Fall marks the beginning of back to busy — back to school and the office, back to sports and other activities, and back to a season of social occasions with family and friends.
Healthy, portable snacks such as fresh California grapes play a key role in providing energy and hydration to help power the day’s activities.
Make-ahead dinners are ideal when everyone eats dinner at a different time due to different schedules. Chipotle Chicken and Grape Tacos calls for rotisserie chicken — leftover chicken works well too — heated in a quick-blended chipotle sauce and then finished with California grapes and other toppings for make-your-own tacos.
A quintessential fall dessert can be a showstopper for weekend meals or special occasions. Grape Apple Sheet Pan Pie pairs two fall fruits, apples and fresh black California grapes, in a flavorful and richly colored filling nestled in a buttery crust.
Using fresh black grapes delivers a depth of flavor and lovely color to this dessert. This sheet pan pie makes enough for a large crowd or for extras to keep for another meal.
California grapes multitask beautifully as a snack, an ingredient and a refreshing dessert, so keep the refrigerator well-stocked.
For more ideas, visit grapesfromcalifornia.com.
Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Grapes
Yield: Makes 4 servings
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons adobo sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 cups pulled rotisserie chicken
8 corn tortillas
1 cup halved California grapes
1 avocado, cut into eighths
2 radishes, sliced
2 ounces queso blanco, crumbled
Cilantro for garnish
In a blender, combine the onion, garlic, cumin, honey, adobo sauce, lime juice and chicken broth; blend until smooth. In a medium saucepan, combine the blended sauce with the chicken. Cover and simmer on medium-low, stirring often, for 6-8 minutes, to thicken the sauce and re-heat the chicken. To serve, place the tortillas on a serving platter and top each with chicken, grapes, avocado, radishes, queso blanco and cilantro.
Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 490; Protein 34 g; Carbohydrate 42 g; Fat 21 g (39% Calories from Fat); Saturated Fat 5 g (9% Calories from Saturated Fat); Cholesterol 90 mg; Sodium 360 mg; Fiber 7 g.
Grape and Apple Sheet Pan Pie
Yield: Serves 16
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup ice water plus additional if needed
3 pounds Granny Smith or other tart apples, peeled and thinly sliced (about 9 cups)
4 cups black California grapes
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Pinch of salt
Demerara sugar for garnish
To make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and toss with flour. Smash each cube of butter flat with hands then stir in cold water with a fork. Knead lightly until dough comes together in a ball. Transfer to a floured work surface and roll into a 10 x 15-inch sheet with a well-floured rolling pin. Fold each short side into the middle and close like a book. Fold it once more to make a thick block and cut in half. Wrap each piece in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
For the filling: In a large bowl, combine apples, grapes, sugar, flour, lemon juice and pinch of salt; set aside.
To assemble the pie: Heat the oven to 375 F. Roll one half of the dough out to an 18 x 13-inch rectangle. Transfer to a 10 x 15-inch heavy baking sheet; place in refrigerator to chill while rolling out the top sheet. Roll out the remaining dough to another 18 x 13-inch rectangle and cut with a pastry cutter into 1 1/2-inch wide strips. Transfer the filling into the pastry and spread evenly. Lay the dough strips on top of the filling in a lattice pattern and crimp the sides together. Mix the egg with a tablespoon of water and brush the top of the pie. Sprinkle with Demerara sugar and bake until filling is bubbling and the crust is nicely browned, about 45-50 minutes. Let cool, then slice and serve.
Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 560; Protein 6 g; Carbohydrate 74 g; Fat 28 g (45% Calories from Fat); Saturated Fat 17 g (27% Calories from Saturated Fat); Cholesterol 85 mg; Sodium 220 mg; Fiber 5 g.