I get really excited about composing a great meal spontaneously, using only what I have on hand. This recipe came together on a recent Sunday afternoon while I was perusing the pantry and mulling over what I could design for dinner in under 30 minutes. I liken that sort of culinary exploration to a fashionista who creates new clothing combinations with basic items that they already have in their closet. It may appear to have a unique flavor or appearance, but it’s assembled by challenging yourself to work with what you’ve got.
Comfort: The definition of comfort as noted per dictionary.com is to soothe, console or reassure; bring cheer to.
The kitchen is a place of absolute comfort for me and I like to imagine that the dishes I create bring that feeling to others, which is why bread pudding is frequently on the menu at our house. It is my ultimate “comfort food”. There is something about the chunky cubes of brioche, challah or French bread soaked in custard and baked that takes me to a place of instant contentment.
Those interested in effortless game day snack ideas will love these roasted jalapeno peppers. This appetizer has been a perpetual crowd-pleaser at our parties. The melodious combination of the heat from the jalapeno peppers & smoked chorizo, along with the spicy blend of cheeses, makes this recipe a superb addition to your menu for Super Bowl Sunday and fiestas beyond. They can easily be assembled the morning of the gathering and popped in the oven when your guests arrive. If you prefer the make ahead method simply cover and refigerate until it’s time to roast them. Serving while the cheese is still hot and bubbly is your best bet.
12 large jalapeno peppers, sliced in half lenghwise and seeded
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of shredded pepper jack or other Mexican cheese blend
2 ounces of crumbled feta cheese
1/2 lb of bulk smoked chorizo sausage, cooked and cooled
4 ounce can of chopped green chilies, drained
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place sliced jalapeno peppers open side up on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Mix the cheeses, cooked chorizo sausage and green chilies in bowl until well combined.
Spoon the cheese & sausage mixture into the peppers.
Roast for 15-17 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is golden & bubbly.
Serve immediately and preferably with an ice cold cerveza!
Pizazz: exuding charisma and magnetism. Something catchy and immediate. This appetizer has it!
Super Bowl Sunday is just a few days away! The ease of preparation as well as the versatility of chili as a vehicle for comfort food makes it a perfect addition to the game day menu. There are not many recipes where personal preference can dictate the final product the way chili does. Are you a traditionalist? Do you prefer red or white chili? Chunky tomatoes or smooth? Beans or no beans? Spicy or mild? Heat from cayenne or chipotle seasoning? The options for additional ingredients including the meat, pork or protein are vast. Our family and friends enjoy things a little higher on the spice scale but this recipe can be adjusted to your taste. I suggest a good, long simmer as the flavors become brighter with time.
• 2 lbs ground beef (not lean) or ground sirloin
• 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 4 tablespoons chili powder
• 2 tablespoons cumin
• Pinch of cayenne pepper (I am generous with this but I suggest starting small depending on your food audience)
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano
• 2 large cans crushed tomatoes ( I use the 28 ounce cans of San Marzano or Cento)
• 2 14 ounce cans of red gold chili ready diced tomatoes
• 1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, any brand
*Season with salt to taste
• Brown beef and onion until meat is no longer pink.
• Add garlic cloves and all of the spices. Stir just until fragrant.
• Add all of the canned tomatoes and tomato sauce, stir well.
• Simmer all afternoon! Keep the spices at the ready, continue to taste as you go. Season as it cooks. I generally end up adding more chili powder and cumin but I use the above as a starting point. .
Optional toppings: Chopped onions, sour cream, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese, guacamole, sliced jalapeno peppers
The day after: I love to use leftover chili as a topping for fried or scrambled eggs, chili nachos, or spread a thin layer in the center of a cheese quesadilla before popping it in the pan. Let creativity be your guide.
This makes a large pot of chili, cut the recipe in half for a smaller group.