September tomatoes also cause internal frenzy. Soon all these juicy ripe red beauties will disappear by next year. Tomatoes in the supermarket are not the same, so I try to eat. This includes stacking them at every meal, including breakfast on the weekends.
This fall, our Sunday breakfast included baked chili. In its simplest form chilaquiles combines hearty tortilla chips with red or green sauce for a starchy combination that welcomes additions such as fried eggs, chicken pieces, cilantro, cheese.
If there are a lot of tomatoes, I make the sauce from fresh tomatoes, canned ground tomatoes and a little chili. Ground turkey and a pack of tacos seasoning add lean protein and a savory flavor. The mixture with meat sauce can be prepared in a day or two and preheated while the oven heats up. Likewise, I bake tortilla chips a day in advance so that morning cooking is quick. Of course, if I have thick restaurant-style corn tortillas, I use them instead of baking my own; the dish will turn out a little richer.
For the baked chili I break the eggs right into the chips with the sauce before sending the dish to the hot oven. Serve the baked chili as soon as the eggs harden so that the yolks remain liquid and the tortilla chips retain some texture and crunchiness. Garnish as you like, but be sure to serve something spicy to reduce saturation, such as plain yogurt, spicy sauce and / or slices of fresh lime. I serve a salad of romaine and arugula, seasoned with fresh lime and olive oil and topped with chopped tomatoes along with casserole.
The recipe for the apple pie, which is below, is based on an old family favorite baked in a Bundt pan. These days I prefer to use my 13 by 9 inch baking dish with reduced sugar in the dough. I change apples depending on availability. Lately SweeTango has captured my imagination, but the more affordable Gala and Honeycrisp also taste great.
This tender cake is free of dairy products and nuts. When I bake for gluten-sensitive friends, I use Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1 to 1 flour instead of universal flour. You may need to increase the baking time by 4 or 5 minutes.
The pie is best served warm, with hot coffee or cold milk for breakfast or breakfast – or with vanilla ice cream after dinner. Make two cakes when there will be plenty of apples, and deliver large squares to neighbors or colleagues to celebrate the bounty of autumn goodness.
Breakfast casserole with tomatoes and turkeys
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Done: 4 to 6 servings
To save time, skip steps 1 and 2 and replace the 9-ounce bag of thick yellow corn pancakes in a restaurant or home style. Don’t use store-bought baked tortilla chips or super-thin tortilla chips because the casserole will be mushy. I like to use universal ground tomatoes 6-in-1 here because they do not contain citric acid and preservatives – like fresh tomatoes.
12 thick yellow corn pancakes (one pack of 10 ounces)
3 tablespoons squeezed canola or safflower oil
1 pound of turkey
1 medium red onion, diced
1 packet (1 to 1.3 ounces) of tacos mixture (or 2 tablespoons of chili powder mixed with 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika and ½ teaspoon of garlic powder and salt)
Half a 28-ounce can of ground tomatoes, about 1½ cup
1 pound of very ripe red tomatoes without core, diced
1 cup diced roasted red pepper (from the bottle well)
1 teaspoon mashed chipotle in adobo (from jars or jars), optional
½ teaspoon of salt
6 large eggs
½ glasses of shredded Chihuahua cheese or Monterey Jack
1 small avocado, cut in half, pitted, diced
½ cups of shredded soft feta cheese
¼ Cups of chopped cilantro leaves
Plain low-fat yogurt, hot sauce, slices of lime
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 plates. Cut the tortillas in half, then cut each half into 3 pieces. Put the pieces on one of the baking sheets. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and with clean hands throw pieces of tortilla, pouring oil over them. Lay the pieces in one layer on two baking sheets.
Bake the tortillas, stirring often, until crispy and slightly browned at the edges, about 20 minutes. Cool completely. (Cover with foil and use for 1 day.)
Preheat a deep 12-inch skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the turkey and onion. Cook and stir until turkey is ready, about 5 minutes. Stir in the taco seasoning (or its substitute); cook, 2 minutes. Stir in the ground tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, roasted red peppers, chives and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Try and adjust the seasoning. (Cool, covered, for up to 2 days.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If necessary, heat the mixture of tomatoes and turkey. Gently stir the tortilla chips until they are all covered in the sauce. Spread the chips evenly over the pan, but don’t chop them too hard. Use a large spoon to make 6 shallow indentations in the chip mixture; break the egg into each well.
Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake until the egg yolks are soft and the proteins are completely frozen, 13 to 15 minutes.
Remove from oven; garnish with avocado, feta and cilantro. Serve immediately with pieces of yogurt, hot sauce and a pinch of lime.
Nutrition information per serving (6 servings): 436 calories, 22 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 252 mg cholesterol, 33 g carbohydrate, 8 g sugar, 26 g protein, 1066 mg sodium, 5 g fiber
CINNAMON APPLE LEAF CAKE
Preparation: 30 minutes
Bake: 50 minutes
Produces: 18 pieces
The firmer and fresher the apple, the better the baking. Ground cinnamon, like most ground spices, loses flavor with age. Start your fall baking season with fresh jars.
Vegetable shortening for lubricating the pan
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons of universal flour, see
3 large (or 6 or 7 small) Gala apples, Honeycrisp or SweeTango, only about 1½ pound
1/3 cup packaged dark brown sugar
1½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
1½ cups granulated sugar
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
4 large eggs
1 cup squeezed canola or safflower oil
½ glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
½ cups of powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use vegetable meal to heavily grease the inside of a 13 to 9-inch metal baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the pan. While working on the sink, shake the pan to sprinkle it on all sides with flour. Shake off excess flour.
Peel an apple, grate it and squeeze the juice. Cut the apples into pieces ¼ inches thick. (If your apples are large, cut them in half.) Put the apples in a medium bowl. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon; mix well.
Mix the remaining 3 cups of flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Beat eggs together in a small bowl. Make a recess in the center of the flour; pour in the oil, orange juice and vanilla. Pour in the beaten eggs. Use a large rubber spatula to gently roll the mixture until all the flour is wet.
Lay about two-thirds of the dough on the bottom of the prepared form. Carefully spread the apple mixture on the dough, making sure that the apples do not touch the sides of the form. Use a spatula to evenly spread the rest of the dough over the apples (they won’t be completely covered).
Bake until the top is well browned and the wooden crust inserted into the dough area comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool in a skillet on the grill.
Mix a couple of teaspoons of powdered sugar in a small bowl to make a smooth thick glaze. Using a large fork, pour the icing over the warm pie. Serve the pie while it is still warm.
Note: For the gluten-free version of the cake, Jean-Marie suggests using gluten-free 1 to 1 Bob’s Red Mill instead of universal flour. We tested the cake this way at the Tribune test kitchen, and the tasters liked the result.
Nutrition information per serving: 319 calories, 14 g fat, 41 mg cholesterol, 46 g carbohydrates, 28 g sugar, 4 g protein, 150 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.