Cheesy Potatoes

Over the course of the last several years, my sister-n-law brings these cheesy potatoes to holiday gatherings. She brings the dish because they are really good. I normally get my fill on these potatoes and I am fairly content until she serves them for the next gathering, however this past weekend I had a true craving for them. My father-n-law invited us for dinner, for what he coined ‘the last night to grill’, this past weekend, and I offered to bring a dish, and that dish being a potato. Now I thought for a few minutes, until I thought of the cheesy potatoes. Cheesy potatoes, with my twist on them.

Cheese Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2 bags of Ore-Ida Southern Style Hashbrowns, frozen
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of onion soup
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup of french fried onions
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Pepper
  • Milk (enough to build a nice texture with the canned soup)
  • 6 tbsp of butter
  • 2 dollops of sour cream
  • 4 cups of finely shredded four cheese blend

In a large pot, add the cream of soups and roughly 2 1/2 cups of milk, and slowly whisk to bring it together.  Continue cooking on medium heat, and add the butter. Get a large bowl ready because you will add the potatoes and combine everything in this bowl before transferring it to your large casserole dish.  To the potatoes add it all in, reserving a cup or so of the cheese to add in later, and mix well.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large casserole dish. Add the bowl of potatoes to the casserole dish and cook for roughly 2 hours, covered. Add the remaining cheese to the top, and place under the broiler to crisp up the cheese and potatoes for a few minutes.

Remove from the oven, and let cool for about five minutes as these are piping hot. These cheesy potatoes are so good that you will probably want them not only for a snack, but also for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These served 9 with two days of leftovers. Great for a large gathering. For a kick, top with bacon.

Cheesy Potatoes
 
Ingredients
  • 2 bags of Ore-Ida Southern Style Hashbrowns, frozen
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of onion soup
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup of french fried onions
  • 1½ tbsp Salt
  • 1½ tbsp Pepper
  • Milk (enough to build a nice texture with the canned soup)
  • 6 tbsp of butter
  • 2 dollops of sour cream
  • 4 cups of finely shredded four cheese blend
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, add the cream of soups and roughly 2½ cups of milk, and slowly whisk to bring it together. Continue cooking on medium heat, and add the butter. Get a large bowl ready because you will add the potatoes and combine everything in this bowl before transferring it to your large casserole dish. To the potatoes add it all in, reserving a cup or so of the cheese to add in later, and mix well.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large casserole dish. Add the bowl of potatoes to the casserole dish and cook for roughly 2 hours, covered. Add the remaining cheese to the top, and place under the broiler to crisp up the cheese and potatoes for a few minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven, and let cool for about five minutes as these are piping hot. These cheesy potatoes are so good that you will probably want them not only for a snack, but also for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These served 9 with two days of leftovers. Great for a large gathering. For a kick, top with bacon.

 

Pozole

Pozole with PorkI am giving my hats off to an old colleague of mine for sending a tweet about this dish some time ago. Now I have heard and seen of pozole in the past, but never really tried it. As I often frequent El Rey, I am always amazed as to how the locals are always ordering the soups and stews, and not so much the tacos, burritos, and other grub that we Caucasian folk tend to default to. So in my recent journey, I made pozole, and must say that I will continue to make this delicious, and flavorful soup throughout these upcoming months. It is truly a comfort dish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of pork shoulder, cubed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp of oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chipolte adobo paste
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 head of green cabbage
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cans homily, 30oz
  • water
  • cilantro, chopped
  • corn tortillas, warmed
  • 2 limes
  • avocado, (optional)
  • radish, sliced (optional)

Begin by adding your pork to a large pot. Add in your cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and chipoltle adobo paste. Add two cups of water and the water from the canned homily, along with the chopped onion. Bring to a boil, cover, and let simmer for nearly one hour. Keep an eye on the soup as you will want to skim off any of the fat content that comes to the top. After the hour, add in your garlic, and homily and cook for another hour.

Plate by using a ladle, and adding the soup to a large bowl. Squeeze a bit of lime juice, add the cilantro, cabbage, and other optional ingredients. Serve with warm tortillas to dip into the broth. The end result is a soup that has an incredible texture from the soft pork, the homily that is much like a potato/corn combo, and the hint of lime and cilantro. A must make comfort food.

Wisconsin Beer, Brat, and Cheddar Soup

Brat and Cheddar Beer SoupBefore summer is over, I wanted to grill brats one last time. I am certain there will be another but just in case, I wanted to give my love and tribute to the bratwurst. For those that are not familiar with the bratwurst, it is truly, in my opinion, a true Wisconsin favorite. They are found on most every grill in Wisconsin during the summer months. You find them at tailgate parties during the Brewers and Packers season. Simply put, they are Wisconsin. Brats are typically served on a bun with the usual suspects of ketchup, mustard, onion, relish, or sauerkraut, however this time around I wanted do do something different. I made a soup consisting of cheese, beer, and lots of great spices and vegetables. This recipe makes probably about 12-16 bowls of delicious soup, and only takes about 45 minutes to get it served. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 carrots, minced
  • 4 celery ribs, minced
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 4 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 6 cups of chicken broth
  • 12oz can of your favorite beer
  • 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp chipotle adobo sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 grilled brats, cooled and sliced

Start by getting your large soup pan ready by adding the oil and bringing it to temperature on medium heat. Add your mirepoix to the pan (carrots, onion, celery) and cook until they soften, roughly 10-15 minutes. Add in the flour and mix well, cooking for another minute. This builds a nice texture and will create a velvety texture when the soup is completed. Add in your potatoes, beer, and chicken stock and bring this to a boil and cook for 15 minutes until the potatoes are softened. Now, you are going want to take about three cups out and place into a blender and puree, adding back to the soup pan. Next, add your seasonings including dry mustard, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and the chipotle adobo sauce. Add in the two cups of cheese and stir until melted. Add in your milk and worchestire sauce, as well as your sliced brats. Let this continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, and serve. Trust me on this one, it is a must make, not only for the summer months, but great for the fall months. 

Beef Broth and Vegetable Soup

Beef BrothYou got a day? Good because when you have that day, this one is a must make. It is the process of making rich beef broth. Once you have the broth, use it how you would like, in my case I created my mom’s vegetable soup, however you could use it for the french onion soup as well. This recipe is extremely easy to make, however the only factor is time, and when I say time, I mean 8-12 hours. The broth literally takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and the rest of the time is letting it cook on the stove. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Large Soup Pot to hold everything listed below
  • 2 Large Onions
  • 4 Large Tomatoes
  • Bag of Celery, cleaned and base removed
  • 3 bulbs of garlic
  • 1 bag of carrots, washed
  • Beef bones
  • Package of short ribs (I used boneless beef ribs as I wanted more meat)
  • Red wine (optional)
  • Water

Vegetable SoupStart by rinsing your tomatoes, carrots, and celery. In your large soup pot, add everything. You do not have to cut up anything, nor do you have to remove the skin from the onion or garlic. Fill the pot with water and put it on the stove on medium heat. Once the soup has came to a boil, put it on medium-low heat, covered, and let this simmer for eight hours or more. Once the broth has cooked, strain the meat and the vegetables. I used a large spoon strainer for this process, making sure to get the bone out of the meat. I let this cool outside as it is cold in Wisconsin right now. In the morning, I took the solidified fat and threw it out.

This creates your beef broth.

For the vegetable soup, I brought the broth to a rolling boil, and then brought it back to simmer. During this time, I added the following ingredients for the soup, and stemmed away from my mom’s recipe as she does like adding corn or potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bag of frozen peas
  • 1 cup of corn
  • 2 potatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 large can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 pound of chopped, fresh green beans
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Add these ingredients and let cook for an hour or so. I left the soup pot on simmer all day and fed many people, including myself several times over. This is an excellent soup and could be eaten with some great crusty bread, by itself, or with the pepperoni rolls. Enjoy.