Nacho Pot Pie

It’s starting to ramp up to comfort food season. Not like that has stopped me year round to make most any type of comfort food, but this fall season in particular has already yielded a variety of soups and casseroles. This is one of those recipes. While thinking of a warm recipe for a cool day, I thought of what my wife and kids would eat, and eat well. Nachos! But how could I turn a simple, or complex plate of nachos into something warm and comforting?

I looked around to check on my inventory, and granted I was looking at pie dough and thinking of chicken pot pie, a thought I had to quickly shake out of my mind, and then again back to the nacho thought. How about a riff on chicken pot pie but go nacho style? How about a nacho pot pie?!

Nacho pot pie it was, and not only super easy to throw together, but everything you love about nachos in a luxurious pot pie style, sans the pie crust.

Nacho Pot Pie Recipe
Nacho Pot Pie Recipe

Granted this is not the prettiest of all dishes, but again what pot pie is when you plate it? This is forkalicious delicious.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef, or chuck, cooked and fat removed
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 15 oz can diced green chilies
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of taco seasoning
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 cups of water or stock
  • 1 cup of canned black beans, drained
  • 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black
  • 1 bag of tortilla chips
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • sour cream, optional
  • hot sauce, optional
  • salsa, optional
  • black olives, optional
  • any other favorite nacho toppings

Think nachos. Think pie. Good, let’s go.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Get a large skillet on your burner over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and cook until browned. Drain any fat, and then add the taco seasoning, green chilies, onion, garlic, and 1/3 cup of water. Give a good stir, and cook until the onions are softened, about 5-7 minutes.

Place the meat mixture into a casserole dish and return the skillet to the heat.

Add the butter and let it completely melt. Once melted, add the flour and stir (and keep stirring) until all of the flour is incorporated. Cook this through for a few minutes.

Slowy stir in the milk, and use a whisk if you want to ensure that the mixture gets nice and smooth. No clumps needed here.

Once smooth, add in the remaining water or stock, and stir again. Season with salt and pepper, and let the mixture come to a boil, stirring frequently. The goal here is to make a thicker sauce.

Nacho Pot Pie Ingredients
Nacho Pot Pie Ingredients

Once the sauce thickens, add in the black beans, and return the meat back into the skillet. Stir well and cook for another 5-7 minutes.

Add shredded cheese to the top, then crumble a generous amount of tortilla chips over the top.

Place the skillet (if it is oven safe, otherwise put everything in the skillet before adding the cheese and chips) into the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes.

Now you are ready to serve.

Nacho Pot Pie Recipe
Nacho Pot Pie Recipe

Scoop out your desired amount onto your plate and top with your favorite toppings. In my case it was black olives, shredded lettuce, avocado slices, sour cream, and hot sauce. Feel free to have a bowl of chips on standby for any additional scooping!

The result is spectacular. It is so comforting and everything we loved about a pie or a plate of nachos, all bundled together! Hope you enjoy!

Smothered Burritos with Bombero Sauce

Often times I am thinking about making a great Mexican style sauce. The taqueria I often visit has a small array of sauces that I am totally addicted to, whether that be dipping chips into or spooning all over my tacos. By default I lean on more spicy sauces, probably more spicy than most can typically handle, and this bombero sauce is right up my alley. This is a great sauce on its own as it is smokey and packs a punch, but when ladled onto a cooked burrito, well it just gets elevated to a whole other level.

Smothered Burrito with Bombero Sauce
Smothered Burrito with Bombero Sauce

Let’s get started.

For the Bombero Sauce:

  • 20 dried chile arbol, stems removed
  • Water to cover the chilies, about 2 1/2 cups
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 roma tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, to taste

For the burritos:

  • Cooked and shredded chicken
  • Large flour tortillas, slightly warmed
  • Mexican Queso quesadilla, shredded, to your liking
  • Mexican Crema, to your liking

Start by making the sauce.

To a sauce pan, add the arbol chilies, and the water, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and let the chilies steep for about 30 minutes. During this time prepare the rest of the sauce ingredients.

After 30 minutes, remove the chilies with a slotted spoon and place them into a blender or food processor. Reserve the chile water.

Add the remaining sauce ingredients into the blender or food processor, along with about 1 cup of the chili water, and 2 cups of fresh water and blend until smooth.

Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and use a spoon to mash the mixture through the strainer. This will filter any seeds or thicker stuff that you can discard.

Now you have your bombero sauce. Taste and season with any additional sauce.Yep, packs a little punch, but don’t worry, my wife and kids loved this sauce and everyone devoured the smothered burritos.

Now add that sauce to a sauce pot and bring to a simmer, cooking for about 10-15 minutes. Let cool and store in your refrigerator until you are ready to use. I couldn’t wait. I was the dude sweating in the kitchen, repeating the tortilla chip dunk into the sauce. It’s addicting.

 

Bombero Sauce Recipe
Bombero Sauce Recipe

Now onto the burrito. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Warm a large flour tortilla so it is pliable, then add in shredded chicken, and about 1/2 cup of the quesadilla cheese. Roll and fold the burrito, and place onto a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. The goal is to get a slightly crunchy outside of the burrito. Repeat with as many burritos as you would like to make.

During this time, warm up the bombero sauce on the stove, and bring to a low boil.

After 10 minutes, remove the burritos, and get ready to sauce them. I ladle sauce over the top of mine, top with more cheese, and place back into the oven until the cheese is melted. I let the wife and kids ladle as much as they want and add cheese if desired. After the cheese has melted, remove and drizzle Mexican crema over the top.

Dig in.

Not only do you get this great, almost baked chimichanga, burrito, but the spiciness balanced with the cheese and crema just made this a meal so liked that I think we all wanted more the following day. It’s that good. Feel free to use that sauce to your liking. Think enchiladas, drizzle over tacos, you name it. It’s a winner. I hope you enjoy!

Roasted Tomato Crostini Recipe

We are probably not unique this time of year whereas we are sitting on a bunch of tomatoes. I’ll admit that my wife loves tomatoes a lot more than I do, but when they are hanging from the vine or loaded in a bowl on my counter from a recent harvest, well I’m about to do something about it. That’s when I typically think about harvesting the rest of our basil from outdoors and making a fresh sauce to be used on pizzas or lightly tossed with some pasta, but this time around I decided to take a generous handful of tomatoes and slowly roast them. Why? Well, because I had some great day old bread on the counter, fresh tomatoes, and fresh basil, and that screamed one thing and one thing only. Roasted tomato crostini.

Roasted Tomato Crostini Recipe
Roasted Tomato Crostini Recipe

This is a super simple recipe to make, can feed a crowd, and is really delicious especially with the roasted tomatoes.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 whole roma tomatoes, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 loaf day old French bread, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, lightly torn
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, optional
  • mozzarella balls, optional

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees. To a parchment lined baking sheet, add the sliced tomatoes. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and place into the preheated oven, cooking for about 45 minutes

During this time, slice the bread. Remove the tomatoes, and let them cool.

Roasted Tomato Crostini
Roasted Tomato Crostini

Add the bread to the oven, and cook just until lightly crisped.

Take the bread out and rub each piece of the bread with the garlic clove.

Chop up the cooled tomatoes, and add to a bowl with the freshly torn basil. Add in the olive oil and gently stir.

Lay out your bread onto a serving tray, and spoon on the tomato and basil mixture.

Roasted Tomato Crostini
Roasted Tomato Crostini

Add the mozzarella balls in between some of the crostini for those that want to add a bit of cheese to their bite.

Dig in and enjoy. That lightly toasted garlic bread topped with fresh basil and roasted tomatoes really make this a perfect bite for any occasion. Hope you enjoy!

Pasta with Peas and Mint

Lately my wife and I had to cut back the mint in our backyard. If you have never grown mint, be careful, especially if you are not planting in a pot. The mint literally will take over your yard, and this year it decided to not only take over its home where we planted many years ago, but it also decided to make its way into our raspberry bushes. As much as we love using mint for a variety of different recipes and teas, we are not a fan of it taking over our yard. That’s when I decided to take some things into my own hands and figured I would take a couple of handfuls of that mint and use it up in a dish I knew my entire family would enjoy. It’s pasta with peas and mint and it’s a good one.

Pasta with Peas and Mint Recipe
Pasta with Peas and Mint Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fettuccine, or your favorite pasta cooked al dente
  • 1 cup of cooked pasta water, reserved
  • 1/2 cup of garlic scapes, blanched, or 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of fresh mint, packed
  • 2 cups of frozen peas
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt, to taste

Start by heating a large skillet, and on medium heat add the olive oil and butter. Once melted, add the cracked black pepper, blanched garlic scapes, and frozen peas. Add the pasta water, and stir, letting the mixture come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a medium-low, then add in the cooked pasta. Stir, making sure to coat all of the pasta.

Pasta with Mint and Peas Recipe
Pasta with Mint and Peas Recipe

Once the pasta is coated, add in the fresh mint, giving a good stir and toss, season with a touch of salt, then fold in the parmesan cheese.

Give another stir, then plate and serve. Season with a touch more parmesan cheese, and adjust the taste with any salt.

I was not surprised that my kids devoured this dish. The combination of mint and peas is a match made in heaven, and granted my vegetable hater (age) picked some of those peas out, he was still slurping those noodles, along with the mint. That’s a winner in my book. Hope you enjoy!