What do you get when you combine green beers, crowds of green people, and shots of green whiskey (besides a large headache tomorrow)? That’s right, Saint Patrick’s Day! I cannot believe the time is already upon us. Last year we celebrated in the kitchen with delicious boxty and finished the evening with Irish coffee (throw in a couple pints of Guinness somewhere in-between). My family is part Irish and that’s a good enough excuse for me join the festivities. Though I may not be parading around my city dressed like a leprechaun, I do attempt culinary creativity, and this year that involved some good ole’ potatoes! A staple since the 1700’s, potatoes fueled the Irish population daily in many variations. Though we’re not serving ours alongside corn beef & cabbage, nor in our Guinness beef stew. but instead a savory version of Irish Nachos. We’re topping our taters with some Guinness caramelized onions, jalapeños, Irish porter cheese, Irish aged cheddar, and don’t forget the bacon. This is one skillet sure to soak-up all of the stout at the end of the night. We can skip the crowded pub, and indulge at home with a helping of these:
Irish Nachos (& Guinness Caramelized Onions)
You don’t have to have tortilla chips to enjoy nacho goodness! The dinnervine is using potatoes for this take on Irish Nachos loaded with toppings like our guinness caramelized onions, Happy Saint Paddy’s!
What to get...
What to do...
- In a large skillet cook bacon until crispy, drain on paper towels & reserve bacon grease (no more than 1/4 cup, can do bacon ahead if you reserve drippings).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel & slice onion in half vertically then thinly slicing each half (you will have half circle rings).
- In the same large skillet you cooked back, preheat with bacon drippings and add sliced onions, stir to coat in drippings, add the pinch of salt & pepper, and let cook on medium low for ~5 mins.
- To onions in skillet add 3/4 of the Guinness porter stirring to combine and continue to cook/caramelize onions for another 10 minutes, then adding the chopped jalapeño & cook an additional 10 mins.
- Add last 1/4 cup of Guinness and continue to cook onion/jalapeño mix until liquid cooks out & onions are rich brown in color & very soft/caramelized (~10 more mins), stirring occasionally.
- Once cooked, remove form heat and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl add sliced potatoes, EVOO, and potato seasonings listed above, stir well to combine on all slices.
- On a large foil lined baking sheet with a wire rack on top, arrange potato slices in a single layer and bake on 400 for 30 minutes.
- Increase heat to 500 degrees and continue to cook potatoes until they begin to brown and become tender in center with fork, but brown on edges, then removing from oven and letting cool slightly to handle.
- Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees.
- In a greased cast iron skillet or large rimmed dish, arrange Irish nachos by partially overlapping potato slices with cheeses on top of each, around the dish.
- Add the caramelized onion mic evenly over top and in-between rows of potato slices with cheese.
- Then sprinkle with the shredded cheddar towards center on top, then adding some of the crumbled cooked bacon.
- Place skillet into oven and heat until cheese is thoroughly melted and potatoes are heated throughout (~5-8 mins).
- Meanwhile in a small bowl mix add the ripe avocado a5d smash with back of spoon, then mixing with the sour cream, set aside (If no avocado, plain sour cream works well too).
- Remove skillet from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, then serve warm in skillet with sour cream to top (in center or on side as it may melt somewhat) and then topping with the chopped green onion & cut tomatoes.
- Serve with hot sauce or salsa, optional!
You can fry the potatoes in oil if you prefer, but I prefer to bake. The texture of the potatoes are still soft with a firmer crisp edge, depending upon how thick you cut your potato slices. You can use any cheese, but I had a nice block of aged Irish sharp cheddar to use! The porter infused cheese was very good, but if you don’ find one, I would just add more shredded cheddar. This is best served right away, and you can add hot sauce or salsa to spice it up further!
from the kitchen of www.dinnervine.com
These are indulgent but very delicious. To be true to my Irish roots, I selected an aged Irish sharp cheddar, and also came across a tangy Irish porter cheese. The rich Gunniess is the perfect addition to help caramelize our sweet onion. We also add some jalapeño for a kick, and top with crunchy bacon, sour cream mixed with fresh avocado (green is the thing today), chopped green onions, and some fresh pear tomatoes. Hot sauce would also be a nice add-on. By oven-roasting the potatoes in herbs & fresh garlic, we’re infusing our spuds with maximum flavor (and we wouldn’t want it any other way on this holiday)! A long day calls for a cheers, and some of these potatoes.
So raise your pints up high! May you be lucky in good drink, good food and mostly good company!
That’s right! There’s always room for a buttermilk biscuit, especially if it’s homemade. With all of this chicken stew we’ve been cooking lately, it was time to bring these baked beauties back to the menu. To say we’re making biscuits is a little vague, as that word means different edibles in different places. For example, in England I might spend my morning dunking rich tea biscuits into my piping cup of Earl Gray, whilst reading OK! and learning which prenatals the Duchess Kate is taking. However, in the southern United States, I might face a critical morning dilemma of turning my biscuit into a sandwich with my scrabbled eggs, or just slathering it with honey (ignoring the fact I gave up gluten for Lent). Different strokes, for different folks.
We’re making the Southern-style, which are essentially a savory quick bread, with a soft center and golden-brown crust. You can literally have one morning, noon or night! Instead of topping these with gravy or adding a touch of honey (both commendable options), I went savory by adding cheddar cheese & chives! If the thought of making biscuits from scratch seems like a pain in the ass, I can assure you it’s pretty painless (and world’s better than the frozen variety or those from a mix). Unlike many traditional ‘breads’ we don’t need yeast to leaven these; therefore, we don’t have to wait on dough to rise. These guys are flour-based and with a few pantry ingredients, they’re on your table in about 10 mins! I even use my food processor to work the butter into the flour mix, which makes this even faster . . . and the less obstacles between me and a biscuit the better!
Here’s how we do it:
Cheddar Chive Buttermilk Biscuits
You can’t go wrong with savory buttermilk biscuits, especially if we add cheddar cheese and chives!
What to get...
- 2.25 cups flour (all purpose, and extra for working dough)
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1T baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 6T cold butter (unsalted, cut into ~12 small chunks)
- 2.25 cups buttermilk (I used the reduced fat variety)
- 2T fresh chives, chopped finely
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- *butter for topping biscuit (optional)
- *Food Processor for cutting butter into flour (optional but recommended)
- *Piece of plastic wrap to work-out dough
- *biscuit cutter (I use one ~3 inches in diameter)
- *baking pan, cookie sheet or baking stone
What to do...
- Place 6 tablespoons of the butter in the freezer for about 10 mins & preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Prepare a large cutting bored (or counter space )with flour for pressing-out dough.
- In a bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, soda, powder, salt, pepper) & whisk together until combined.
- Remove butter from freezer & cut into small chunks.
- In a food processor add flour mix and ‘cut’ the cold butter chunks into the mix by pulsing the processor until you have a fine, slightly-crumbly biscuit meal.
- Return butter/flour mix to mixing bowl, stir in chives & cheese, then add buttermilk gently mixing with a spoon (only stir to combine & avoid over handling the mix, dough should be wet & sticky)
- On floured board or surface, put dough in center & place large piece of plastic wrap on top, gently press the dough out into an even layer (~ 3/4 of an inch thick).
- Lift-up plastic wrap & fold dough over in half, place back the plastic on top and press out dough again until even (~3/4 of an inch thick).
- Take round biscuit cutter dipped in flour and cut out biscuits (my dough yielded 12), you can work together scrap dough to cut out additional biscuit rounds.
- Place biscuit rounds on a non-stick cooking sheet sprayed with oil, with edges touching all together.
- Bake in a pre-heated 425 degree oven for ~12-15 mins (less time of making smaller biscuits), or until outsides are lightly browned & slightly firm to touch, avoiding over-browning.
- Cool biscuits slightly on pan, serve warm.
This is easy to make especially if using a food processor which takes less time to cut the cold butter into the flour mix, and does it more evenly. Though you can do this step by hand. Watch biscuits in oven to make sure they’re not over browning—if over-baked they will be hard. Traditionally I bake my biscuits on a non-stick cookie sheet grouped all together (edges touching), which makes them a little softer. If you bake them separated-out, they will have harder crust.
from the kitchen of www.dinnervine.com
If you want to make plain biscuits, this recipe is great sans the cheese & chives, but cheddar really does make everything better. These would also be well with Pepper Jack for a little extra kick. I make these often and love to have them in lieu of dinner rolls. They’re moist, flakey and go great with soups of all kinds, not to mention breakfast sandwiches—the palatable possibilities are endless. These are bound to be a household favorite, Happy Friday to you!
These days, doing things from scratch seems to take too long. Busy schedules mean less time, and the same goes for time spent in the kitchen. We need to do things faster. We want shortcuts—instant pudding mix, canned soup, pre-shredded cheeses, oh and don’t even get me started on grocery-store rotisserie chickens! I would be lost (and pretty hungry) without them. However, on some weekends I like to slow things down and take a little more time to cook, from scratch. I’m not talking churning my own butter here, but marinating, braising and all of those flavor-maximizing preparations.
Some recent cold weather left me longing for a warm and hearty meal. I decided stew would fit the bill, but I didn’t want to do beef. With chicken breasts already in my refrigerator, I envisioned a country-style chicken soup with hearty veggies . . . and dinner was born—Cottage Chicken Stew. (Well, I live in a cottage, so it just seemed appropriate!) My version is going to be slightly heartier than a regular soup with lots of fresh herbs, carrots, pearl onions, celery, lima beans, corn and red potatoes. I also decided to make this one slightly creamy for the sake of texture.
Don’t get me wrong, this dish isn’t difficult, but we’re going to take the time to braise the chicken and simmer to let our flavors meld together. Here’s what went into our pot:
Dinner is hearty and wholesome with this country-style chicken stew, bursting with fresh cooked chicken, and an array of vegetables. Perfect on a cold weekend night!
What to get...
For Cooking the Chicken:
- 2 large bone-in chicken breasts
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup sweet white onion, chopped
- 3T butter (unsalted)
- 1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin)
- dash dried thyme leaves
- dash sea salt
- dash ground black pepper
- dash poultry seasoning
- dash paprika
- 1/4 cup white wine
- *1/2 cup chicken stock (from 32-oz carton listed below)
For Making the Soup:
- 1 32-oz carton chicken stock
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 7 baby red potatoes, halved (if larger red potatoes, quarter them)
- 1.5 cups thickly sliced carrot (chunks about 1/2 inch wide)
- 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
- 6 small pearl onions, quartered
- 10-oz frozen baby lima beans (I used one half of a frozen bag)
- 2 garlic cloves, mince
- 1 (8.5-oz) can of cream-style corn
- 1 can white shoe peg corn, drained
- 1 cup Half-and-Half (or cream)
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 2 T fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup flour (I use quick absorbing Wondra brand flour for sauces)
- *14.5 oz can chicken broth, low sodium (optional depending how long you simmer soup)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (more to taste)
- ground black pepper, to taste
What to do...
Prepare the Chicken Breasts:
- Rinse chicken breasts, pat dry & lightly season evenly on both sides with pinches of thyme, sea salt, pepper, paprika & poultry seasoning.
- In pre-heated, enameled cast iron pot, add 1/4 cup olive oil (EVOO) and melt 3T of butter.
- Once butter melts add the 1/4 cup chopped white onion & chopped garlic, sauté for ~5 mins on medium-low, stirring occasionally as onion becomes translucent.
- Increase heat to medium & add chicken breasts (fatter breast-side down) and sear for ~3 mins without moving chicken.
- Flip over and sear on bottom side (with bones/rib) for another few mins on medium heat, then add the 1/4 cup wine & scrape off any browned bits on pot bottom.
- Continue to cook on medium-low until wine begins to reduce.
- Reduce heat to low and add the 1/2 cup stock and the potatoes, carrot chunks and celery (we will start to steam these as chicken finishes).
- Partially cover pot with lid continuing to cook until chicken breasts are cooked through with no pink in center (my chicken breasts were very large cuts, so took ~20 more mins to cook on low, covered).
- Remove cooked breasts from pot (continue cooking vegetables already in the pot with lid partially covered), and allow chicken to cool before removing meat and cutting into chunks, set aside.
Prepare the Soup:
- To the pot with cooking vegetables, add pinch salt, pepper, 1/4 tsp dried thyme, minced garlic, frozen lima beans, and additional 1/4 cup white wine, increasing heat to medium-low, stir & continue to cook uncovered for ~10 more mins (test potato halves with fork to see if slightly tender).
- Add butter, stir & once melted and heated slowly sprinkle flour over top of pot ingredients (making a roux) to thicken, stirring the flour in gradually (you may add more flour if there is a lot of accumulated liquid).
- To thickened base slowly stir in 2 cups of the chicken stock (about 1/2 cup at a time) stirring constantly as it incorporates, heat at medium-low.
- To pot add can of cream corn, shoe peg corn, cooked chicken chunks, quartered pearl onions & fresh parsley.
- Let soup simmer (~20 min) on stove adding some of the remaining stock periodically if soup requires more fluid.
- Add additional sea salt and black pepper to taste (I added salt later as soup simmered), then bring heat down to low & let soup drop in temperature to warm, then stir in 1 cup half-and-half or cream.
- Continue to simmer until have desired fluid level & ingredients are tender (test vegetables with fork).
- Depending on how long you let soup simmer, if fluid levels evaporate too much, add more stock to some chicken broth gradually.
The seasoning & fluid amounts may vary. I let my soup cook about an 1.5 hours slowly, as a result I needed to add some chicken broth. If you gradually add the stock while simmering, you can control the thickness more easily. If you find you’ve added too much fluid for your liking let soup simmer longer uncovered or add another can of creamed corn (I did not add a second can however). Leftovers store well in the refrigerator or frozen (If freezing make sure stew ingredients are totally covered with broth/fluid, add more as necessary to freeze). Season the salt & pepper to your liking, I added more salt towards the end after testing.
from the kitchen of www.dinnervine.com
I served hot bowls of this along with my homemade cheddar chive buttermilk biscuits, and the meal was complete! This recipe is great if you’re looking for an alternative to beef stews, or are just looking for something wholesome for dinner.
It sure wasn’t fancy, but it sure was good—hope you enjoy!
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