authentic recipe. I had asked my pal Rita quite a while ago how to make them, and showed her a recipe that I had found online. She saw “tomatoes” on the ingredient list and let out a big yelp, exclaiming “NO TOMATOES!!!” Who knew?

Anyhoot, after getting a recipe from Rita and her sister with quantities like “a metric ass ton of chili powder,” I decided I needed to make an actual quantity recipe. Here’s what I have uncovered:

Directions for sauce: Mix flour and oil in a large pan, preferably with a large diameter and 2-3″ high sides (must fit 5 C liquid). It should make a sort of flour-oil crumble. If it appears oily, add more flour. If it appears dry, add more oil. Brown the flour-oil mixture under a medium flame. It will start to smell like pastry and have the color of a nice pie crust when it’s browned. Add the 5C of H2O and wisk to get all lumps out. Turn the heat to low. Add the chili powder and salt (to taste). Keep wisking to get all the lumps out. Let the sauce thicken (and the flour taste dissipate) under the low heat for ~10 minutes.

Assembly: Preheat oven to 350°F. Person #1 will get their hands dirty! The first spot in the assembly line dips the warmed tortillas in the enchilada sauce to coat evenly. Place in a glass 13×9″ baking pan for person #2. Person #2 will put the fillings (cheese and/or chicken) on top of the red tortilla. Don’t overfill the tortilla. Person #3 will also be getting dirty! Their job is to roll the tortilla, scoot it to the side and make room for the next enchilada. This job is most frustrating. If the tortillas aren’t warmed, they will crack instead of roll. Fill the first pan with a total of 10 enchiladas. Repeat the assembly line with a second 9×13″ pan. Pour the leftover sauce on top of the enchiladas (otherwise they tend to dry out). Sprinkle cheese on top of the finished product. Bake for 20 minutes. And try to not eat the entire pan! (cough cough, Joe)

*Make sure to get a good quality chili powder. A lot of store brands aren’t pure chili powder. They include things like MSG, garlic powder, and other spices.

**Also note that this sauce does NOT freeze well. Just use what you make. Trust me, you’ll want the leftovers.

And that’s it! No tomatoes. No canned chili peppers. Just chili powder!Now you’re ready to recruit some folks for an enchilada assembly line!

I hope you all get to enjoy these recipes! If it is any proof to how good the enchilada recipe is, I made Joe a couple trays of these enchiladas thinking we’d have plenty leftover for lunch…not the case! Some slippery devil had eaten most of them when I wasn’t looking. But I don’t blame him!

Thanks, Rita, for such an awesome recipe!!! 😀



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