Roasted Shishito Peppers

I’ve always been a fan of roasted peppers. There’s something about eating peppers raw (which I love by the way, especially Thai bird chilies), and eating them roasted. One of my favorite roasted peppers, and I am always a fan when eating Latino food and they plop one on my plate, is chiles toreados.  Chiles toreados is a roasted whole jalapeno pepper that is lightly oiled and salted, and when bitten into just screams deliciousness. The great thing about these roasted chiles is they may be a bit mild, medium, or pack a heck of a punch. Roasted shishito peppers is basically the same, however these are more on the milder side, allowing you to eat them as a snack.

Roasted Shishito Peppers
Roasted Shishito Peppers

Upon wandering around my grocery store this week, I noticed they had shishito peppers in bulk. Was I stoked? Heck yes. No one really carries shishito peppers around here, so I decided to grab a handful and check out the quality before purchasing them in bulk.

I took them home and roasted them. Were they good? No, they were excellent.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of shishito peppers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp koshers salt, to taste

Start by heating a large cast iron skillet on medium-high heat, and let it stay on the burner for a few minutes, or until it starts to lightly smoke.

During this time, add the shishito peppers to a bowl, add in the oil and salt, and give it a good toss.

Add these to the hot skillet, and stir around. They will blister really quickly, and get a nice char in only a matter of a few minutes.

Roasted Shishito Peppers
Roasted Shishito Peppers

Once these are lightly charred, remove and serve immediately.

Gosh these things are great. Perfect to serve as an appetizer, along with some cold beer, these are seriously a real delight. Pick them up by the stem, and pluck the sucker in your mouth. Chomp and remove the stem. The fun part is that you may get a spicier one, but with that said, these are not too spicy, so don’t be afraid.

Read More

Open-Faced Sardine and Onion Sandwich

I don’t know what it is, but when I am home alone and my wife and kids are out running errands, I decide to make something a bit naughty. I mean naughty in the sense where I don’t need a comment from any of the family members such as ‘gross’ or ‘what the heck is that?’. This was one of those times. A can of sardines and I have been having a stare down for some time now. You know that can I’m talking about. That can you quickly go past when shopping at the store. Not me. Those cans are something I take a look at carefully, and actually loved those darn little smoked oysters years ago, especially when served on a cracker. Sardines are no exception to that.

You can buy an array of sardines in a can, whether they are boneless and skinless and packed in oil, or mustard, or tomato sauce. For me, I like mine packed in olive oil, and I could not care less whether they are boneless or skinless.

So as I sat alone, and hungry on a Saturday morning, I decided to win that stare down and come up with a pretty darn good open-faced sardine and onion sandwich. If you are scared of sardines, don’t be.

Open-Faced Sardine and Onion Sandwich
Open-Faced Sardine and Onion Sandwich

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 whole sardines, boneless and skinless
  • 1 slice of Texas toast, toasted, or standard sandwich slice
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 lemon, lightly squeezed

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Upon the preheat, add the sardines to a oven safe plate, and place in the oven during the preheat to warm through.

Place your bread in the toaster.

How to make a sardine and onion sandwich
How to make a sardine and onion sandwich

When the bread has toasted, remove it from the toaster and slather on the Dijon mustard, from edge to edge.

Place on half of the sliced onions on the mustard. Remove the sardines from the oven and arrange them on the toast.

Place the remaining onion onto the sardines, and squeeze a bit of lemon over the top.

Open-faced Sardine and Onion Sandwich
Open-faced Sardine and Onion Sandwich

Was this sandwich good? Are you kidding me? It was so satisfying. The sardines themselves lend the flavor and texture of what you might expect from tuna, but possibly better in this case. The slight bite of onion along with the tangy lemon and mustard made every bite memorable, especially with the crunch of the toast.

Did I mention how good sardines, in moderation, are good for you?

Read More

Chorizo and Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Burgers and Summertime. What’s not to love? We grill burgers about every two weeks at my house, and the routine is always the same with the family. Two cheeseburgers, one plain with bacon, no burger for my youngest, and well, then there is me and that’s when I started to get creative.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of a simple cheeseburger, a big fan at that, but sometimes you want something a bit off the usual path. That’s when I took a look in my refrigerator and found some good old Mexican chorizo, and hence the idea on this burger recipe. The chorizo and cheese stuffed burger.

Chorizo and Cheese Stuffed Burgers
Chorizo and Cheese Stuffed Burgers

The end result was something super delicious, and an explosion of flavor when biting into it. A must make in my opinion.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 1 cup Mexican chorizo, cooked and fat removed
  • 2 slices of American cheese
  • Cooked bacon, optional
  • 1 hamburger bun, good and sturdy, toasted
  • mayonnaise, optional
  • pickles, optional

Start by cooking your Mexican chorizo. During this time, form your hamburger patties.

Divide your ground chuck into 1/4 pound patties. When the chorizo has cooled, take one patty and place on the American cheese. Top with the cooked and cooled chorizo, then top with the other 1/4 pound patty.

Chorizo and Cheese Stuffed Burgers
Chorizo and Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Shape and form the patties so that both patties are combined, and sealed. Season with salt and pepper if you desire.

Once your grill is heated, cook over direct heat for a few minutes, then flip, add another slice of the American cheese, and cook for another few minutes before finishing over indirect heat until your desired doneness.

To assemble, take your bottom toasted bun and slather on some mayonnaise. Top with bacon if desired, then the cooked chorizo and cheese stuffed burger, then the top bun. Spear a pickle on top and dig in.

The result is awesome. The creaminess from the mayonnaise, the crunch from the smoky bacon, and then the explosion of the chorizo and cheese. Good? Heck yes. Delicious to say the least and as meaty as it sounds, it was not heavy in feeling. As a matter of fact, it was hard to put down.

So the next time you are firing up the grill to make some burgers, and want something different, give this one a shot. It was a real treat.

Read More

Taco Pie

This past fourth of July, we decided to break from our normal routine of staying put in our neighborhood, and instead decided to go to our sister-in-law’s house for the weekend. It was fun to say the least. We were able to go fishing along the Rock river, as well as just spend good old time with family. Granted we did not catch many fish, but my kids were able to spend some good quality time with their cousins, and they loved every second of it! With that said, my cooking responsibilities were set aside as well. My sister-in-law did not even let me help. WITH ANYTHING. I will be honest, it actually felt pretty good not to cook for a bunch of people. Regardless, there was one dish she threw together that was so simple, and one where everyone devoured. It was a taco pie.

Taco Pie Recipe
Taco Pie

This taco pie is everything you could probably love about tacos, but done in a pie kind of form. In my case, I decided to use pre-baked puff pastry sheets as my top and bottom crust. Did my family love it? Heck yes, and it was so, so good.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sheets of puff pastry, cooked according to directions
  • 1 1/2 lb ground chuck, cooked and fat removed
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 1 whole jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds removed if you do not want it spicy)
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of cooked corn kernels
  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa (I used a blend)
  • 3 cups colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Doritos, crumbled
  • black olives, optional
  • sour cream, optional
  • shredded lettuce, optional
  • additional jalapenos, optional
  • lime wedges, optional
  • hot sauce, optional

Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, add in your ground chuck, and cook until browned. Strain and discard the fat.

Return the ground chuck back to the heat, and toss in the onions, corn, jalapenos, salsa, and seasonings. Stir and cook until the vegetables have softened. Once softened, remove them from the heat, and prepare your taco pie.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

To a baking dish, one large enough to fit one of the pre-cooked puff pastry sheets, place the puff pastry sheet on the bottom.

Ingredients for making a Taco Pie

Top with some of the cheese, then layer on the meat mixture, then layer on the rest of the cheese, and then the crumbled Doritos. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and melted. Once melted, remove and top with the remaining puff pastry sheet, and then back in the oven and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the top puff pastry is warmed through.

Now you are ready to dig in. I let the pie rest for about 5 minutes before slicing into squares, but you do what you want.

Once sliced, place onto your plate, and add sour cream, olives, hot sauce, lettuce, and limes. Or don’t. It’s your call.

The ultimate is the taco pie. It’s a bit sweet from that awesome puff pastry, and then an explosion of flavor from everything you love about a spiced taco meat mixture. You could do this with chicken or pork if you want, but the classic ground beef mixture hit a homerun with my kids. Did I mention my oldest even ate it, and loved it? To me, that’s a win, win, and I’m thankful my sister-in-law turned me on to something so easy, yet so comforting to make. Hope you enjoy!

Taco Pie
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry, cooked according to directions
  • 1½ lb ground chuck, cooked and fat removed
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 1 whole jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds removed if you do not want it spicy)
  • ½ tbsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of cooked corn kernels
  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa (I used a blend)
  • 3 cups colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Doritos, crumbled
  • black olives, optional
  • sour cream, optional
  • shredded lettuce, optional
  • additional jalapenos, optional
  • lime wedges, optional
  • hot sauce, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, add in your ground chuck, and cook until browned. Strain and discard the fat.
  2. Return the ground chuck back to the heat, and toss in the onions, corn, jalapenos, salsa, and seasonings. Stir and cook until the vegetables have softened. Once softened, remove them from the heat, and prepare your taco pie.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  4. To a baking dish, one large enough to fit one of the pre-cooked puff pastry sheets, place the puff pastry sheet on the bottom.
  5. Top with some of the cheese, then layer on the meat mixture, then layer on the rest of the cheese, and then the crumbled Doritos. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and melted. Once melted, remove and top with the remaining puff pastry sheet, and then back in the oven and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the top puff pastry is warmed through.
  6. Now you are ready to dig in. I let the pie rest for about 5 minutes before slicing into squares, but you do what you want.
  7. Once sliced, place onto your plate, and add sour cream, olives, hot sauce, lettuce, and limes. Or don’t. It’s your call.

 

Read More