The Big Game should only be watched with nachos in hand. That’s a given. But, what kind of nachos? Is there more than one kind? Turns out there are as many different kinds of nacho recipes as there are chili or stew recipes.
Movie nachos – the kind with the fake cheese poured on top of a mound of tortilla chips. Best I ever had were served in a theater in Texas. Soooooo good.
Home nachos – tortilla chips, salsa and shredded cheese piled on a plate, nuked in the microwave and then scooped up with the tortilla chips. Quick and easy; can be tossed together during a commercial break.
Party nachos – everything and the kitchen sink piled on a plate and scooped up with tortilla chips.
Super party nachos – a nacho casserole made with layers of anything the cook thinks goes together. Anything. The only constant being the tortilla chips at the bottom. You eat this with a fork. Or maybe a spoon.
Here’s our version – hearty enough to be a meal and taste tested by a few football pals, and me, of course. J
Ireland is a fabulous place to visit from Spring right through early Fall. The country has plenty of top-notch scenery, challenging golf courses, stud farms, and castles galore. And, it has all that really great food. Sheila and I had loads of fun going from tea room to pub to restaurant, sampling traditional Irish dishes.
The one constant at lunch wherever we went was the dense brown bread. It varied slightly in taste with different bakers, but it was usually served with soup or at afternoon tea, with jam, butter or honey.
Of course, when we came back to the States, Sheila and I created our own version of the bread so that we could serve it on St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, it is on the table with the soda bread, giving our guests a chance to try both. To be clear, Sheila does the baking and I do the tasting and cleanup. We make a great team in the kitchen. 🙂
Mardi Gras is upon us! A friend of ours usually goes to New Orleans every year to celebrate, but this year she’ll have to miss it because of a work conflict. She loves the great food and the music, and has even thought of moving there. (I think she just wants to get away from all the snow and ice up here.) Since she can’t go, we thought we’d have her over for dinner, cook up some gumbo, and get some lively New Orleans music streamed in.
She likes both seafood and meat gumbos, and our recipe combines both. I’ve been told that there are as many gumbo recipes as there are cooks to make it. Apparently, as long as celery, green bell peppers, and onions are the base, almost anything else can go into the pot.
Salt the chicken, all sides. In deepest pot you have, use 1 Tablespoon olive oil and sauté the chicken on medium high heat until golden brown – about 5 mins.
Add sausages and 1 Tablespoon chicken broth to the pot. Lower heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep meat from sticking. Take off heat.
Meanwhile, sauté the okra with 1 teaspoon butter and ½ teaspoon sea salt in pan at medium high heat for 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside, including juices.
The Roux: In the sauté pan, melt 4 Tablespoons butter. Add the flour 1 Tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly on medium heat to mix thoroughly, until the roux is the color of dark caramel, but not burned - about 15 minutes. Drop the heat to low, then add the onion, stir constantly until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add celery, bell peppers, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, garlic and mix together until well-coated – about 5 minutes. Mixture will be thick.
Add vegetable mixture to the sausage/chicken pot and mix together.
Slowly add back in (stir after each cup) the okra, chicken broth, and Bay seasoning. Turn heat up long enough to bring mixture to a boil, then drop heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes, continuing to stir. Add salt to taste if needed.
If adding the cooked shrimp, drop it into the mixture and stir together, another 5 minutes.
Place cooked rice in bowl, then place gumbo on top. Serve with cornbread.