Simon Pearce Vermont Cheddar Soup with Simon Pearce's Rory's Scones

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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.

Simon Pearce Vermont Cheddar Soup

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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.

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Cornbread Salad: If you're from the South you might know this and if not, it's not as crazy as it sounds but it is crazy good!

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.

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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.

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the creamiest, cheesiest casserole with chicken, mushrooms and penne.

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!

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Irish Pub Nachos

Irish Pub Nachos

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.

Irish Pub Nachos

Irish Pub Nachos

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’.

Irish Pub Nachos

Irish Pub Nachos

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.

Irish Pub Nachos

Irish Pub Nachos

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.

Irish Pub Nachos

Irish Pub Nachos

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Irish Pub Nachos

Fun potato “nachos” layered with cheese and corned beef or bacon. Serve with Home-made Yogurt Ranch and toppings of choice.

  • Author: mollie kirby
  • Yield: serves 4 - 6

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 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.

Instructions

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.

Notes

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.

________________________________

I’ll be bringing this recipe to Fiesta Friday, hosted this week by Sarah @ Tales From The Kitchen Shed and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas, and Spoons

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