Southwestern Nachos Potato Skins

We came across a 2010 issue of Food Network magazine where they made a themed potato skin for every team in the NFL and their toppings for the Arizona Cardinals themed potato skins was just too scrumptious to pass up without trying !

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes (we used 5*)
  • Melted butter
  • Salt and pepper, for seasoning (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • Salsa (mommy used Pace Picante medium chunky salsa, I used La Victoria Thick’N Chunky Salsa Verde Medium that was pureed**)
  • Pickled jalapeño slices
  • Chopped scallions
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional) (we used Kraft Mexican Four Cheese)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take your potatoes and pierce them with a fork. Stick the potatoes in the oven, directly onto the oven rack and let them cook for one hour or until the potatoes are tender. Pull them out and let them cool (we let them cool for 15 minutes and found they were still hot so we cut them in half lengthwise and found that after an additional 15 minutes, they cooled down enough). Set the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Once the potatoes are cool, cut each potato into 4 pieces lengthwise and scoop out enough flesh until it’s only a ¼-inch thick shell. Take melted butter and brush both sides*** of the potato skin with it, seasoning the skins afterwards with salt and pepper. Stick the potato skins back in the oven, skin-side up, until the skin feels crisp, around 15 minutes or so should do the trick. If you want cheesy skins, flip the potato skins over, sprinkle the cheese over them and stick them back in the oven**** for an additional 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients into the potato skins and enjoy !

*Some of our potato skins fell apart so it really is a good idea to bake an extra potato just in case something goes wrong with one of the other potatoes.

**The picante salsa is red so it really pops better against the other toppings. Mommy like the flavor of the picante salsa with the other toppings and I enjoyed the salsa verde more even though it didn’t stand out color wise since it’s green.

***We brushed both sides of the potato with the butter when we stuck it in the oven and it dripped down to the bottom of the oven and created so much smoke ! We had to turn on the fan over the oven and lower the window so the smoke could go somewhere. It really freaked our cat Ghost out (he even hissed at the stove at one point) so we turned the heat off after 5 minutes and just left them in there for the remaining 10 minutes.

****After the butter fiasco, we decided to take a baking sheet out and line it with aluminum foil. We put the potato skins on the lined baking sheet, skin-side up, and spread the cheese over them afterwards. We put the baking sheet in the oven for the 5 minutes (oven still turned off but had plenty of residual heat) and it came out with the cheese melted and no mess to clean up like we would have, had we put the skins directly on the oven rack.

This is such a great game day snack even with the problems we ran into ! The skins might have been crispier had we left the oven on but otherwise it was still delicious. You can pick it up with your hands to eat and the skin’s firm enough that the toppings don’t go spilling everywhere. You get some heat and acidity from the salsa and pickled jalapeño slices, a freshness to the dish from the scallions and cilantro, the sour cream adds a tanginess as well as tempers the heat from the salsa and jalapeño slices, and it’s nice having that cheese flavor come through as well in the dish.  You can really change up the flavor of this simply by changing the salsa ! If we make this again in the future, we’ll probably skip spreading the melted butter over the flesh side of the potato skin.

We weren’t paid in any way to mention Food Network, La Victoria, Pace salsa or Kraft.

Take care everybody !

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Colossal Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless beef chuck roast or stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes (we used beef stew meat)
  • ¼ cup olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef or 1 lb. ground beef with 1 lb. ground pork (we used 2 lbs. ground  beef)
  • ½ lb. bulk hot Italian sausage (used 1 lb.)
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 large green, red or yellow sweet peppers, chopped (we used 3 red bell peppers)
  • ½ cup Burgundy wine or dry red wine (we used a cabernet sauvignon wine)
  • 2 (14 ½ oz.) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained and cut up
  • 1 (29 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. hot chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed Aleppo pepper or hot chili powder (we used Ancho Chile powder)
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. kosher flake salt or kosher salt (we used kosher salt)
  • 1 tsp. ground black Tellicherry pepper or ground black pepper (we used ground black Tellicherry pepper)
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (we used smoked cheddar cheese)
  • Thinly sliced green onions

Directions

  1. Get a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven out and pour the olive oil in. Get the oil hot and add in the cubed beef, browning it on all sides. Take the beef cubes out and place in a large bowl. Do not drain the pan drippings from the Dutch oven. Add the ground beef and Italian sausage to the Dutch oven, cooking until the meat’s been browned and fully cooked, stirring occasionally. Take both meats out of the Dutch oven, putting them both in the same bowl as the cubed beef. Keeping 2 tablespoons of the pan drippings in the Dutch oven, pour the rest out.
  2. Toss the onions and sweet peppers into the Dutch oven. Stir the onions and peppers continuously over medium heat for roughly 10 minutes or until the onion is tender. Take the Dutch oven off the heat and pour the wine in. Put the Dutch oven back on the heat and wait for a boil to occur. Turn the heat down once it’s boiling so that it’s at a simmer. Let it simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or however long it takes for the wine to reduce by half. Now stir in the stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, aleppo pepper, tomato paste, salt, black Tellicherry pepper, and bay leaves, bringing the dish up to a boil.
  3. Add the meats back to the Dutch oven, and wait for the chili to come back up to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and put a lid on the Dutch oven. Let it cook for 3 hours, stirring now and then (we stirred every 30 minutes). Add the beans into the Dutch oven and let the chili cook for another 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and throw them away.
  4. Serve the chili and for your individual portions, add on the cheddar cheese and green onions if you want.

My dad loves this dish ! It’s meaty and hearty. It’s a little sweet and there’s some heat but it doesn’t overwhelm the dish. The chili is great by itself but adding on the smoked cheddar and green onions, it takes it to the next level for flavor !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Two-Cheese and Ham French Loaf

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf (1 lb.) French bread
  • 1/4 cup honey mustard
  • 8 slices (3/4 to 1 oz. each) Swiss cheese
  • 8 slices (3/4 to 1 oz. each) Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 lb. thinly sliced cooked ham
  • 3/4 cup strawberry or raspberry preserves (we used strawberry)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut out a 30 x 18-inch sheet of heavy-duty foil. Take the French bread and slice it in half horizontally. Take the honey mustard and spread it equally over the two cut sides of the bread halves. Take the bottom half and lay it down on the foil.
  2. Take the two cheeses as well as the ham and layer them evenly on the bottom half of the bread. Place the top half of the bread over the meat and cheese and wrap the whole loaf up tightly using the double-fold seals method*.
  3. Place the wrapped loaf in the oven for somewhere between 30 to 35 minutes or however long it takes for the cheese to melt and the loaf sandwich to get heated throughout.
  4. Pull the loaf out of the oven and carefully unwrap the foil so steam can escape before cutting the loaf up into 6 pieces. Serve the sandwich with the preserves acting as a dip for it.

*We don’t know what they might have meant by “double-fold seals” but this is how we did a double-fold seals:

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Serves 6

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This is a tasty sandwich ! You’ll need to eat it right away to fully enjoy the ooey gooey cheese and the crispiness of the bread but the flavors all together are tasty. The sweetness of the honey mustard is a nice contrast against the salty, savory flavor of the ham and cheese. It can be a messy sandwich to enjoy though so we’d recommend having some napkins or paper towels with you while eating this. We tried using the preserves but the flavor overpowered any honey mustard you could taste. For us, the idea of maybe something tangy would be more appealing of a dip to use.

We don’t know where we got this recipe from.

Take care everybody !

Smoky Pork BBQ Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. white distilled vinegar
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt, divided
  • ¼ tsp. pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • ¼  cup plus 2 Tbsp. barbecue sauce (we used Jack Daniel’s Honey Smokehouse)
  • 4 hoagie rolls, split and toasted* (we used Cobblestone Bread Co. Philly Steak bread) (We spread Hellmann’s Real mayonnaise over the inside of the roll before toasting them and we loved the effect it had.)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (we didn’t measure how much mayonnaise we used) (we used Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise)
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves (we used one bunch of cilantro)
  • 1 jalapeño chile, thinly sliced (we used 2)

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven (we put our rack up in the top slot) and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl (a bowl with a 2-cup capacity will be big enough) add the radishes in, along with the vinegar, sugar and ¼ tsp. of salt, stirring to toss the radishes in the pickling mixture. Let the radishes marinate, tossing them around periodically so the slices get evenly pickled (the radishes turn this beautiful shade of pink when they get pickled, it really pops when it’s in the sandwich).
  2. Take a baking sheet out and line it with aluminum foil** and place a rack on top of the lined baking sheet, spraying the rack with nonstick cooking spray*** afterwards. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the pork together with the two tablespoons of barbecue sauce along with the pepper and remaining salt. Form 16 balls from the ground pork mixture, placing them on the rack-lined baking sheet afterwards. Brush some of the remaining barbecue sauce over the top of the meatballs, sticking the meatballs in the oven for 10 minutes afterwards. Pull the meatballs out long enough to flip them over, brushing them with more barbecue sauce and sticking them back in the oven for an additional 10 to 12 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through (it took us longer than 12 minutes to reach 160 degrees).
  3. Spread mayonnaise over the cut sides of the toasted bread before adding the following ingredients in layers: pickled radish slices, meatballs (4 per sandwich), cilantro leaves, jalapeño slices, and roll tops. (We’d suggest adding cilantro on first so it gets stuck to the mayonnaise and doesn’t fall off the sandwich as easily, but it’s up to you to you really on how you choose to add the components to the sandwich.)

Serves 4.

*We suggest toasting right near the end of the cooking time so there’ll still be some crispiness or crunch to your toasted bread. Do it too early and the bread may get soft on you all over again before you even have a chance to enjoy the sandwich.

**The original recipe never mentions lining the baking sheet with aluminum foil but doing so will save you a ton of clean up since the sauce will drip some during the process of applying it and during the cooking of the meatballs.

***The original recipe also never mentions spraying the rack with nonstick cooking spray but we REALLY recommend doing it. The first time we cooked these and didn’t apply the nonstick spray, the meat really stuck to the rack when we went to flip the meatballs and it was a pain getting the rack cleaned afterwards. Applied the spray and the meatballs flipped so much easier, had barely any meat stick to the rack and cleaning was a lot easier.

These sandwiches are so freaking scrumptious ! The meatballs are tender, the barbecue adds a little bit of smoky sweetness, the jalapeño slices bring heat, pickled radishes bring a little bit of tang, and the cilantro brings its own signature taste that works perfectly with the other components. The bread, jalapeño slices and pickled radish slices bring some crunch and texture that contrasts against the tender meatballs, creamy mayonnaise, and cilantro leaves. It’s a sandwich we would love eating while watching the Super Bowl or as an everyday dish. You could also slice up the sandwich and serve it as a snack !

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any way to mention Jack Daniel’s, Cobblestone Bread Co., or Hellmann’s.

Take care everybody !

Sriracha Buffalo Chicken Wings With Lemon Dijonnaise Dip

If you could try only one chicken wing recipe, it has to be this one ! In the past we’ve tried other chicken wing recipes that were okay but left us wondering “What’s the big deal with chicken wings?” Once we took a bite of these, especially with the dipping sauce, we finally understood. It’s insane how tasty they are !

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds chicken wings, split at the joints, tips removed
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • 2 sticks butter (we used salted butter)
  • ¾ cup Sriracha
  • Lemon Dijonnaise Dip
    • ½ cup mayonnaise
    • 3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
    • Zest and juice of one large lemon
    • ½ grated garlic clove
    • ½ tsp. kosher salt

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Take the chicken wings and toss them with the salt and pepper*.
  2. Take 2 oiled, rimmed baking sheets** and place the wings on them. Stick the baking sheets in the oven and let the chicken wings cook for an hour***.
  3. While the chicken wings are cooking, mix together the dip ingredients and leave it off to the side for now. Melt the butter and in a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter with the Sriracha. Toss the wings in the  butter mixture, serve it with the dip and enjoy !

*We actually laid out the chicken wings on the (in our case) lined baking sheets and seasoned them with salt and pepper afterwards.

** We laid aluminum foil over the two rimmed baking sheets and then sprayed them with PAM.

***We had to place one sheet on the middle rack and the other on our bottom rack. Halfway through the cook time, we switched places with the baking sheets and continued to let them cook afterwards.

We created this combo from a Food Network Mix & Match Wings article.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Food Network.

Hope you enjoy life !

Restaurant-Style Salsa

Pre-season football has started and my dad is happier than a pig in mud ! Here’s a salsa recipe we found that’s great to enjoy for any game or party.

Ingredients

  • 1 (28-oz.) can whole tomatoes with juice
  • 2 (10-oz. each) cans Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies (we used the original type)
  • ¼ cup chopped onion (we used ½ cup of Vidalia onions)
  • 1 jalapeño, quartered lengthwise and sliced thinly afterwards (we used a serrano)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (we used 2 large garlic cloves)
  • ¼ tsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt (we used kosher salt)
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • Juice of half a lime
  • ½ cup cilantro (or more to taste) (we just went with ½ cup)

Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender (we used a food processor), add all the ingredients to it.
  2. Pulse the mixture until you get the consistency you want (we pulsed until it was as smooth as we could get it).
  3. Serve with chips (we liked eating the salsa with Tostitos Tortilla Hint of Lime Chips).

You can eat this right after you’re done making it but we find that the salsa is at its tastiest after it’s been left in the fridge overnight.

We got this recipe from a Ree Drummond cookbook.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention Rotel, Tostitos, or Ree Drummond.

Mini Ham Sandwiches

Ingredients

-1 Tbsp. minced chives
-2 Tbsp. canola mayonnaise (we used regular mayonnaise)
-1 tsp. Dijon mustard
-8 (1-oz. each) Hawaiian rolls
-Thinly sliced ham

Directions

1.) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Combine the first 3 ingredients together in a small bowl to create your spread. Take a baking sheet out and line it with aluminum foil. Take each of the rolls and cut each one almost, but completely in half horizontally (make sure you don’t cut through to the other side of the roll). Place the rolls on the baking sheet, with the cut sides facing up. Stick the baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes or however long it takes for them to look golden. (For ourselves, we also stuck our ham slices on the baking sheet to cook at the same time as the rolls.) Take the spread and apply it evenly on the cut sides. Place the ham on the rolls, put the roll tops on the ham and enjoy !

 

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We don’t know where we got this recipe from.