Tag Archives: Cast Iron Skillet

Dilled Irish Cheddar Soda Bread

Dilled Irish Cheddar Soda Bread

So apparently today is St. Patrick’s Day. Where I grew up, St. Patrick’s Day was barely even mentioned – you were supposed to wear green to school to avoid being pinched but that was it. Then I moved to New York City, aka a city with a St. Patty’s Day parade, and St. Patrick’s Day has become One of the Worst Days of the Year – at least it is if you’re trying to get anywhere in midtown Manhattan.

Dilled Irish Cheddar Soda Bread

That damn parade can mess up a commute like nobody’s business. Last year I had to walk an extra four blocks (yes I counted) and take an extra twenty minutes I didn’t have to spare to get around the roadblocks and fight through the crowds. I got so annoyed that I found myself inwardly fuming about why we are celebrating a country that has been so historically backwards about marriage equality and birth control. I got myself so worked up I had to go play with kittens to calm down (true story, I used to volunteer at an animal shelter).

Dilled Irish Cheddar Soda Bread

In my purely personal opinion, the one redeeming quality of St. Patrick’s Day for those of us living in A City with a Parade who don’t identify with the Irish spirit is soda bread. I never had this as a kid, probably because no one in Dallas suburbs seemed to give a rat’s backside about the holiday, but I’m extremely happy to have discovered it in adulthood.

Soda bread seems to be the cause of many arguments – do you put raisins in there or not, that kind of thing – but it seems that most can and will happily forgive a little “experimentation” if the spirit of soda bread is left alone. I found this recipe for adding cheddar and dill – I made sure I used a good Irish cheddar – and everyone seemed to love it. It may not be completely authentic, but it’s delicious!

Dilled Irish Cheddar Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick’s Day if you celebrate it, and for the rest of us, may we not get pinched, trampled, or too inconvenienced by parades. Enjoy!

Source: The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook by Ellen Brown

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tbs granulated sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 ½ cups buttermilk
1 large egg
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
1 ¼ cups shredded sharp Irish cheddar, divided

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 F and generously grease a 12” cast iron skillet with cooking spray or softened butter.
Combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Combine the butter, buttermilk, and egg in another bowl and whisk well.
Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. The dough will be sticky. Stir in the dill and 1 cup cheese. Transfer the dough to the prepared skillet, smoothing the top but mounding it slightly in the center with lightly floured hands. Cut a large X about 1 inch deep in the center of the dough, then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of all four quarters.
Bake the bread in the center of the oven for 70 to 75 minutes, or until the crust is browned and a toothpick or cake tester in inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the bread in the skillet for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Italian Vegetable Frittata

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Eggs and I have had a rather complicated relationship over the years. As a child, I liked scrambled eggs, but no other kinds – ever! Fast forward to college, where I majored in biology. Which meant taking labs. And labs meant conducting experiments, oftentimes on poor dead animals like fetal pigs and cats and frogs. And, chicken eggs.

Zucchini 001

My junior year, we used a special microscope to peer into a chicken egg that was actually meant to you know, hatch a live chicken. The egg was in its infancy stage, so it looked like a regular egg you’d buy in a carton at the grocery store, only we could see a beating heart. First it looked like nothing, then you’d see a quick burst of blood that then dissipated back into itself, like tossing a pebble into a puddle.

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It freaked me the hell out. Probably shouldn’t have, but it was so weird to see this normal-looking egg, the likes of which I’d eaten my whole life, and all of a sudden there’s a bloody heartbeat in the middle of the yolk. And I mean a literal bloody heartbeat, not a British bloody heartbeat.

Italian Vegetable frittata 031

So, eggs and I broke up for a while. Despite liking the taste of scrambled eggs, I couldn’t bring myself to eat them after what I’d witnessed. It was just too weird. This persisted for several years. It wasn’t until Matt and I were dating that I agreed to try them again. See, I met him while he was a mid-twenty-something grad student, and scrambled eggs were one of the few things he knew he could make competently. So when I initially said I disliked them, he panicked a little, then regrouped and convinced me to try them. And I agreed. Because it was the beginning of the relationship, the part where we agree to do and try things we dislike, just for our new love.

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Good news though – I rekindled that old fondness for scrambled eggs, and decided to get over my squeamishness. And then the whole thing snowballed. Before you know it, I was eating poached eggs, and fried eggs, and baked eggs. Like frittatas. Something I never grew up eating, or even knowing about, for that matter…

Now I make them often. And this one I made with zucchini! And parmesan. And it was fluffy, light and delicious. Quite perfect, really. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Sweet Corn Sorghum Ice Pops}

Source: slightly adapted from The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook by Ellen Brown

Ingredients:
3 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. (about 3 thin) zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, stemmed and chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
10 large eggs
3 tbs chopped fresh basil
2 tbs dried oregano
6 tbs half-and-half
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 F.
Heat a 12” cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and tilt the pan to coat evenly. Add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, until the onion is softened a bit. Add the garlic, zucchini, and bell pepper. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-6 minutes, or until the veggies soften and the liquid has evaporated.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the basil, oregano, and half-and-half. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat on the skillet to medium and pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Do not stir. Cook about 4 minutes, or until you just start seeing the sides begin to set. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the frittata evenly, then transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the top is browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Run a spatula around the sides of the skillet and under the bottom to release it. Cut into wedges and serve.

Nectarine Raspberry Dutch Baby

Nectarine Raspberry dutch baby 001

Happy Friday, happy month of August, and happy WEEKEND!!! What are your weekend plans? And how’s your weather predicted to be? It’s supposed to rain on and off where I am; I was originally slated to run a very athletic 5K with Matt on Saturday, to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, but in training I got a lovely little shin splint. So, no 5K for me. Matt decided to skip it also, as he freely admits he hasn’t properly trained for it, so we’re blowing off the world and holing up in a romantic hotel and spa this weekend. After the Soundgarden/Nine Inch Nails concert tonight, that is!!! I’m just, oh, a teensy bit excited for all this. 🙂

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Oh, and this also will conclude my week of No Longer Neglecting Raspberries on this blog! This is the third raspberry recipe I’m bringing to the table for the week. I started with a delicious chicken and raspberry salad, where raspberries worked double duty – a salad ingredient and pureed to make the vinaigrette! Delicious and light and perfect for summer.

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Then yesterday we made homemade soda using fresh raspberries, which was awesome. And now today, we are eating breakfast. And we’re including some stone fruit, because ‘tis the season for that too. This Dutch baby was outstanding, as pretty much all Dutch babies are. The large amounts of fruit made this particular baby a bit less wrinkly than most, but they also made it a bit thicker in the middle, which hurt no one’s feelings in my house. Make sure you try this one before we lose the berry and stone fruit season for the year! (Sniff). Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Blueberry Bread, Peaches and Cream Crumble Topped Pie}
{Two Years Ago: Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze}

Source: The Boozy Baker by Lucy Baker

Ingredients:
3 large eggs
1 tsp lemon zest
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp kosher salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 2 tbs whole milk
3 tbs white wine
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 medium nectarines, pitted and cut into chunks (no need to peel them – you’re welcome ;))
4 tbs unsalted butter
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 F. On the stovetop, heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the flour, cinnamon, milk, and wine and whisk again to combine. Fold in the raspberries and nectarines.
Melt the butter in the preheated cast-iron skillet and swirl the pan to coat it well. Pour the batter into the skillet, making sure to spread the fruit evenly. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar, cut into wedges, and serve hot.

Authentic Southern Cornbread

authentic southern cornbread 024

Continuing on this week’s theme of The South, I’m sharing another American Deep South recipe, and for the American Deep South, it just doesn’t get more iconic than cornbread. No one who grew up between about West Virginia and west Texas doesn’t have too many memories to count of eating good ol’ proper Southern cornbread; you eat them at picnics, it’s a standard side at barbecue restaurants, and sometimes just a side at dinner. Or an afternoon snack.

southern cornbread 003

But, Southerners are picky about how their cornbread is made: no sugar in the batter! This is of utmost importance. Cornbread is not cake. It is supposed to be served alongside your dinner, and therefore it cannot be sweetened at all. You serve wedges of cornbread hot out of the oven with a pat of butter slathered all over. That part is not optional.

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Like anyone who grew up in this general region, I ate my fair share of cornbread growing up (and probably a few others’ fair shares too, to be perfectly frank!). So I know beyond a doubt that not all southern cornbread is created equal. This may be blasphemous of me to say, but I actually understand why the Yankees started putting sugar in the batter, because there is a lot of dry cornbread out there. It’s shameful, but true. This recipe, however….. This cornbread is among the moistest cornbread I’ve ever tasted in my life. Strong statement, but 100% true.

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And to make an even stronger statement now: I think I may be done trying new cornbread recipes. This one might just be the one. It’s so unbelievably perfect. I’m absolutely thrilled to have it on my blog, even though it’s not my original recipe. Of course it’s Lisa’s. But if me sharing it puts it out there for even a few more people, then I’ve done a good deed for society. Never will you have dry cornbread again!

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{One Year Ago: Strawberry Spinach Salad, Strawberry Silver Dollar Pancakes}

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

Ingredients:
¼ cup lard, bacon drippings, or vegetable oil
2 cups yellow cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten
2 cups buttermilk, well shaken

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450 F.
While the oven is heating, put the lard or oil into a 10” cast-iron skillet and place it in the oven for a few minutes until the lard is melted and sizzling. Remove from the oven as soon as it is sizzling to avoid burning it.
Meanwhile, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium to large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the egg and buttermilk. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk until just combined.
Take the cast-iron skillet and pour the batter into it. No need to stir anything. Immediately place the skillet into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool just a few minutes, then slice into wedges and serve with pats of butter. The typical way is to take a regular butter knife and make a slit down the center of each wedge, lengthwise. Stick a pat of butter inside there. Then take another pat of butter and put it on the top of the cornbread. Slather it around as it’s melting for even coverage. Dig in!

My Mom’s Blackened Catfish

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Would you even believe me if I told you Matt and I both got sick AGAIN?!?! Third time this year… He’s doing much better, but I have been hit with bronchitis and another ear infection, so I’ve been a bit slow lately. Time to play catch-up!

Last week I blogged My Mom’s Taco Salad, which is delicious and one of *very* few salads I would willingly eat growing up. This catfish is another one of hers that I ate often as a child, and one I always loved.

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Truth be told, my family of origin are/were not big seafood people. We rarely had fish at home, occasionally salmon cakes, and let me tell you, shellfish absolutely never graced our dinner table. But catfish was the crowning exception to this “rule.” Catfish we did have on a regular basis, and everyone loved it. Well, come to think of it… I know I loved it, I know both parents loved it; Megan did you love it? If not, you faked it well. 🙂

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This is not my blackening seasoning used on this fish – I’ve stuck to Mom’s version here, and I love it! Childhood faves definitely deserve a space on the food blog, I think, so I’m very happy to be posting this one today. Oh, and this seasoning works beautifully on chicken breasts, chicken wings, shrimp, other fish fillets, etc. So even if catfish isn’t your thing, take note of the spice rub and use it on your favorite protein.

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{One Year Ago: Orecchiette with Heirloom Fingerlings and Asparagus Pesto}

Ingredients:
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp lemon pepper
2 tsp steak seasoning
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
½ tsp cayenne
2 catfish fillets
2 tbs unsalted butter

Directions:
Mix all the spices, including the salt and pepper in a small bowl. Blot the catfish dry with paper towels on both sides. Liberally rub the blackening seasoning onto both sides of the fish. Pat them in with your palms.
Place a cast-iron or other nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the butter. Once it is fully melted, swirl it around the pan to evenly coat the entire surface. Carefully add the fish to the skillet and cook, flipping once, until just cooked through. Depending on thickness of fish, this will take anywhere from 7 to 12 minutes total. It’s done when it can flake apart with a fork or the edge of a metal spatula. Remove the fish to a cutting board and serve immediately.

Queso Flameado with Chipotle Ranchera Shrimp Salsa

Queso flameado with Chipotle ranchera shrimp salsa

So the other day I’m trying to decide what to make for dinner, and I realize that I am craving fried shrimp something fierce. I mean, fierce. So I try to talk myself out of it. Because swimsuit season is approaching, and fried shrimp can be quite detrimental to the waistline. And I don’t really need them, it’s just a craving. But I tell myself that I can absolutely have shrimp for dinner, I just can’t fry it.

So. I put it on top of a bunch of melted cheese instead. Because that’s soooo much better and healthier than frying it. It is! Why are you laughing? Okay, fine…

queso flameade with chipotle ranchera shrimp salsa

I can’t tell you this little dish is low-cal, but it is insanely delicious. I found it on one of my favorite food blogging sites, The Homesick Texan.

A+, Lisa. Seriously, A+. This is incredibly tasty and satisfying. If you’re unfamiliar, queso flameado is the Tex-Mex version of the Mexican appetizer dish queso fundido. Queso flameado is popular around Houston and closer to the Mexico border; growing up in Dallas, I’d actually never heard of it as a kid. But, it’s so delicious. I mean, it’s melted cheese! How bad can it possibly be? So good, y’all….

Queso Flameado with Chipotle Ranchera Shrimp Salsa

{One year ago: Tin Roof Ice Cream}

Source: lightly adapted from The Homesick Texan

Ingredients:
1 (14-oz.) can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1 very small yellow onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and thickly sliced
1 chipotle in adobo chile
1/2 cup cilantro
Kosher salt
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 lb. small shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
3 tsp olive oil, divided
2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
1 clove garlic, minced
Tortilla chips, or warmed tortillas, for serving

Directions:
Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapeños in a medium pot. Bring the pot to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the onion, garlic and jalapeño are softened. Turn off the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. To make the queso flameado, lightly grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and add all the shredded cheese to the skillet. Set aside.
Meanwhile, as the salsa is cooling, toss the shrimp with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne. After the salsa has cooled, pour it into a blender or a food processor, along with the chipotle and cilantro, scraping the sides of the pan to get out all of the salsa. Pulse the salsa until roughly chopped. Add salt to taste.
At this point, place the skillet with the cheese in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 10-15 minutes.
While the cheese is baking, in the same pot that you used for the salsa, heat up the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and shrimp along with any marinade juices, and cook the shrimp until they are pink and firm, about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn the heat to low as soon as the shrimp are cooked. Pour the ranchera salsa into the shrimp and stir to combine. Let it go for a couple more minutes or until the sauce has warmed up again. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Remove the cheese from the oven and spoon on top of the cheese the shrimp and ranchera salsa. Serve warm with tortilla chips or warmed tortillas. You’ll need a spoon for scooping the dip. Enjoy!

Margarita Fish Tacos

Margarita Fish Tacos

We continue our delicious, tequila-filled MARGARITA WEEK – woohoo!! – with something that is actually light and healthy and won’t get you sloshed. Surprised? It’s true. The fish for these tacos is seared in a cast-iron skillet, no breading or deep-frying; the tortillas are corn, which are much lighter than flour, and there’s no cheese, because cheese on a fish taco is just weird (in my humble opinion).

The fish is quickly marinated in tequila and lime juice to give it a margarita flavor. The end result is subtle but definitely there. A mild green salsa is the perfect match for not overpowering the margarita flavors, and I used shredded red cabbage as a topping, but you could just as easily opt for lettuce. Matt and I both loved this one. Made us feel like we were in Mexico. Or on a beach. Or on a beach in Mexico… It’s awesome. Enjoy!

margarita fish tacos

{One year ago: Giant Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Glaze}

Source: adapted from Look + Cook by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
2 oz. silver tequila
Zest and juice of half a lime
¼ tsp orange zest
2 tsp fresh squeezed orange juice
1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
3 tbs olive oil
1 tbs Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp chili powder
¾ lb. cod, pin bones removed and cut into 2 pieces to make it more manageable, if necessary
6 corn tortillas, warmed
Shredded cabbage or lettuce
Green salsa, your favorite store-bought brand is fine, or homemade

Directions:
Combine the tequila, lime zest, lime juice, orange zest, orange juice, garlic, olive oil, Old Bay, and chili powder in a shallow bowl or small baking dish, like a pie plate. Add the fish and turn several times to make sure it is thoroughly coated. Let sit for about 5 minutes, but not much longer.
Preheat your cast-iron skillet to medium-high. Add the fish pieces and cook, turning once, about 3-4 minutes per side. It is done when it flakes easily with a fork.
When the fish has cooked through, remove it to a plate. Let it rest 1 minute, then flake it apart into big chunks with a fork.
Assemble the tacos: place some fish chunks in a tortilla, then top with salsa and cabbage. Serve immediately.

Gingerbread Dutch Baby

gingerbread dutch baby

Okay, I have a question for all the Dutch babies out there: where, I repeat, WHERE, have you been all my life??? These are the coolest, easiest, tastiest things EVER! You simply whip up a simple pancake-like batter – in the blender, no less! – and then you melt some butter in a cast-iron skillet. Once it’s melted, brush it up the sides, pour in the batter, and poof! You’re done with your part and the oven does the rest of the work.

Gingerbread Dutch Baby

Inside the oven, these babies puff, and wrinkle, and cave, and look so cool when you pull them out. The edges crisp but the inside stays moist. Texturally they are somewhere between a French crepe and an American pancake. Dutch babies are also known as German pancakes, and you’ve gotta wonder if this is just German efficiency at work here. Because they get whipped up in no time, way less time than it takes to make a batch of crepes or pancakes, and they taste just as good if not better than either! Oh, and perfect to serve to a brunch crowd.

Gingerbread Dutch baby

I wanted to make something gingerbread for the holiday season (it seems that December is the only acceptable month to make anything gingerbread-themed in Food Blog Land), and couldn’t decide between waffles, or cookies, or maybe a cake; and then I remembered this recipe for a gingerbread Dutch baby, and now here I am! This would make a perfect Christmas Day brunch if you’re so inclined. Enjoy!

Gingerbread Dutch baby, sliced

{One year ago: Pumpkin French Toast}

Source: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Ingredients:
2 large eggs
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp unsulfured molasses
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
1/8 tsp freshly grated or ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup whole milk
2 tbs unsalted butter
Maple syrup, to serve

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Crack the eggs into a blender and puree until they are smooth and pale yellow in color. Shut off the blender, then add the brown sugar, molasses, flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and whole milk. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Set aside.
Melt the butter over high heat in a 9 or 10 inch cast-iron, or other oven-proof skillet. The original recipe calls for a 9 inch, the closest I had was a 10 inch cast iron, and it worked just fine. As the butter is melting, brush it up on the sides of the skillet thoroughly. Remove the pan from the heat, then pour the batter into the skillet. Immediately transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. (Mine, in the larger 10 inch skillet, took only 15 minutes to bake).
Slide the Dutch baby onto a plate, or leave in the skillet; slice into wedges and serve with the maple syrup. You can also dust powdered sugar on the top; that’s how it is pictured in the SK cookbook, and it looks just scrumptious that way, but as someone who got a little hurried to snap pics because the scrambled eggs were getting cold, I can assure you that it’s just fine without.

Nacho-Topped Chili

Nacho Topped Chili

Happy November 1st y’all! Since I figure lots of you are up to your ears in Halloween candy, we’ll take a break from sweets and go savory today. And since we’re in the thick of football season, and my Baylor Bears are doing *extremely* well, game day food will be what’s on the menu!

beef chili, no beans

As an aside, if any of you are remotely familiar with Big 12 football, then you know how utterly amazing it is that Baylor is ranked in the top ten. Top ten, people!! Back when I was a student there, that was unfathomable. The football team was so terrible then. So I hope those young whipper-snapper freshman you see on every televised game yelling “HEIS-MAN! HEIS-MAN!” for the cameras are grateful for the opportunity. Back in my day, “Heisman” was a word not even the slightest bit in our vocabulary.

nacho-topped chili, before broiling

But anyways, let’s talk chili. Everyone loves a good chili, and this one was killer. But how about we take it even further over the top, and top it with nachos??!! Nachos! I figured that if you can put a chili sauce on top of loaded nachos, then why can’t you put nachos on top of chili?

nacho topped chili

Turns out, yes we can! Say it with me, Obama ’08 style – YES. WE. CAN!! Okay, maybe not, but trust me, this chili is so delectable, it deserves a few cheers.

nacho-topped chili

But you’re probably sitting there thinking, “That’s all well and good Julie, but the leftovers won’t work! The chips will go completely soggy.” Now, I don’t blame you one bit for thinking such a thing, because I thought such a thing after we finished eating. But we’re all wrong. The leftovers actually work beautifully. I know, it doesn’t make a lick of sense! But I’m telling you, you’ll love them. And you’ll feel very indignant to realize that your husband took most of them to work and only let you get in one little serving for yourself. Oh wait, that’s just me?

Nacho-Topped Chili

So yes, the chips do go soft. But it’s not a bad thing. They sort of act like a masa thickener; they meld into the chili and become part of it. It’s a little tough to explain, so you’ll just have to try it and see what I mean!

Nacho-Topped Chili

{One year ago: Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting}

Ingredients:
1 ¾ lbs. ground sirloin
2 tbs cumin
1 tbs ancho chile powder
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp Mexican oregano
½ tsp chipotle chile powder
¼ tsp cayenne
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 oz. beer (save last few glugs for yourself)
1 (28) oz. can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
Hot sauce to taste (I used Cholula)
8 oz. bag yellow corn chips (make sure they are thick and crunchy, not the really thin kind)
15 oz. can of refried beans, thinned with splash of water and warmed 30 seconds in microwave
8 oz. Monterey jack cheese, shredded
6 oz. pitted black olives, drained and chopped
Pickled jalapeno slices

Directions:
Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil, then add the beef, browning and breaking it up with a spoon. Cook until no traces of pink remain. Add the cumin, ancho chile powder, sweet paprika, coriander, Mexican oregano, chipotle powder, and cayenne. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Add the onion and saute until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeno and garlic and saute another 2 minutes.
Add the beer and stir to deglaze the pan. Let the beer cook until it has almost evaporated. Lower the heat to medium. Now add the tomatoes, Worcestershire, liquid smoke, and hot sauce. Stir to combine everything. Let the chili come up to a good, bubbling simmer, then lower the heat to medium-low and let it simmer softly for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep it from scorching on the bottom of the pot. You may need to adjust the heat level as necessary.
When the chili is to your liking, consistency-wise, turn the heat to low. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
Now it’s time for the nacho topping. Preheat your broiler to high and set an oven rack on the second-highest rung, or whichever rung allows you to get the nacho topping closest to the heat source without smushing anything.
Now assemble the nacho topping. Smooth the chili out so the top of it is as even a surface as possible. Working quickly, spread the chips over the chili. Dollop the refried beans over the chips, spreading with a large spoon as needed. Sprinkle the cheese over the chips. Sprinkle the olive and pickled jalapenos over the cheese.
Slide the skillet into the oven and broil until the cheese is melted and the top edges of chips have started to brown.
Remove the skillet and serve immediately.
Note: you can of course garnish with sour cream if you want, I’m just not sour cream’s hugest fan, so I was quite happy to leave it off.

Peach and Cherry Frittata

Peach and Cherry Frittata

This dish… doesn’t make any sense. In a perfectly rational and logical world, this flavor combination would not work. For reasons fortunate and unfortunate, the world is not perfectly rational and logical. Today, that is a fortunate fact, because it means we can enjoy this paradoxical breakfast dish.

peaches and cherries

peaches and cherries

So yeah, I totally wasn’t expecting that I could put sweet fruit into eggs, top it with tangy goat cheese, bake it off, drizzle it with maple syrup, and then eat it and enjoy it. But that’s kind of exactly what happened. Everything came together on the fork and it just… worked. It was flavorful and balanced and I really don’t know completely why. So tasty though!

before baking: peach cherry frittata

This is the last peach recipe for the season for me, but I’ve got two more scrumptious cherry desserts to share with you next week. So stay tuned for that!

Peach Cherry Frittata

And give this one a try very soon – it sounds odd, but it really is delicious and so perfect for a summer brunch. And on that note, I shall sign off and wish you a wonderful weekend!

Peach and Cherry Frittata

Other Peach recipe you might enjoy: Peach Cobbler, Salmon with Tamarind-Peach Barbecue Sauce, Peaches and Cream Crumble Topped Pie, Peach Sour Cream Pancakes

{One year ago: Spicy Coleslaw and Pulled Pork Sliders}

Source: adapted from Weeknights with Giada by Giada de Laurentiis

Ingredients:
6 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbs chopped fresh thyme leaves
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tbs canola oil
1 large peach, pitted and cut into chunks
8 oz. fresh sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
4 oz. goat cheese
Maple syrup, for serving

Directions:
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, thyme and salt until smooth.
Heat the oil in a 10-inch cast-iron or otherwise oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and, working quickly, evenly distribute the peaches and cherries in a single layer over top of the eggs. Crumble the goat cheese into chunks with your fingers and sprinkle it over the eggs and fruit. Cook without stirring for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to set. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the frittata is slightly puffed and the egg mixture has set, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes.
Cut into wedges and serve with maple syrup for drizzling.