I’ve become a pretty big fan of Simon Pearce’s Restaurant and an even bigger fan of the Simon Pearce Vermont Cheddar Soup. And the weird thing is, I’ve never been to the Mill at Simon Pearce, the restaurant in Quechee, Vermont. And never had their Simon Pearce Vermont Cheddar Soup there, either. But no matter, I can have it right here in Minnesota (you betcha) where it seems just as at home on a snowy March night.
I have good news today. See, some of you know I’ve been having some troubles with my joints; typing, while still slow and has to be done just a little at a time is easier and I’m trying to use the voice options on my computer. And cooking has been challenging, but I’m really trying to focus on fun & easy (and lightweight) food. And the best news? I made Old English Potted Cheese and it’s a super easy cheese spread and just to die for.
We are having “Arctic Chill.” It got ccccold last night and right now it’s minus 11. And I have no right to complain because I live in Minnesota, but we’ve been so spoiled this year it’s a shock. We Minnesotans know that a real Arctic Chill can be 34 to 35 below, so there’s that. Maybe we’re actually lucky. But today I feel particularly lucky because I don’t have to go anywhere and I have a piece of Simon Pearce Quechee Quiche I’m going to have for breakfast!
I don’t know about you, but eating at steakhouses isn’t my wheelhouse. So when I go to one, I read every inch of the menu and agonize over just the right choice of steak and sides to maximize my experience! (And then I hate it if someone else orders something that looks better than what I have, lol!) And while I enjoy the steak, what makes it for me is the au gratin potatoes. My daughter takes after me because she was out for a special dinner with her sweetie, and what Jess raved about the next day wasn’t the steak, it was Ruth’s Chris Potatoes au Gratin.
Do you love broccoli? It’s always been a fave at our house and 90 percent of the time, I make Simply Steamed Broccoli or sometimes I make what I call Almost Alton’s Oven Roasted Broccoli. Both are super simple, super fresh. But sometimes you just gotta go the extra mile and make something really special. That, for me, is Easy Cheesy Broccoli Skillet.
I have a new favorite “Salsa”, Roasted Sweet Corn Salsa. This salsa is like everything good in the world all combined into one beautiful, corny, creamy, cheesy, spicy dip.
It seems I’m all about the summer party recipes, lately, not my typical everyday fare! (See the explanation marks? That proves it!) And this Loaded Baked Potato Salad is definitely one. Heck, it’s a party in a bowl.
So over the long weekend, temps way up in the 90’s (oh why is the weather so craaaazy this year?) I somehow got the idea that I wanted some of that Old Fashioned Tuna Macaroni Salad. You know the one I mean, all cool, creamy deliciousness with a few crunchy veggies and that tuna that somehow melds in and makes everything so rich.
It snowed again. Yep. Not on Easter (and April Fool’s Day) but the day before. It was like a cruel joke, and it put me right into comfort mode. Anyway, here’s some of that comfort, Easy Cheesy Ham & Potato Chowder. It’s wrap up in a throw with your big fuzzy socks and eat from a mug comfort!
Happy St. Paddy’s Day!! I’ve actually been cooking Irish recipes all week, but the standout is these potato nachos, in the style of McMullen’s Pub, located in Las Vegas, Nevada. So there’s the name: McMullan’s Irish Nachos. These are crispy, crunchy homemade potato chips loaded with cheese, crisped corned beef or other protein of choice, and pickled jalapenos. And sour cream, if you don’t forget to add it like I did before I took pics!
I do love me some quiche, how about you? It’s been a long time since I’ve made Quiche. I’ve been all about the Frittatas lately. I think I had just forgotten how good Quiche can be.
These Cajun Stuffed Chicken Breasts might be just the thing to bring a little sunshine into your life during this cold, cold January. These are like Oh My Gosh good, with just a little spice to warm things up.
Merry Christmas, everyone! Here it is, Christmas Eve Day, and I thought I’d show you one of my favorite Christmas Eve dinners, this time done in the Instant Pot. It’s Chili. The Best Instant Pot Chili, to be exact. I know, it’s strange to some people to have Chili as a Christmas Eve dinner.
I love me a good Broccoli Cheese Soup. I love it even more when it’s start to finish, 15 minute Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup, piping hot and on the table in no time at all. And I love it even better, when it’s made with real Cheddar for that flavor punch.
So I always wonder how the winter is going for everyone – we’re going to be up to 58 tomorrow but I’m bummed because it’s supposed to rain. But it was supposed to snow, so we’re lucky for this heat wave. Then down to a more seasonal 15 degrees by the end of the week. It seems the perfect time to tuck into some comfort, like this Cauliflower Au Gratin.
My sister told me about Cornbread Salad. I mean, really, if she hadn’t raved, I never would have made it. I think she MADE me make it and report back, lol! I fell in love with it. Hard. Strange ingredients, but it’s like a miracle. The miracle of Cornbread Salad.
Oh, but I do love me some soup. Especially in the fall. And since I had some sausage left after making Smoked Sausage and White Bean Soup in the Instant Pot the other day, I thought I’d make more soup, but take it in another direction. I could hardly think of a better use for that sausage than Cheesy Potato Sausage Soup – Instant Pot or Stove-top.
So how do you all like your cornbread? Me, I’m a Northerner, through and through. I like mine light and fluffy and moist and in this instance, with a bit of a bite from jalapeno. It’s not too much heat, but just enough to make you sit up and take notice.
I had it from a grocery store deli. The Best Salad in the World. Seriously, that’s what it was called – and I agree!
We’ve been having the dreariest, dark, cold, wet weather all week. How about you? I know it’s good for the plants but I get feeling a little blue. I want to get outside and DO things! Instead, we’ve tucked in and made something warm and comforting and creamy and cheesy! Three Cheese Chicken Casserole!
I have a little secret. I’ve been holding out on you. See, I’ve been making these Hasselback Scalloped Potatoes for months now and never posted them. They’re amazing, they’re gorgeous and they’re amazing. Oh, I said that already. Well, I can’t say it enough.
Ok, so they’re not Irish and they’re not really Nachos. But what Irish Pub Nachos are is ooey, gooey, cheesy potato deliciousness with the spiciness of nachos. And there’s bacon (or corned beef, if you have some) sprinkled throughout. You might call this an appetizer, but for us it was a fun meal.
I apologize coz I “over posted” today but I wanted you to see some of the options I use in/on these incredible Irish Pub Nachos. (links are at the bottom of the post)
First of all, these Irish Pub Nachos are just a little spiced up with home-made Wing Sauce. Do you make your own? It’s so super simple & you can customize your flavors. If you don’t want to go there, add a little taco seasoning, store-bought or home-made to your wing sauce. Taco Bell’s taco sauce is great on this, too. Just sayin’.
Now Ranch isn’t usually my thing, but everyone I know loves it (maybe everyone in the world?) so I ditched the plain old sour cream for this creamy Yogurt Ranch. Now neither the Wing Sauce or the Ranch HAS to be home-made, but you’ll thank me if you make the Ranch, and you’re welcome! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Get the potatoes right on this and it hardly matters what else you put on top! I like some brown and crispy and some a bit softer but err on the side of crispier. I bake, but frying is quicker – messier, but quicker. Once those potatoes are done, the rest takes just minutes.
As far as cheese, personally, I like a melty, not too aged (read grocery store) cheddar & a little Monterrey Jack. Sometimes I jazz it up with something with some real personality and sprinkle a little Bleu Cheese over the top. Or maybe a little Feta or Asiago.
Then go crazy and top with whatever favorite nacho toppings you want! Pickled Jalapenos or Cowboy Candy? Yes, please. Maybe a little salsa, a sprinkle of green onion or cilantro. Avocado would be great. Pickled Red Onions can’t be wrong, either.Print
Irish Pub Nachos
Fun potato “nachos” layered with cheese and corned beef or bacon. Serve with Home-made Yogurt Ranch and toppings of choice.
- Yield: serves 4 - 6
- 4 potatoes, peeled if desired & sliced thinly into rounds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
- salt & pepper (be generous)
- a little Wing Sauce, store-bought or home-made, doctored with a little taco seasoning
- 6 to 8 ounces (or more) shredded cheddar cheese, taco cheese, or a cheddar jack blend
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup cooked chopped bacon pieces (abt 4 strips) or finely chopped cooked corned beef – see note on corned beef
- 6 ounces of a sharper cheese: bleu cheese, Parmesan, Feta, Asiago, optional
- Salsa or Pico de Gallo
- Ranch Dressing
- Cilantro, chopped chives, thinly sliced green onion to sprinkle on top, as desired
- Other toppings as desired: Avocado, Guacamole, Black Olives, Pickled Jalapeno, diced onion or red onion, etc.
In a container large enough to hold the sliced potatoes, add a teaspoon of salt and a good pinch of sugar (optional) and soak the potatoes for 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry (lay out on a clean kitchen towel, cover with another towel and lightly press.
In the meantime, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut parchment paper to fit one very large or two smaller baking sheets with. There should be enough room so the potatoes are in a single layer. Place the pan or pans in the oven to preheat.
When potatoes have soaked and are dried, lay them out on the parchment sheet or sheets, sprinkle generously olive oil, toss and rub, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread into a single layer. Remove a baking sheet from the oven and slide the parchment carefully, with the potatoes on top, onto the baking sheet.
Place in oven and bake for a total of about 35 to 40 minutes, turning and rotating the pans once or twice and with a thin spatula, turning the potatoes and rearranging and removing as necessary. Bake until lightly browned and crisped.
Remove potatoes. If using more than one tray, put all the potatoes together, spread out on a single tray. Turn oven up to 475 degrees. Drizzle potatoes with a little Wing Sauce. Using about 1/2 the cheddar, sprinkle over the potatoes. Sprinkle with bacon or corned beef, then the secondary cheese of choice and top with the remaining cheddar.
Bake about 10 minutes, rotating as necessary. Remove from oven, garnish and eat immediately, accompanied by Ranch, Pico de Gallo or Salsa.
If you’d prefer to fry the potatoes, preheat oil to 375 degrees f. Working in batches, place potatoes into hot oil and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper bags or paper towels and proceed with recipe.
For corned beef: you can add diced or shredded cooked corned beef but this is even better if you heat a tablespoon of oil in a small skillet, heat and add the corned beef, tossing and cooking until it’s a little crispy on the edges.
Links for Home-made Taco Seasoning, Home-made Wing Sauce and Home-made Ranch and Pico de Gallo are at the bottom of the post. Follow the links.
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There’s something that’s very gratifying about cooking for my folks – I teasingly call them my victims because they get the brunt of my new recipes and various concoctions. You’d think at their age they’d be a little jaded about food so I love it when their eyes light up and I get the little happy noises when they eat.
Here’s a super simple little breakfast casserole that is perfect even for the pickiest of eaters. Delicious just as is, full of cheese & Sausage or Ham, I often like to tinker!
So how’s everyone doing on their New Year’s resolutions? If this blog is any indication with the Million Dollar Dip, below? Me? Probably not so great. But hey, it was the Super Bowl last week and I felt like I had to make this dip…
Million Dollar Dip is the dip of many names: ABC Dip, Neiman Marcus Dip, Million Dollar Dip, One Million Dollar Dip. Well, you get the idea.
Every once in a while I revisit Macaroni & Cheese. I’m always falling for gorgeous photos. I don’t make it too often, though, because so often it’s a disappointment. Not so with this one.