Category Archives: Recipies

I like to cook. “Recipe” is probably too strong of a word for my “just throw it all in and see what happens” approach to the culinary arts, but sometimes I hit on great ideas.

Recipe: Sriracha-Honey Glazed Chicken with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Good enough of a supper experiment to get its own post! These chicken thighs and brussels sprouts are delicious and quick. So good that I’ve not had a chance to take photos either time I’ve made the recipe.  I’ll update when I can. lol 

As usual with my recipes, these are just guidelines. Swap out anything you don’t like and try new ingredients. As Coart says, “Just get good food and get it hot.” 

I’ve enjoyed having tube or squeeze bottle paste of garlic and of ginger in my frig. I’ve been adding it to nearly anything – the ginger adds an open fresh flavor, the garlic brings so much yum.  It’s faster than mincing fresh on a busy weeknight.

Ingredients

  • chicken thighs: 1 or 2 per person (how hungry are ya?).  I use skin-on, bone-in thighs because crispy chicken skin is delicious. You do you.
  • fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and anything larger than a marble cut in half
  • sriracha (this one is fancy or get the basic one at the store)
  • honey (not the expensive one)
  • garlic paste (I like the ones in a tube, but squeeze bottles are common now in the produce section of stores). If you hate the idea of garlic in a tube, smash some on your cutting board and grind it into a paste. Be fancy, whatever. 
  • ginger paste (ditto to the squeeze bottle – again, check the refrigerated section of your produce market, near the spices)
  • olive oil
  • a pinch or two of kosher salt
  • dry herbs are nice on this dish.  I use California Seasoning from Spice & Tea Exchange. But thyme or oregano would be nice too
  • a splash of a good vinegar, like sherry vinegar, rice wine, red wine vinegar, even apple cider vinegar if that’s all you got on hand
  • Optional: A couple cloves of garlic. Peel ’em if you want, or don’t.
  • if you have it on hand: rendered bacon fat*

*Real talk: If you buy excellent bacon (our favorite is Trader Joe’s applewood smoked bacon), then you should save the rendered fat whenever you cook up a skillet of bacon and have clean fat left over.  I use this ceramic strainer & jar to hold mine, and it’s on the counter next to the stove at all times. Bacon fat brings EVERYTHING to the flavor party, and just a teaspoon in the skillet (combined with olive oil or butter if I need more fat in the pan) will be the perfect start to many meals.

Tools: This is best in a cast iron skillet, IMHO, but any roasting setup will do.  A rimmed baking sheet (lay down some foil) will work great as well, but you’ll have to start the chicken in a skillet first.

How to prepare

  1. Prep the chicken —  bring it to room temperature (if you have time; don’t worry if you don’t).  Pat it dry if you’re feeling extra. If it’s Tuesday and you can’t even, just get it out of the frig and keep rolling…..
  2. Preheat the oven to 375.  Get a burner going under a cast-iron skillet, a little below medium.
  3. Put some oil in the pan – as I explained above, I go with a tsp of bacon fat & then a bit of olive oil if needed — and gt it hot, then lay in the chicken skin-side down (if there’s skin), or just put it in there if not.  Lightly salt the chicken.  Leave it till it browns (but don’t let the skin burn.)  About 5min, flip the chicken over and brown the other side. You’re not trying to cook it through, just get some good browning going.
  4. Meanwhile, trim the brussels sprouts and throw them in the pan, round the edges, cut side down, as you go. The early ones will get extra brown and that’s cool.
  5. Mix up the glaze:  I didn’t list measurements because it depends on how hot you want it, how sweet you like it, etc.
    Let’s say start with almost equal parts honey & sriracha, then not quite as much (each) of the garlic paste and ginger paste, and a splash of olive oil + a splash of a good vinegar. Stir it up and add a pinch of salt and maybe some fresh cracked pepper.
  6. Once you’ve flipped over the chicken and the skin is a little browned, you’re ready to glaze the chicken and get  it ready for roasting.  Here’s what I do:  flip the chicken back over onto the non-skin side and spoon some glaze onto that side, smooth it around. Flip chicken over so skin is up, loosen the skin from the meat, and put a big spoon of glaze into that pocket, spread it around.  Then top the chicken with a bit of what’s left (you don’t have to use it all, be smart).
    (If you must transfer to a different pan for roasting, do that here.)
  7. Roasting: Stir the brussels sprouts if they’re already starting to stick and lightly salt them, then sprinkle a bit of dry herbs over the skillet. As noted, i use California Seasoning, but oregano would be great, whatever you like.  Slide the garlic cloves in amidst the chicken, and put the skillet or pan into the oven to roast.
  8. Bake for at least 20 minutes, and check to see if the chicken is done. Small thighs will take 20-30min, really big pieces of chicken or a lot of chicken  might need up to 40, but overall chicken doesn’t take long so keep an eye on it.  You want the juices to run clear; cut into a piece and check.  The sprouts likewise should be deep brown and caramelized, and soft.

I like to let the skillet sit out of the oven for about 5min before serving – loosely cover it with foil if you want. A cast iron skillet will keep the brussels sprouts hot.  If you’re not using cast iron, maybe skip this.

AND EAT IT — SO GOOD!

Side ideas

  • a crunchy salad is always welcome
  • sliced fresh tomatoes if they’re truly in season, topped with a wee bit of balsamic vinegar & olive oil
  • roast some broccoli along with the brussels sprouts, especially if you’re doing a big sheet-pan dinner here

Recipe: Monday Night Fast Whole Grain & Protein Bowls

I don’t remember where I originally got this idea, but I think it was the lucky cross-pollination of one too many Bon Appetit magazines and the discovery of quick-cooking faro at the grocery store, combined with a goal to eat better whole grains and lean proteins in 2019. 

We make these grain bowls on busy weeknights because they come together fast – in less than 30 minutes. If you’re using a leftover protein (literally anything could work here), then you could be done in less than 15.

The secret: this dressing! It packs a lot of flavor and punch. Print off the recipe and take it to the store with you this weekend. You’ll have to invest in some ingredients initially, but they’ll last you for several weeks, bringing the total cost of this recipe into what i consider “great quality food for way less than I’d pay at a restaurant” – and that’s good eats!

Also, you can swap freely — use an oil you have on hand, use a different vinegar, try a new flavor. If it tastes good after you shake it, you’re good to go!

Monday Night Grain Bowl | RameyLady cooks
This grain bowl was made with leftover pork, but we usually go with salmon or another “healthy” fish when we can catch some on sale. This bowl includes quick-cooking faro, fresh spinach and tomatoes, roasted red peppers (from a jar), edamame and cashews, orange slices, and avocado with leftover roast pork loin from the previous day.

Lori’s Monday Night Grain Bowl

Here’s the basic outline:

  1. Start cooking the protein or pull out leftovers
  2. Start cooking the grain (farro, brown rice, etc)
  3. Make the dressing – maybe double it for use again next week
  4. Prep the fresh vegetables, fruit, garnishes
  5. Assemble! Pour a little dressing over every layer, especially the grains so they soak up that flavor!

The Dressing

Make extra and leave it in the frig for next week’s bowl. 

These are proportions, not measurements. Taste and see if it’s good; adjust as needed. If you aren’t sure where to start, try going with 1-2 Tablespoons as your “1” in the 2:1:1 ratio and multiply accordingly.  You’re going to need enough to dress the vegetables, the grain, and the meat, so make enough!

  • SECRET WEAPON OF GOODNESS:  2 parts toasted sesame oil
  • 1 part  flavored olive oil – we use chile oil
  • 1 part sherry vinegar or rice wine vinegar or …use what you’ve got; taste and adjust until it’s tangy and flavorful without being obnoxious
  • 1 part orange or lemon juice – fresh squeezed is nice
  • ½ part srirachaoptional  (lighten up on this if you don’t like hot) – can use any hot sauce that carries flavor as well as heat
  • a few dashes soy sauce or fish sauce or other salty but flavorful dark liquid
  • dash of minced or ground or grated garlic and/or ginger or use a paste that combines both!
  • pinch of salt (if you didn’t use soy sauce)
  • pinch of pepper (fresh ground of course, if you can)
  • pinch of dry aromatic herb- optional — I like oregano or thyme

Tool: Salad dressing shaker — OXO makes an inexpensive one; I use a Tupperware shaker that’s been in my kitchen forever.  Perk: Double the recipe and store the rest for next week. If sealed, it’ll keep for a couple weeks easily.

Cook a Grain

Here’s how we do it: Put ½ cup dried quick-cooking farro* per person (maybe ⅓ cup if you need to stretch it) into a saucepan with 2 cups of water and 1 Tablespoon of Mexican adobo seasoning* or chicken bullion granules.  Cook for 10-12 minutes (per package directions) once it comes to boil. Drain and divide among bowls – we usually pile it in the center, near the spinach.

*We use quick-cooking 10 Minute Farro from Trader Joe’s. It cooks in 10-12 minutes and it’s done! Costs about $2 a bag at TJ.  Link goes to Amazon; you can buy quick-cooking faro in most grocery stores for WAY cheaper than what you’ll pay on Amazon, but at least you’ll see the packaging.

*My store carries Adobo seasoning in the Mexican shelf, but the standard Goya brand is reaaaally salty (which is partly why I use it when cooking the farro).  You can buy organic adobo blends that are less salty, but don’t forget to salt the farro or rice while it cooks.

Assemble your Bowl!

Again, use what you’ve got!  Swap in other fresh salad ingredients or proteins.  We build up from greens to grains to protein, adding a little dressing on every layer, parking produce, citrus, and avocado around the sides of the bowl, then garnishing.

  • 3-5 oz per person of cooked protein – *see below for ideas
  • handful of kale, spinach, arugula or other sturdy fresh green – no iceberg lettuce!
  • ½ cup per person cooked “quick” farro or brown rice (or any cooked, hearty grain)  *see above for notes
  • fresh produce:  we use cherry tomatoes (sliced in half), thin-sliced red or green onion, sliced bell peppers or jarred roasted peppers — pretend you’re making the best salad of snacking vegetables and go at it
  • orange segments or other citrus, optional
  • edamame and/or roasted nuts (almonds or cashews) really add a crunchy punch
  • sliced avocado – also helps cool off the heat from the chile oil and sriracha

*Proteins – We sometimes roast a piece of salmon and split it into 3-4 oz portions for the top of the bowl.  Or pan-sear shrimp.  Or used cooked chicken, pork, or steak that’s been reheated.  You can pan-fry or bake tilapia.  Consider cooking a little extra next time you’re making supper, and plan to use the left-overs in the grain bowl the next day.  If you’re vegetarian, maybe fry an egg on top – that would be delicious!

The key is to think ahead just enough that you have a leftover ready to go or a fast-cooking protein, or maybe a rotisserie chicken from the store on your way home.  And you could make things even faster by cooking rice or wheat berries or farro ahead of time and having them in the frig, ready to reheat, dress, and eat!

Monday Night Grain Bowl | RameyLady cooks

 

Honey Apple Pie with Walnuts & Cranberries (Recipe)

honey apple pie recipe
This is the real deal, folks! Out of the oven, cooled down, glazed with honey on top, about to be EATEN.

This is the pie you need to make to celebrate the arrival of FALL! 

Don’t get too particular about the measurements  – if you use a store-bought crust, then the rest can be estimated as I’ve noted below.   The base recipe was something I found on Google at the Betty Crocker site, but I quickly diverged from those directions to this. 😉

Why I love this pie:

  • The cranberries and walnuts keep it from getting too candy-sweet, as apple pie can be. I can’t speak to how this pie would turn out if you left out both. I think you could safely omit one of them and end up with a balanced product, if you don’t have cranberries or nuts on hand.
  • The honey brings more than just “sweet” to the party. I used a local wildflower honey, and there are light notes of that in every bite. If you have access to a high-quality flavored honey like tupelo or orange blossom, use it to glaze the crust at the end. Regular (read: cheaper) honey is fine for the filling.  Save your expensive stuff.
  • Walnuts add a nice crunch to the filling — I like that, rather than just mush. You could easily use almonds or pecans or any other nut you love if that’s not walnuts.
  • Don’t skip toasting the walnuts. Throw them into the oven for a couple minutes while it’s preheating. But keep an eye on them! They burn easily!
  • I’m a fan of Pillsbury rolled-up pie crusts. I haven’t made a pie crust, aside from a special pecan pie recipe I make a couple times a decade, since the early 2000s. If you have a favorite homemade recipe, I’m sure it’ll work just fine here.
  • My pie didn’t ooze all over the oven – a plus! But it was mounded quite high when I put it in the oven, so I placed it on a wide piece of foil on a cookie sheet to catch any drips.

Lori’s Honey-Apple Pie with Walnuts and Cranberries

1 package of 2 pie crusts. I use the rolled-up ones by Pillsbury. If you want to do a crumb-oatmeal topping instead, go for it.

5 medium to large apples of any flavorful variety. We’d just hit the local farmer’s market, so I had Jonagolds, Arkansas Black, Fuji, and another type I forgot.

a couple handfuls of chopped walnuts, like 1/3 cup. Toast them in the oven for a few minutes on the cookie sheet you’ll put under the pie later, as the oven pre-heats

a couple handfuls of fresh cranberries, rinsed. You could probably use frozen whole cranberries. I don’t think they’d need to be thawed

about 1/3 cup honey, divided. You’ll need 4-5 T for the pie filling and a couple more teaspoons at the end

a few T flour

a large dose of cinnamon – probably 1 T

about 1 tsp of salt

1 T cold butter cut into pieces

PIE DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees with a rack on the bottom notches.
  2. Peel the apples and chop into quarters. Trim any remaining skin from the ends and take out the seed core. Chop into big 1.5in chunks and toss in a large bowl.
  3. Add 1-2 T flour (I used 2-3 spoons), 1 T cinnamon (be generous!), any other spices you like on apples, and 1 tsp of table salt to the bowl and toss with two forks till the flour and spices are coating the apples pretty evenly.
    I didn’t add lemon juice because these apples were really juicy already and I didn’t care about browning. I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt tho.
  4. Using a big tablespoon, drizzle 4-5 T of honey into the bowl and toss into the apples in a couple batches. Don’t worry too much, just try to distribute the honey. Lick the spoon.
  5. Put the bottom pie crust into your dish, pushing into the edges and leaving the overhang. I did a 9″ pie plate (Pampered Chef stoneware) but you could add another apple and do a 10″ pie, no problem.
  6. Scatter the cranberries across the bottom of the pie plate.
  7. Spoon half the apples into the crust.  Add the walnuts in an even layer.  Pour in the rest of the apples, mounding high in the center.  (Seriously, this was a TALL pie.)
  8. Chop 1 T of butter into little bits and scatter around the top of the apples before placing the top crust.
  9. Wet the edge of the bottom crust with your moistened fingers (water, duh).  Then lay the top crust onto the pie. Press the edges closed, pinch all the way around, then turn the edges under and flute.   Cut slits on top.
  10. Bake at 450 for 30 min, then cover the edges with a metal ring or foil and lower the heat to 325 degrees. Bake another hour.  It’s a pie, you can’t overbake it unless you scortch the edges. Go for nice golden brown on top. Pull the pie from the oven when it’s bubbly through the slits and the top crust is thoroughly cooked.
  11. Once out of the oven, use a teaspoon to drizzle 1-2 tsp of honey over the top crust and smooth it out using the back of the spoon. The hot pie will liquefy the honey and make this job a little easier.
  12. Let the pie cool for several hours on a wire rack.  The filling will settle and the top crust might stay tall. That’s fine. You now have a pocket for ice cream! 😉

Seriously, y’all.  We thought this was delish!   The interior filling is dark and aromatic without being too sweet. I’ll definitely make again.

Update, 10/30: I’m surprised by how well this pie holds together. Here’s the piece I had for breakfast this morning. Perfect pie shape. Flavors have melded well. Light honey sweetness accents the savory walnuts and tangy cranberries. Definitely will bake another of these for Thanksgiving.

Slow-Fried French Fries Recipe | Bon Appetit

I know this is going to sound crazy, but I ran across this slow-fry recipe for making French fries at home a couple years ago, and it’s honestly THE BEST for that one time a year you think, “Hey, I’m going to throw caution and wisdom to the side and actually fry these frozen potato sticks.”

In essence, you dump cold, frozen french fries into a deep pot (I use a thin T-Fal 4-quart pot that I also use for making pasta, because it’s sturdy enough to work well but thin enough to transfer the heat quickly).  Cover the fries with oil,  preferably with an extra inch of oil above the fries.  (I’ve done it with less in a pinch.)  Turn the heat to medium and walk away for about 15 minutes.

From there, you’ll stir the fries occasionally for the next 20-30 minutes as they cook through. Once they’re cooked, crank the heat up to medium high and leave them alone for 10-15 minutes to brown thoroughly and get crispy.

Pull them out (I use tongs) onto paper-toweled racks or baking sheets and salt them.  They end up crunchy and delicious, without spattering grease all over the kitchen (the normal outcome of throwing cold food into a hot fryer). De-lish!

via Slow-Fried French Fries Recipe | Bon Appetit

PS. You can usually get more than one fry-session out of the oil, unless you’ve got weird potatoes coated in seasoning or whatever.  Let the oil cool off on the back of the stove, and later that night (or the next morning), use a funnel to pour the clean oil back into your oil bottle. Leave the bottom layer, because the fry bits will have settled.

As long as you didn’t scorch the fries, you can get another round of frying out of that oil. It’ll be a darker color, but it’s perfectly fine for a second batch.

PPS. This is a great recipe to pair with my favorite Belgian beef stew, using this recipe …   which ranked as one of my favorite discoveries of 2014.  Our local Belgian pub, The Trappe Door (oh how I love them!), serves their flemandes stew with crunchy fries and fry sauces, and it’s lovely.

An Iskander Experiment

A couple weeks ago, we met a friend for Turkish food and I experienced the most amazing and delicious “Iskander”: flavorful, tender lamb and steak overtop crunchy croutons, topped with a savory red sauce, spiked with garlic, and served alongside aromatic rice and a cooling yogurt sauce.

A week later, I found myself in possession of some leftover steak and sausages from a weekend cookout. And so the experiment began. All I have are my Snapchat photos to immortalize this delicious meal! Will 100% make again. In fact, we had it again 2 days later!

Fun fact: Iskander is Turkish for Alexander, as in “the Great.”

My Turkish Iskander Experiment

Ingredients Used

  • Leftover grilled steak and Italian sausage sliced into thin pieces
  • Olive oil and a bit of butter
  • Italian bread- a few slices cut into cubes about the size of large croutons
  • Sundries tomatoes in their oil, from a jar- 2-3 T chopped fine plus a T of their oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced into very thin slices, plus another clove minced
  • Dash of sriracha
  • Fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt, pepper, etc
  • Optional: cooked rice
  • Optional: yogurt or sour cream

MAKE TOASTY GARLIC GARNISH

Heat a bit of butter and some olive oil together in a sturdy skillet. (Cast iron for the win!) Add the slices of garlic and toast in the oil until they are at least golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to cool. When you have some downtime, toss the chopped toasted garlic with the sun dried tomatoes and some of the tomatoes’ oil. Season with salt if needed -taste it first. Set aside as garnish.

MAKE GARLICKY CROUTONS

Add the cubed bread to the flavored oil/butter and sauté until they’re crunchy and golden brown all over. You might need to add more butter and oil to the pan, and season with a little sea salt if you’d like. Remove to plates – we’ll be topping them with the meat in a second.

FLASH SAUTÉ THE MEAT

Throw the minced garlic into the pan with a little olive oil, and sauté it for a minute to release some flavor. Add the thinly sliced meat to the pan to crisp it up and heat it. I added a dollop of sriracha and some Italian seasoning at this point because why not? Once the meat is crisped, divide it among the plates, setting it atop the piles of croutons.

MOAR TOMATO!!

Dice a couple tomatoes and add to the hot pan. Cook for just a minute to release the juices and pick up some of the garlic from the pan. When you’re happy with it, split it among your plates. (You could also use some red spaghetti sauce, but it was nice fresh.)

Finally, top each serving with the sundried tomato and toasted garlic mixture.

At the restaurant, this was served alongside rice and a typical Middle Eastern yogurt/cucumber sauce. I didn’t do that, but it’s a great complement.

DONE!

I hope you run your own Iskander Experiment next time you’ve got leftover grilled meat. IT’S SO GOOD!

Recipe: Sriracha Maple Pork Chops & Sides

One pan! SRIRACHA MAPLE PORK CHOPS, CRISPY SWEET POTATO ROUNDS, and BRUSSELS SPROUTS 
– Lori’s Dinner Experiment #3627

I’m sorry it took me so long to get on the sriracha train. I was dumb. I will happily admit this as I shove another spicy-sweet bite into my mouth. This quick one-pan dinner experiment came together in about 30 minutes, and I couldn’t be happier! 

Serves 2, as written here

Preheat oven to 425. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.

Slice a sweet potato into rounds about half inch thick or so. Arrange on one half of sheet. Sprinkle with brown sugar, salt, pepper, fajita or chipotle seasoning, and a drop or two of sriracha sauce (each). Roast 15 min then flip before adding the pork:

Drizzle pork chops with olive oil, salt, pepper, sriracha (just a little), and maple syrup. (Chops should be lightly covered but not dripping.) Add to the sheet pan and return to oven to roast for about 25min.

Look at the beautiful brown crispiness of the potatoes (upper right) and the glazed pork (bottom left)

Meanwhile, trim ends from Brussels sprouts and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add to baking sheet – if you’re out of room, roast in separate pan or skillet for 20 minutes. During final minutes of cooking, splash with plum vinegar or lemon juice before returning to oven to finish. If you happen to have chopped, cooked bacon on hand, you could sprinkle the bacon and grated parmesan over the sprouts to take them to the next level. 

Remove pork from oven after 25 min and let rest on plate, covered. Remove sprouts before they overbake. Leave sweet potatoes until they’re darkly browned on both sides.


Lessons I learned from this experiment:

  • A little sriracha goes a long way, but if you’re careful, it’s not going to light you on fire. This is good for my heat-averse husband.
  • Don’t over-roast the Brussels sprouts. They really don’t need more than 20 minutes.
  • It’s hard to over-roast a sweet potato. They need a lot of heat over a pretty long time to be done.  I could have given them 30 minutes in the oven alone, plus 20 with the pork and brussels sprouts, and probably been happy.

Perfect Skillet Nachos

I love making a particular type of pork roast that leaves me with a couple pounds of succulent pork for sandwiches, quesadillas, and eating straight. (Plus I make a batch of beef stew* in the pot once I remove the pork- it’s mind-blowingly good!)

Making skillet nachos takes this way beyond “next level” to “the best couch movie night supper you’ve ever put in your mouth.”

Please try the pork recipe too – you could use any non-smokey shredded meat here (including chicken) but I can’t tell you enough how much we love this pork roast.

Balsamic Beer Braised Pork Roast from She Wears Many Hats (a local gal!)

Two adjustments to the pork recipe: I sear the roast in a bit of bacon drippings instead of oil, and I deglaze the pot with some cream sherry or bourbon before pouring in the braising mixture. I also think this recipe works best with a non-bitter, non-hoppy medium brown beer. A Belgian double or triple would be quite nice.

Ok, now for the nachos!

Perfect Skillet Nachos

Serves 4

  • 12″ Cast iron skillet— if you don’t have one, use anything heavy that will really hold heat and is both oven and stovetop safe
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 T butter
  • 1-2 cups pulled pork or other shredded meat
  • Tortilla chips – maybe half a bag?
  • 2-3 cups shredded cheese (we used a blend of yellow cheddar and a block of cheddar/gruyere from Trader Joe’s)
  • Jar of corn salsa, preferably Trader Joe’s (it has a nice sweetness)
  • 1 can of Rotel tomatoes
  • Salt, pepper, and fajita seasoning (to taste)
  • 1 avocado sliced OR guacamole
  • Sour cream
  • Optional: salsa, hot sauce, etc

Heat butter in cast iron skillet on stovetop over medium and sauté onion (with a little salt and pepper) till lightly browned. Set onion aside and remove skillet from heat.

Preheat oven to 425

Create two layers in the skillet, each in this order: 1/3 of the chips, 1 Cup cheese, 1 Cup pork (break it up and scatter), ½ cup or so corn salsa, and half of the onions. Sprinkle with a little fajita seasoning or a bit of pepper, if desired.

Make 2 layers like that, then pour the can of Rotel over the top of the second layer.

Top with remaining chips and cheese and sprinkle with fajita seasoning. Make sure there’s a layer of cheese on top to get melty.

Place skillet in oven for 15-20 min. You want it to heat and melt all the way through without burning.

Broil on high for 1-2 min at end to brown the cheese, if needed.

Top each quadrant with avocado (or guacamole) and a dollop of sour cream. Dig in!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Making the pork recipe? Prep ahead to make beef stew in the same pot as soon as you remove the pork. You can set it aside when done to eat the next day. The pork drippings add a depth and richness to the stew that’s unbeatable.

I do mine this way:

Remove the pork, leave all pan drippings. Return pot to stovetop over medium heat and leave oven on 350.

Toss beef cubes with 1-2T flour, salt, pepper, and favorite steak seasoning (or thyme). When pot is hot, brown beef cubes but don’t cook through. Deglaze pan with a liquid you like- I usually use either wine or sherry, about a quarter cup.

Chop onion, celery, carrots (and optional potato) and add to pot. Stir well to pull up bits on bottom of pan.

Add 4 cups beef stock and stir.

Stir in 1+ cup of pearl barley (optional) or add egg noodles about halfway through cooking (see below).

Season well with thyme, salt, pepper, etc.

Bring pot to simmer on stovetop then cover and return to oven to finish cooking. I usually check after 45 minutes to see if the beef is tender and the vegetables are cooked. If you’re doing egg noodles, wait about 20 minutes before adding them.

Cooking the stew in the oven keeps the beef really tender, and makes use of the oven heat you just spent making the pork. 😉