Super Bowl Repeat — Cheese Crisp: Quick, Fun, and Tasty


Now this is a fun Super Bowl snack, or even a late night snack or a quick lunch.  It’s tasty, spicy, and you can even add other ingredients such as leftover chicken, pepperoni, or even bacon bits.

What you’ll need:

  • Flour tortillas—good, fresh, preferably large
  • Pickled jalapeño slices—finely chopped
  • Cheese—your choice, but for the pictures taken below I used Tillamook mild cheddar, Mission Jack, and aged mozzerela
  • The Kitchen Sinkget creative with the toppings

Preheat your oven to 400°.  While the oven heats, assemble your crisps.  Lay out the flour tortillas.

Don’t They Call These “Wraps” Back East?

Chop your jalapeños.

Eat the Heat, They Can’t be Beat

Spread the jalapeños over the tortillas.

Looks Green, but They’re Red Hot!

Add the cheese (or cheese blend in this case).

Cheesy Pleasy

Place directly on the wire rack in your oven.

As if the Jalapeños Weren’t Hot Enough Already

Bake until nicely browned around the edges and underneath and remove from the oven.

A Mexican Pizza?

Cut and serve.

Crispy, Crunchy, Cheesy Goodness with Heat to Spare

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Super Bowl Repeat — Carolina-style Mustard Barbecue Hash


Why am I repeating this recipe?  Simple.  I lied on Tuesday about brisket sandwiches being the best way to graze while watching the Super Bowl.  There’s an even better way to graze through all those Super Bowl food commercials.  It’s Carolina-style mustard barbecue hash piled high inside a toasted hamburger bun.

Well, I must say that looking at my blog hit counter, it appears barbecue in general and smoked pork shoulder in particular are very popular indeed.  Last Wednesday I shared with you the secret to perfectly smoked barbecue Boston butt (pork shoulder).  I also told you that I would give a recipe for that second shoulder that we still have left over after serving up the first.  This recipe is super simple, irresistibly delicious, and incredibly addictive.  I’ve had people who attended one of my barbecues almost a decade back remark how much they miss the taste of this dish.

Smoked Boston Butt (pork shoulder)

Smoked Boston Butt (pork shoulder)

What we’re going to make today is Carolina-style mustard barbecue hash — a cousin to the pulled pork that’s slathered in tomato-based barbecue sauce but instead using a tasty sauce that enhances the delicate smoked flavor of a perfectly smoked shoulder rather than disguising it beyond all recognition.  Let’s face it:  if you’re going to take your perfectly smoked shoulder and drown it in traditional barbecue sauce, then you might just have well slow-cooked that pork shoulder in the oven.

What you’ll need for the sauce:

Sauce ingredients:  Apple Cider or Distilled White Vinegar and Yellow Mustard

Sauce ingredients: Apple Cider or Distilled White Vinegar and Yellow Mustard

First, take your leftover butt and slice it into ¼ to ½ thick slabs

Half-inch-thick slices

Half-inch-thick slices

Cut those slabs lengthwise into thick strips, then into cubes.

Slices cut into strips, then cubed

Slices cut into strips, then cubed

Sautée the pork cubes until you’ve rendered out much of the fat (about thirty to forty-five minutes).

Render out most of the fat

Render out most of the fat

Once the fat pools nicely in the bottom of the pan, drain it off.

When the fat pools in the bottom, drain it

When the fat pools in the bottom, drain it

While the pork drains, mix together equal amounts of yellow mustard and either distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.  Go easy here.  You can always add more.  You cannot, however, remove too much vinegar and mustard from the pork once it’s in there.  If you get it too tart, you’ve blown the dish (and destroyed your delicious smoked pork).

Mix together equal parts vinegar and mustard (but don't overdo it)

Mix together equal parts vinegar and mustard (but don’t overdo it)

Mustard/Vinegar Blend

Mustard/Vinegar Blend

Pour your mustard/vinegar blend into the now fat-drained pork cubes.  Add water and simmer covered for at least thirty minutes, stirring frequently to avoid scortching and adding more water as necessary if it starts to dry out.

Mustard/Vinegar Blend goes into Pork Cubes; add water as well

Mustard/Vinegar Blend goes into Pork Cubes; add water as well

The cubes will begin to break apart into a hash-like consistency.  Don’t overdo it, however.  You still want some cube-like texture for interest and as little bursts of smokey flavor.

Simmer, adding water as necessary.

Simmer, adding water as necessary

The completed dish should be only slightly tangy, with neither mustard nor vinegar overpowering the pork and its delicate smokey flavor.  Traditionally, this is served over buttered long-grain rice, but it also works very well on toasted hamburger buns in a unique take on the ubiquitous (but vastly inferior) pulled pork sandwich.

Serve over buttered long-grain rice or on toasted hamburger buns

Serve over buttered long-grain rice or on toasted hamburger buns

 

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Super Bowl Repeat — Jalapeño Pesto Dip


And just in time for the Super Bowl, that perennial favorite I post every year about this time — my world-famous Jalapeño Pesto Dip as well as Lipton’s even more famous California Onion Dip.

The great things about this recipe are:

  • It’s healthy as all get out.
  • It’s so tasty you’ll completely forget how healthy it is.
  • It’s not as spicy hot as it sounds (although it’s definitely not for the timid of tongue, either).
  • It goes great with anything from tortilla chips to corn chips to potato chips to even pretzels.
  • It’s so simple to make even a husband can do it.
  • The leftover jalapeño pesto is great on a whole variety of dishes ranging from omelets to burgers (use as a topping)  and even mixed with ground beef for tacos or chili.  By all means use your imagination with the leftover pesto, because you’ll probably think up dozens of uses for it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh whole  jalapeño peppers
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. granulated or 2 tsp. fresh crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ⅓ cup good extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or other healthy monounsaturated oil

Step 1. Bring to boil just enough water to immerse the jalapeños.  Once the water is boiling, add the jalapeños and bring the water back to boiling.  Gently boil the jalapeños, stirring occasionally, for fifteen minutes.  Drain the jalapeños and set aside until they are cool enough to handle.

Step 2. Slice the jalapeños in half lengthwise and remove the stems.  Now, this next procedure is where you control the heat to some extent.  On most of the jalapeños, remove the seeds and the ribs to which those seeds are attached.  Keep the seeds and ribs on approximately one-third of the jalapeños, choosing in particular those jalapeños with very white, healthy-looking seeds and discarding those seeds that are dingy or brown in color.  Increasing the number of seeds and ribs retained will increase the heat; decreasing that number will help to tame it.

Step 3. Place the jalapeños, cumin, garlic, and salt into a food processor.  While pulsing, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.  Do no overdo the processing or you’ll destroy those beautiful white seeds and lose texture, but you do want a fairly smooth consistency.

Serve with either warm or cold with your favorite chips. Warm is particularly interesting, especially if you contrast that with a well-refrigerated California onion dip (one envelope of Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix combined with one pint of reduced-fat sour cream).  Serve these two dips side-by-side and watch eager fans alternate between the two of them.

Alternately, stir into the California Onion Dip some of my Jalapeño Pesto Dip to add zip to the former while taming the latter.  It’s quite a delicious combination.

And since this is listed under Wine & Food the next question would have to be, what kind of wine would you serve with this?  Well, first of all, this is definitely an accompaniment to beer, especially a good, fairly strong ale.  But if you would like wine with this, it’ll have to be one that helps tame the fire.  That suggests a semisweet white.  Think:  Johannisberg or German Rieslings, Chenin Blanc, or Gewürztraminer.  The cooler white wine serving temperatures supply immediate relief and the sweetness helps neutralize the capsaicin (the compound that gives peppers their “heat”) in the long term.

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