Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mmmmm Nachos

Nachos are the perfect food. I love them. The nachos I made are hard to blog because I didn't have a recipe. I don't even know how much of anything I used.

I bought a rotisserie chicken. I shredded it and threw it in a pan along with corn, jalapeno peppers, chipotle peppers, black beans, red kidney beans, diced tomatoes and some spices. I tackled the nachos like they were a lasagna. The chips were a mixture of blue corn chips and red bean and rice chips. I layered them in a casserole dish, added the chicken mixture and topped it with habanero cheese. I had 3 layers that reminded me a little of our Mexican casserole dish. They sat under the broiler until the cheese melted.

These were really yummy. And hot! I plated them topped with hot salsa, sour cream and avocado slices.

Lucky’s Nachos are the perfect food. I was merely trying to replicate them here for Cinco de Mayo. I decided at some point I was GRILLING the nachos. I took my cast iron skillet and started with a layer of blue and white tortilla chips, topped that with a mixture or pepper jack and sharp cheddar. Next: the chicken. (I, too, used a rotisserie chicken, shredded it and added stewed tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, onion, garlic and some cumin, chile powder, etc. I’m not even sure). A black bean and corn salsa I threw together went on next and then onto the grill. They went about ten minutes until the cheese was all melty. I topped the platter with sour cream and green onions. OLÉ!

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that Split Pea Soup follows our ham blog.   It’s a great way to use up leftover ham and the ham bone.  The soup was good.  It was a little thick but still good.  I gave most of it away.  Honestly, it just kept reminding me of that awful ham.  Further proof is the fact that there's no picture on my camera for the soup.  Here’s hoping Meredith took one.

Oh wow- you poor ham.... Laura really hated you, didn’t she? Aaaaanyway- split pea soup. It was good! Super quick and easy- I threw it in the crockpot and went to bed. I made drop biscuits when I got home from work and reheated the soup for a 10 minute dinner. I loved the homey-ness of something so simple and tasty. I did snap a pic before I chowed.

CRAP! I forgot to mention my super cute Pier 1 Easter/Spring dishes. I had the ham in them and then the soup!

Hamming It Up

First of all, here’s a helpful hint. When someone from the south tells you to buy an uncooked ham, ask them if they mean fresh or smoked. I thought Meredith meant fresh.  I was wrong.

I used Paula Deen's Fresh Ham recipe.  I hated it. I’ve had fresh ham before. I liked it. Paula’s an accomplished chef.  This leads me to believe that the problem lies with me. Maybe it’s because I’m not southern. Whatever the reason, I won’t make it again. It cooked for a little over two hours and it probably could have used more time. It was boring, bland and uneventful.

This was my Easter ham! Typically, I go to my aunt’s house or to my mother’s for Easter and never manage to score any leftovers. I decided to switch it up a bit and try something different. This recipe for Glazed Smoked Ham from the Food Network kitchens is a keeper. I don’t usually like ham glazed with some sweet, sticky stuff, but the apricot preserves with the mustard and vinegar and then the clove and allspice... whatever the magic that happened in that oven was – wow. This was maybe the best ham I’ve ever had*. The gravy/sauce with the ham was a little different for me - tasted great but I’ve never actually put anything *on* my ham. I completed my Southern Easter dinner with my grandma’s potato salad  and Paula Deen’s collard greens!

*My deepest apologies to Laura on the purchase of her ham. Had her phone not died while she was in the grocery store, I’d have surely told her to buy a smoked ham! I have no idea how to cook a fresh ham. Why would you?! Smithfield puts the smoke in there for a reason!!

Sloppy Joe.. Slopp-a Sloppy Joe

Recipe courtesy Guy Fieri: Sloppy Joes with Maui Onion Straws

So *this* is what sloppy joes should taste like! I get that Manwich is about convenience and this recipe has a million ingredients (really most of them are pantry staples anyway) but wow- these were really, really good. I didn’t do the “Maui Onion Straws” – it seemed too much effort for the end result – but I’d be curious so see what they add to the sandwich. Toasted bread is a must and I might try melting a piece of plain old American cheese on the leftovers next time. And there will definitely be a next time.

I love Sloppy Joes.  I never had them as a kid, but I learned to like them as an adult.  Guy’s recipe was so much better than the average recipe.  The recipe made so much mixture, that when I got tired of eating it on a sandwich, I used it as chili and ate it with some tortilla chips.

Make this!  It’s flavorful and comforting.  Make some potato salad on the side.   Oh, and my suggestion if you had to have cheese would be cheddar.

For fun:

Excuse the onslaught!

We’ve been slack. You can blame it on me (Meredith) and my job. I’ve just finished my busy season and finally have the will to look at a computer in my down time again. So... in that crazy time, Laura and I still cooked together - we just didn’t get around to blogging it. So what follows is several weeks of backlogged dishes. Enjoy!