Nacho Average Potatoes

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:

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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!
Serves: large skillet, enough for several
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
What to get:
  • 2 russet potatoes (large, or 3 smaller, cut into ~1/3 inch slices, with peels)
  • 4 strips bacon (cooked crisp & chopped)
  • 1 sweet white onion (medium size, sliced thin—vertically into half circle slices)
  • pinch of sea salt (for onions)
  • pinch of ground black pepper (for onions)
  • ⅓ cup fresh jalapeño, chopped finely (deseeded, I used ~2/3 of pepper)
  • 1 cup Guinness, stout beer
  • ~10 oz Irish Sharp Cheddarm sliced (I used Kerrygold & sliced mine thinly)
  • 4 oz Irish Porter cheese, sliced (Cahills Original Irish Porter, if unavailable—substitute cheddar)
  • ¼ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup sour cream (I use Daisy brand, light)
  • 1 T fresh avocado, very ripe (to mix with sour cream, optional)
  • 1 T green onion, chopped (green portion only)
  • ⅛ cup pear tomatoes, halved or chopped (yellow or red varieties)
Seasonings for Baking Potato Slices:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¾ tsp coarse sea salt
  • ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp fresh garlic, finely chopped
What to do:
  1. In a large skillet cook bacon until crispy, remove from pan to set aside & reserve bacon grease (no more than ¼ cup, can do bacon ahead if you reserve drippings).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In same skillet, preheat bacon drippings and add the sliced onions, stir to coat in drippings, add pinch of salt & pepper, and let cook on medium low for ~5 mins.
  4. To onions add ¾ of the Guinness porter, stirring to combine & continue to cook/caramelize onions for another 10 mins, then add the chopped jalapeño & cook an additional 10 mins.
  5. Add last ¼ cup of Guinness & continue to cook onion/jalapeño mix until liquid cooks out & onions area rich brown color & very soft/caramelized (~10 more mins), stirring occasionally.
  6. Once cooked, remove from heat & set aside.
  7. In a large mixing bowl add sliced potatoes, EVOO, and potato seasonings listed above, stir well to combine on all slices.
  8. On a large foil-lined baking sheet (with a wire rack on top) arrange potato slices in a single layer and bake on 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
  9. Increase heat to 500 degrees, and continue to cook potatoes until they begin to brown/become tender in center with fork, but brown on edges, then remove from oven & let cool slightly (to handle).
  10. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  11. In a greased cast iron skillet/large rimmed dish, arrange Irish nachos by partially overlapping potato slices with cheeses (slightly on top of each other), around the circular dish.
  12. Add the caramelized onion mix evenly on top/in-between rows of potato slices with cheese.
  13. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar towards center/on top, then add some of the crumbled bacon.
  14. Place skillet into oven & heat until cheese is thoroughly melted/potatoes are heated throughout (~5-8 mins).
  15. Meanwhile in a small bowl mix add the ripe avocado & smash with back of spoon, mixing with sour cream, set aside (If no avocado, plain sour cream works well too).
  16. Remove skillet from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes, then serve warm in skillet with sour cream on top (in center or on side as it may melt somewhat), then top with chopped green onion & cut tomatoes.
  17. Serve with hot sauce or salsa, optional!
Notes:
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!

Irish Nachos - 091These 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). 

So raise your pints up high! May you be lucky in good drink, good food, and good company!

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Welcome to the dinnervine!

Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

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