The weather in Illinois is cool and crisp; I am bringing plants in today since we might get a frost tonight. I came back from New Mexico with a new appreciation for pinto beans and green chilies, having pumped my new friends for authentic recipes! Last night I decided to put together my own version of Southwestern cuisine and it was delicious. This makes a large pan and I think it would freeze well, too.
2 pounds ground beef
2 TBS. olive oil
1 package taco seasoning
1 cup green chilies
1 large can refried beans (can use leftover homemade)
20 6 inch tortillas, flour or corn
1 stick butter
½ cup flour
4 cups milk
2 cups cheddar or jack cheese
1 cup black olives
1 cup canned tomatoes with garlic, drained
Brown ground beef, drain. Add ½ cup green chilies, olive oil, and taco seasoning. Mix well and take off of heat. In another sauce pan, melt butter, whisk in flour and milk, stirring until white sauce is thickened. Add 1½ cup cheese and stir until it melts. Stir in remaining ½ cup of green chilies.
In large casserole dish, pour 1/3 of cheese sauce and spread to edges of pan. Spread refried beans and ground beef mixture on 10 tortillas, roll up, and place across bottom of pan. Top with 1/3 of cheese sauce. Repeat. Across top of casserole, sprinkle black olives, tomatoes, and ½ cup cheese. Heat through in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, lettuce, or whatever your family likes. This casserole easily makes 10-12 servings or more if you aren’t feeding teenage boys. Yellow rice is a good side with this dish
For dessert, we had apple pie with apples fresh from Christ Orchard in Trivoli. I used JonaGold apples, which are a nice hybrid between Jonathan and Golden Delicious and are perfect for baking. This is a variation from one of the recipes I brought back from the Avila Barn along the central coast of California.
Avila Apple Pie
Crust for single crust deep dish pie
8-10 cups of apples, peeled and thinly sliced (The easiest and most efficient way I have found for peeling apples is to use a potato peeler.)
1 cup apple butter
1 TBS. lemon juice
½ cup sugar
½ cup flour
1 cup flour
½ cup rolled oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
Place crust in deep dish pie pan. Mix together pie ingredients and bake at 400 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes. Meanwhile, in food processor, mix together topping ingredients, adding butter last. Sprinkle over pie and pat down; reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake another 30 minutes, covering with foil the last 15 minutes if top becomes too brown.