Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Apple Pie(w/ homemade pie crust & "lid")

Basic Pie Dough for 9 or 10 inch Double Crust
(for a 9 inch single-crust pie, use half the recipe)
     Sift together:
          2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
          1 1/4 teaspoons salt
          3/4 cup chilled lard or shortening
          3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
Cut half of the shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or work it in lightly with the tips of your fingers until it has the consistency of cornmeal. Cut the remaining half into the dough until it is pea-sized. Sprinkle the dough with:
          6 tablespoons ice water
Blend the water gently into the dough until it just holds together; you may lift the ingredients with a fork, allowing the moisture to spread. If necessary to hold the ingredients together, add:
         1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon ice water
Divide the dough in half, shape each into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Let chill in fridge before rolling out.  

Apple Pie - One 9-inch double-crust pie
         1 recipe basic pie or pastry dough(above)
Line a 9-inch pie pan with half the dough. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel, core and slice 1/4 inch thick:
         2 1/2 pounds apples(5 to 6 large)
Combine in a bowl with:
         3/4 cup sugar
         2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
         (1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice)
         1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
         1/8 teaspoon salt
Let stand for 15 minutes, stirring several times, so that the apples soften slightly. Pour the filling into the bottom crust and gently level with the back of a spoon. Dot the top with:
         2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Cover the pie with the upper crust. Sprinkle with:
         2 teaspoons sugar
         1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Slip a baking sheet under the pie. Bake for 30 minutes (at 425 degrees). After first 30 minutes reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake until the fruit feels just tender when a knife is poked through a steam vent and juices have begun to bubble through the vents-30 to 45 minutes more.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chicken Salsa Verde Bake

  • 1/2-3/4 lb chicken, cooked and pulled/shredded.  (When you're in a hurry, canned chicken will work.  I've done it before, and there's not a difference in taste...)
  • 2 16oz jars salsa verde
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 8oz bags of shredded mexican blend cheese (or plain cheddar)
  • 1 bag tortilla chips

Preheat the oven to 375.
In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, salsa, onion, sour cream, and one bag of cheese.  Lightly greese the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish.  Crush the tortilla chips and scatter about 1 cup to cover the bottom of the dish.  Top with half fo the chicken mixture and almost half of the other bag of cheese.  Repeat a layer of chips, chicken and cheese.  Add a top layer of chips, and sprinkle any remaining cheese on top.  Bake until cheese is bubbly, about 20-30 minutes.
Eat with just a fork, or on top of more tortilla chips, like a dip.

Several varriations:  Add a can of drained kidney beans, black beans, or corn.  Use turkey instead of chicken.  (Umm, hello Thanksgiving leftovers!)  To make a vegetarian meal, substitute the chicken with 3 cups sautéed vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, corn and mushrooms.  If you don't want a ton of cheese, don't add it to the mix, just use it as a layer.

Pumpkin Empanadas

(This was orginally a recipe for Sweet Potatoe Empanadas, but I made a few changes and made it my own!  I think they turned out GREAT!)

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin  (just pumpkin, not a pie mix)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • salt
  • 1 tube refrigerated ready-made cresent roll dough
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, mix the pumpkin with the cream cheese, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt until creamy.  Remove the dough from the tube and separate into 4 rectangles.  Working with one rectangle at a time, squish the perforated seam to seal the two large triangles together.  Cut the rectangle in half, making two smaller rectangles/squares.  Place a heaping teaspoon of the pumpkin filling in the center of the two small rectangles.  Fold the dough in half, and pinch the endges to seal.  (If the dough has gotten too dry to seal, use a tiny bit of water on the edges to seal)

Make all 8 empanadas with the rest of the dough.  Place the rectangles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil and put into the preheated oven.  Bake until golden, about 10-12 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, nugmeg, and a pinch of salt.  While still warm, brush the empanadas with melted butter, and then gently toss in the sugar mixture.

Here is a picture of the finished empanada, along side a pumpkin bar...
Posted By: Megan