"My husband Tommy and I met as members of the Sun Devil Band at Arizona State University and have shared our love of music throughout the years," says Barbara Hill of Bisbee, Arizona. "Tommy sings in the Bisbee Community Chorus and I am 'music assistant,' or page turner, for the accompanist. I also like to cook favorite dishes for potlucks with the chorus.
"We will be celebrating our 55th anniversary in September. Maybe one of the secrets of being married 54 years is my love of cooking and Tommy's love of eating. I enjoy the time I spend preparing the food and then the satisfaction of seeing the enjoyment it brings. And also knowing that what I have prepared is wholesome and nourishing.
"Gradually over the years Southwest cooking became more and more our favorite type of food. I came upon the idea for an apple pie with green chiles after reading a newspaper article featuring green chiles and outside-the-box uses for them. My husband loves it and loves to brag about it. When I tell people about it for the first time a lot of them say, 'That doesn't sound good.' But after they have tried it they go, 'Ah….that is good.'"
Below find Barbara's recipes for Arizona Apple Pie and another of her Southwestern favorites, homemade Chili Verde.
Tired of the same old chili? Try Barbara's recipe for your next big get-together.
In a 6-8-quart pan combine the pork with the water and 1 TB. vegetable oil. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very juicy, 15-20 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to high and cook, stirring often, until the liquid is evaporated and the meat is browned, 20-30 minutes. Remove the meat and set aside.
(For a quicker method, simply heat the tablespoon of oil without the water and brown the pork, then proceed as below.)
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the second tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the onion, MINCED GARLIC and GROUND CUMIN; stir and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes.
Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the pan. Add the canned tomatoes and the chicken broth. Break up the tomatoes with a spoon. Stir together and pour into a 5-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or in a covered pan on the stovetop over low heat for 3 hours.
Add the canned green chiles and MEXICAN OREGANO and continue cooking until the chiles are heated through, about 1-2 hours. If cooking on the stovetop, uncover if necessary to cook down the broth and thicken it to desired consistency. Add salt to taste. Serve topped with fresh chopped cilantro. Garnish with lime wedges.
Nutritional Information: Servings 10;
Serving Size 1 1/2 cups (470g); Calories 320; Calories from fat 100; Total fat 11g; Cholesterol 90mg; Sodium 740mg; Carbohydrate 21g; Dietary Fiber 5g.
Although the ingredients are a little unusual, you'll be surprised at how well they all work together to make an outstanding pie.
Prepare pastry for two crust pie, divided, using 9-inch pie pan (see below).
Preheat oven to 425°. In a large bowl combine all of the filling ingredients; mix lightly. Spoon into the pan lined with half of the pastry. Top with the remaining pastry. Trim the edges and fold the edge of the top pastry under the bottom pastry. Press together to seal. Flute the edge. Cut slits in several places in the top pastry. Sprinkle lightly with sugar or VANILLA SUGAR. Bake at 425° for 40-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Check after 30 minutes and place foil over the pie edges if they are brown. Serve warm (or cool) with slices of cheddar cheese or ice cream if desired.
To prepare the crust, cut the butter into small pieces; it doesn't have to be cold, but it should not be warm to the point of melting. Add the flour, salt, and sugar to the butter and beat or mix by hand to combine. Add the milk in a thin stream, mixing until thoroughly blended. Divide the dough in two pieces. Pat the pieces into disc shapes and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes. Sprinkle a wooden board or counter top with flour, place 1 of the dough discs on the board, and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Using short strokes, roll it from the center to the edges until it is 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. You will want to turn the dough over and re-dust with flour halfway through. Roll until the crust is about an inch larger than your 9-inch pie pan when inverted. Fold the crust in half and in half again so that it looks like a triangle. Place it in the ungreased pie pan with the point in the center. Unfold the crust and ease it into the pan. Roll the edges of the overhanging crust under so that you have a nice rim around the pie plate. Prick the crust all over with a fork. Repeat with the second disc of dough.
Nutritional Information: Servings 8;
Serving Size 1 piece (161g); Calories 370; Calories from fat 160; Total fat 18g; Cholesterol 45mg; Sodium 350mg; Carbohydrate 52g; Dietary Fiber 2g.