TATCHOS

TATCHOS

1/3 pound ground pork
1/3 pound ground chuck
1/3 pound bacon, diced
3-4 cups tater tots
4 ounce can green chiles
1/4 + 1/4 cup salsa
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
4 green onions, 2 sliced, 2 minced
1 serrano chile, seeded, de-veined and finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sour cream

  • In a large skillet fry bacon until browned and crumbly. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  • Bake tater tots until completely crisp while you are making the meat.
  • Add pork and beef to bacon grease and brown until cooked through and crumbly.
  • Pour off excess grease from meats.
  • Add green chiles, 1/4 cup salsa, half of the green onions and taco seasoning, stirring to combine well and cooking for several minutes to blend flavors.
  • Drain meat well of excess grease.
  • Sprinkle meat over prepared tater tots.
  • Top evenly with grated cheese.
  • Bake 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
  • Top with tomatoes, remaining green onions, serrano chiles, salsa and sour cream.

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MINI CHEESE PUFFS with HOMEMADE Bleu Cheese

You will never go wrong serving these at a tailgate party. Especially ,if you put them next to the cold beers!

MINI CHEESE PUFFS with HOMEMADE Bleu Cheese    11-11-2014   adapted from ROXY
Yields: 50 1/2 inch cheese balls

2 ½ cups finely shredded cheddar cheese blend of your choice**
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Large eggs
4 tablespoons Wondra
1 teaspoon baking powder
Avocado oil for frying

**I use a combination of Sharp Cheddar & Monterey Jack

  • In a bowl combine all the ingredients.
  • Mix well until mixture holds together and shape into small balls.
  • Make sure your cheese balls are not too big since they will almost double in size when you fry them.
  • Fry cheese balls in hot oil until golden brown.
  • You should have enough oil so your balls are almost completely covered.
  • Drain on paper towels.

PIMIENTO CHEESE SPREAD

As a kid I hated Pimiento Cheese.  What I didn’t realize is what my family put out with crackers for holidays was NOT real food LOL, you know the jelly jar cheese spread you find at the grocery store.  Jack Allen’s Kitchen serves a small dab of their Pimiento Cheese with a cracker as a nibble before you order and it is fantastic!  I even bought a jar to bring home and it was the first recipe I tried from their cook book when it arrived. At home we tried it with all sorts of crackers before deciding a simple Ritz cracker was the best.


PIMIENTO CHEESE
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 pound Medium Cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 large Red Bell Pepper, washed, seeded, roasted and chopped fine
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Sherry Vinegar*
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Vinegar and salt until smooth.
  • Blend in the grated Monterey Jack cheese and grated Cheddar cheese.
  • Fold in bell pepper until well distributed.
  • Chill well.
  • Serve with crackers.

NOTE:*  I didn’t have any so I used Golden Balsamic Vinegar

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TEXAS CAVIAR

While researching black eyed peas (not an easy thing to do with a band by the same name) I ran across a reference to Texas Caviar. I read and read all those recipes and found the 2 consistent ingredients are black eyed peas and Italian dressing. So I started with those ingredients and from there added the ingredients I like most. We loved the results. We ate it for New Year’s day with fresh tortilla chips, prime rib and twice baked potatoes. Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is thought to bring prosperity. See what you think. I also found it ironic, at least in my case that since my family is from and for the majority in Texas that I had never heard of this before.

TEXAS CAVIAR
1 pound black eyed peas
2 cups Italian salad dressing
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1 large shallot, chopped
1 bunch finely chopped green onions (tops too)
finely chopped jalapeno peppers to taste
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
Salt & hot pepper sauce to taste (I used Frank’s red pepper sauce)
Tortilla chips
  • Soak peas in enough water to cover overnight.
  • Drain well. Pick out bad beans.
  • Transfer peas to saucepan. Add enough fresh water to cover.
  • Over high heat bring to boil.
  • Let slow boil until tender, about an hour or so, but do not overcook.
  • While peas are cooking chop remaining ingredients and mix well with dressing.
  • Drain peas well.
  • Blend into dressing mixture and let cool.
  • Chill several hours.
  • Serve with tortilla chips.

Originally black eyed peas were native to India, but widely grown in many countries in Asia, the black-eyed pea was introduced into the West Indies and from there to the Southern United States as early as the 1600s in Virginia. Most of the black-eye pea cultivation in the region, however, took firmer hold in Florida and the Carolinas during the 1700s, reaching Virginia in full force following the American Revolution. The crop would also eventually prove popular in Texas. Throughout the South, the black-eyed pea is still a widely used ingredient in soul food and various types of Southern U.S. cuisine. The planting of crops of black-eyed peas was promoted by George Washington Carver because, as a legume, it adds nitrogen to the soil and has high nutritional value. Black-eyed peas are an excellent source of calcium. Isn’t Wikipedia wonderful? I learn something every day!

GARLIC DILL PICKLES

Hubby loves pickles!  I mean he reallllllllllllllllllllllly loooooooooooooooves pickles.  Unfortunately I am deathly allergic to mustard and just don’t make them enough for him because of my allergy.  But, the other day we ran across some awesome pickling cucumbers at the local farmers market produce and he begged (really, he did) so I gave in and made my super secret Garlic Dill Pickles for him.  Now I’m going to share them with you.


GARLIC DILL PICKLES
2 pounds cucumber pickles, washed
2 cups white vinegar
4 cups water
1/4 cup pickling salt
2 tablespoons fresh dill*
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large Vidalia onion, whole

  • Chill the cucumbers in a bowl of ice water for 30 minutes or more.
  • In a medium non-reactive pan heat the water, vinegar and salt over a medium high heat until the salt is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  • Cut cucumbers to desired size.
  • Place cucumbers in large jar.
  • Stir garlic, dill and mustard seed into vinegar mix.
  • Pour cooled mixture over pickles.
  • Place whole onion on top to weight pickles to keep them submerged.
  • Set in a cool place for 3-4 days at room temperature and then move to refrigerator for crisp pickles.

*you can use dehydrated, but I prefer not to when at all possible – fresh gives such a better flavor!

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GARDEN TOMATO SALSA

Just in time for Football tailgating!!

GARDEN TOMATO SALSA
6 cups chopped tomatoes
i bunch cilantro, chopped fine
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped fine
Juice of 1 lime*
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
jalapeno, minced to taste

Toss all together and chill 24-48 hours before serving. You end up with about 7 1/2 cups of salsa.

PICKLED EGGS

PICKLED EGGS
1 dozen JUMBO eggs
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 onion, sliced into thin rings
1 whole dried chile pepper

  • Hard boil the eggs.
  • Drain and fill with cold water. Allow eggs to sit in cold water for 20 minutes.
  • Peel the eggs and place in a glass jar, alternating with the onion rings. Add the red pepper.
  • In a medium saucepan combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Pour the hot vinegar solution over the eggs. Cover tightly and let stand in refrigerator for several days before serving.

CHEDDAR & BEER FONDUE

CHEDDAR & BEER FONDUE 
 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup minced yellow onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
fresh ground pepper to taste
3 cups grated Swiss cheese
2 cups grated extra sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Gruyere
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon dry mustard (I omitted as I’m deathly allergic)
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, ground
1 12 ounce beer, preferably Budweiser (I used Dos Equis)
3 tablespoons Amontillado sherry
Sea Salt
Dipping items – crusty bread, apples, sausages, etc…

  • Melt the butter in a fondue pot or heavy sauce pan.
  • Add onion and garlic, stirring until it carmelizes.
  • Add the caraway seeds and stir to brown them.
  • Add the beer, increase the heat and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer to mellow the flavor, about 5 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl toss the cheeses with the cornstarch, mustard and pepper.
  • Sprinkle the cheese mixture, a handful at a time, stirring each batch until smooth and all cheese is incorporated.
  • Stir in sherry and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  • Keep warm over a low flame.

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BAKED CHICKEN TAQUITOS & RUSTIC CHUNKY GUACAMOLE

Hubby actually found this recipe over at Two Peas & Their Pod and requested I make them soon! Taquitos are just rolled up tacos. Her recipe calls for baking them which I adore since we just don’t do or need the fat, but don’t worry they still get nice and crispy in the oven!

Is there anything any more fun for an appetizer than a plate of FUN Mexican food? Don’t forget to top it with all your favorite toppings too. You can leave all the topping separate and do an appetizer bar for a party. The taquitos are the perfect appetizer or even the whole meal. The more toppings the better in my opinion. I’m going to make it again for Super Bowl! Her recipe is great the way it is, we just added a few additional toppings.

Hubby found this recipe just in time for my grocery shopping day too and I made them the next day for the NASCAR race – so perfect because I made them in advance and wasn’t in the kitchen during the race.

I did omit the step (changing it to brushing them with avocado oil) “Spray the taquitos generously with nonstick cooking spray” as I try to use very little chemicals in cooking and the spray just has an odd taste to me when used directly on food. And I added greenchile verde sauce, diced green onions and diced cilantro to the insides.

BAKED CHICKEN TAQUITOS
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

2 cups shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup green chile verde sauce
1 bunch green onions, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or cheddar jack combo
20 corn tortillas *

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
Salsa
Guacamole
Sour Cream
Diced tomatoes
Shredded lettuce
Chopped Jalapeños
Limes for squeezing
Chopped black olives
Chopped Green Chiles
Chopped Green Onion
Crumbled Queso Fresco
Finely shredded Jack cheese
Finely shredded Cheddar cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the shredded chicken with the cumin, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, paprika, 1/2 cup green chile verde sauce, chopped green onions and chopped cilantro. Stir until chicken is well coated and everything is well distributed.
  • Add the shredded cheese and blend well.
  • Before you roll up the taquitos, place the corn tortillas in between damp paper towels and heat them up in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Remove from the microwave and fill quickly.
  • Place 2 tablespoons of the chicken and cheese mixture in the center of the tortilla and roll it up tightly. Place each tacquito, seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Continue rolling taquitos until the tortillas and filling are gone. You should have about 20 taquitos. Nestling the taquitos tightly keeps them from spreading during baking.
  • Use a silicone brush to spread a little avocado oil on the tops of the taquitos.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until taquitos are golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove from the oven and serve warm with desired toppings.

When I make up the platter, I top the taquitos with the toppings we both like and then do up a side bar for the toppings that we use differently.

NOTE 1*: This will make them easier to roll and keep them from tearing.

NOTE 2**: These tasty snacks can easily be made in advance.  You can even freeze the taquitos before you bake them. Lay the taquitos in a single layer, side by side on a baking sheet, cover with saran and freeze. When frozen, place taquitos in a freezer bag and freeze for up to one month. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425° and place frozen taquitos on a large baking sheet lined with foil or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes.

RUSTIC CHUNKY GUACAMOLE

4 large avocados (black in color, slightly soft to the press)
Juice of 1 large lime
Juice 1 lemon or tangerine
1 bunch green onion, diced
3⁄4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, chopped finely
1 large tomatoes, diced
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
finely chopped fresh jalapeno (optional)

  • Slice avocados in half. Discard the seed. Scoop all the meat into a medium bowl.
  • Add juice of one fresh lime immediately to prevent browning.
  • Use a fork and mash to desired consistency.
  • Add chopped onions, tomato, and cilantro, stirring gently to mix ingredients.
  • Add juice of lemon or tangerine.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Stir just slightly, until incorporated.
  • Add jalapeño to taste.
  • Serve with your favorite tortilla chips for a dip, or use with your favorite TexMex meal.

NOTE: If you want a very creamy dip use a food processor. Otherwise doing it by hand gives you a rustic chunky guacamole.

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VAMPIRE SLAYER GARLIC BREAD

OMG This appetizer replaces any entree – it’s ooey, gooey, cheesy and literally melts in your mouth all the while tantalizing your taste buds from the very first bite!

VAMPIRE SLAYER ARTICHOKE BREAD Adapted from Crumb
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced fine

14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained REALLY WELL and chopped small
1 cup shredded Face Rock Vampire Slayer Cheddar cheese
½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
¼ cup sour cream
1 bunch green onions, finely minced
1 package Seattle Sourdough Ciabatta rolls
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
  • Preheat broiler, and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, melt the butter until foamy.
  • Add garlic and green onions sauteing until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Remove from heat, and stir in artichoke hearts, mozzarella, cheddar, Parmesan and sour cream until combined.
  • Slice the bread lengthwise.
  • Place the bread halves on the prepared baking sheet, cut side up, and spoon the cooled cheese and artichoke mixture over top.
  • Lightly salt and pepper to taste.
  • Broil until cheese is melted and bread is hot.
  • Cut each half into pieces and serve right away, while the cheese is still nice and melted.

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BUFFALO CHICKEN FRITES

We love this recipe because it is so easy to personalize it.  Hubby LOVES Bleu Cheese, me not so much so I can make mine with cheddar or Jack.

BUFFALO CHICKEN FRITES
2 russet potatoes
2 medium carrots, sliced on an angle thinly
1 large celery stalk, sliced on an angle thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, sliced on an angle thinly
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bit sized pieces
1/4 cup sour cream
1/8 cup Bleu Cheese crumbles
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/8 cup rice flour
1 +  1 teaspoon Ranch seasoning
2 tablespoons Frank’s Original Hot Sauce
2 +1  tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Avocado oil
Fresh ground Himalayan Pink Salt, to taste
Fresh ground Black Pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Line cookie sheet with foil.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the sour cream, hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Wash potatoes and dry well.
  • Slice potatoes into even size sticks.
  • Toss potato sticks with avocado oil and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  • Arrange potato sticks in a single layer on the cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes.
  • Toss again with 1 teaspoon of Ranch seasoning and bake another 15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
  • While frites are baking, prepare chicken.
  • In a ziplock bag combine the rice flour and 1 teaspoon of Ranch Seasoning.
  • Add chicken pieces and coat well.
  • In a cast iron skillet melt the butter.
  • Add chicken pieces and brown well on all sides.
  • When chicken is almost done move to outer edges of pan.
  • Add 1 tablespoon butter more to center along with onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook until veggies are tender.
  • Mix together veggies and chicken pieces.
  • Drain in a colander of any excess oil.
  • Toss chicken mixture with sour cream mixture.
  • Plate crisp frites.
  • Top with a scoop of chicken mixture.
  • Top with cheese crumbles and ENJOY!

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BUFFALO CHICKEN PULL-APART BREAD

I found this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Pull-Apart Bread on Facebook, you know one of those that they show you in video form in 30 seconds or less AND looks really scrumptious?  I was thinking of making it as an appetizer when our son and family are here at Christmas time, but needed to test it first.

Well, this recipe did not disappoint.  I made some of my homemade Farmhouse Buttermilk Dressing to go with it and the combination was addicting! Instead of an appetizer we added a salad and made it a meal.

BUFFALO CHICKEN PULL-APART BREAD
2 packages Pillsbury pizza dough (I used 1 recipe of my homemade pizza dough)
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (I used original recipe Costco Rotisserie chicken)
1 cup Buffalo sauce (I used Frank’s Original Hot Sauce)
1/4 cup scallions, chopped (I used more, about double – we like onions)
2 1/2 cups grated pepper jack cheese (I used regular jack cheese)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 jalapeno, sliced (OPTIONAL – I didn’t use)
Ranch dressing for dipping (I used a batch of Farmhouse Buttermilk Dressing)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a bowl toss together the chicken, buffalo sauce, green onions and half the cheese.
  • Roll out dough and cut into 3×3 inch squares (about 30 squares total). **SEE NOTE
  • Brush each square with the melted butter.
  • Top each square with a spoonful of chicken mixtures and then a sprinkling of the remaining cheese.
  • Brush loaf pan with butter.
  • Stack each square on top of each other in your loaf pan with the chicken side up.
  • Brush top of bread with remaining butter. 
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 40-50 minutes until golden and set.

NOTE:  The original recipe had you doing each square one at a time, but I found it much easier to do them all at once and then stack for a more even and less messy build.