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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Pork Chop With Pineapple Salsa

(Since there were three of us, we tripled all the following ingredients)

Ingredients

  • Salsa
    • 1 cup pineapple chunks (we used canned pineapple chunks that we cut into smaller bite-size pieces)
    • ½ small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
    • ½ to 1 jalapeño chile (ribs and seeds removed for less heat) (we used 1 jalapeño and left the ribs and seeds in)
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower (we just used vegetable oil)
  • 1 bone-in pork loin chop (8 to 10 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)

Directions

  1. Take a medium-sized mixing bowl out and combine all the salsa ingredients together in it, leaving the salsa off to the side for now.
  2.  Take a large skillet out and pour the oil in, setting the heat to medium. Season the pork with salt and pepper, dusting the pork with the flour afterwards. Once the oil’s hot, add the pork to the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes (we went with 4 minutes) per side until the pork chop looks browned and the pork’s fully cooked. Take the pork chop out of the skillet, top it with the salsa and enjoy !

This was a really tasty dish. You should know though that there’s going to be a lot of leftover salsa. You could probably cook up a few more pork chops and still have enough salsa to top them with.

Recipe source unknown.

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.

Spicy Pork Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients

  • 9 ounces fresh peeled and cored pineapple
  • 1 small red onion
  • ¼ cup, cilantro, minced (I accidentally got ¼ cup minced cilantro)
  • 1 (10-ounce) can Ro-tel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • Salt and black pepper to taste (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)

Directions

  1. Take 6 ounces of the pineapple and cut it into ¼-inch pieces, giving the rest of the pineapple a rough chop. Finely chop the onion, dividing the resulting pieces in half. Take a small mixing bowl out and mix together the ¼-inch pieces portion of pineapple, half of the onion and the cilantro together, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  2. Take a food processor out (we used our blender) and add in the tomatoes (including the juice) and pineapple, processing until the mixture is smooth. Take a 12-inch nonstick skillet out and set the heat to medium-high. Once the skillet’s hot, add in the pork and the second half of the onion, stirring frequently until the pork’s fully cooked. Add the tomato mixture from the food processor to the skillet, mixing it in with the pork. Turn the heat down so it’s only at a simmer and let the dish cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the tomato mixture’s thickened. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  3. Take the taco shells and warm them up based off directions on the package they came in. Place equal amounts of the pork mixture into each shell, followed by the pineapple salsa.

Thanks to the red tomatoes being blended with the pineapple, the sauce (as you can tell) has an orange-ish color to it.

Recipe source is unknown.

We weren’t paid in any way to promote Ro-tel.