Tag Archives: main dish

Frito Pie

So wrong, yet so right.

We’ve been intrigued with this Southern delicacy ever since we first saw it on the menu at one of our favorite dive bars in Williamsburg. This meaty pile of semi-shameful indiscretion is as delicious as it is sounds, whether you’re under the influence or not. Resist the urge to overthink the chili and let a few simple ingredients do work. Just be forewarned, this may replace nachos as your favorite meat/cheese/corn chip combination.

Equipment Needed: 5 Qt Pot with Lid, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Cheese Grater, Can Opener, Wooden Spoon

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: You’re eating Frito pie; you should just drink what you want

Suggested Beer Pairing: Whatever’s clever. (see: Eating Frito Pie)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef (we recommend an 80/20 mix) ($3.99/lb)
  • 1 large onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper ($2.99/lb)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans ($1.19/15 oz can)
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes ($2.49/28 oz can)
  • 1 6 oz can can tomato paste ($0.99/6 oz can)
  • 1 TBSP cumin ($3.50/2 oz jar)
  • 1 TBSP chili powder ($1.50/4 oz jar)
  • 2 TSP liquid smoke ($2.89/3 oz)
  • 1 TBSP paprika ($3/2 oz jar)
  • 1 TSP cayenne pepper ($2/3.5 oz jar)
  • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar ($8.99/32 oz))
  • 1 TSP sugar ($2.39/2 lb box)
  • 1 10.5 oz bag Frito corn chips ($3.29/10.5 oz bag)
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese ($8.99/lb)
  • 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($8.99/32 oz)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Finely dice your onion and mince your garlic. Wash your jalapeno thoroughly, halve it and remove the seeds and ribs (leave the seeds in if you want a spicier chili).

Finely dice the jalapeno so it melds easier in the chili.

  • Put the pot over medium heat and add your olive oil. Throw in the onions first and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stirring every minute or so, cook the onions for 5 minutes then add the garlic and jalapeno. Cook everything down for another 5 minutes and add in your beef.
  • Salt and pepper the beef, making sure to break it up with your spoon. Stir everything together so the veggies are mixed throughout the meat. Add in the cumin, chili powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper and give it another good stir. Cook the meat mixture until it’s lightly browned, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes or so).
  • Spoon in the tomato paste and pour in the crushed tomatoes. Add the liquid smoke, vinegar, sugar, a few healthy pinches of salt and a good dose of black pepper. Turn the heat to low and let everything simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn’t burn.

Use diced or break up whole canned tomatoes if you want chunkier chili.

  • While your chili is bubbling away shred up the cheddar and set it aside in a bowl for later.
  • Drain the beans and stir them in to the mix. Taste everything and re-season as you see fit. Once the flavors are to your liking cook it down for another 10 minutes to finish it off.

We prefer black beans for this one but go nuts with your legume of preference.

  • Take a handful of Fritos and put them in a soup bowl or plate. Spoon a couple healthy heaps of chili over the top of them and sprinkle cheese over the whole lot.

Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza

Red checkered tablecloth sold separately.

Living in New York we’ve come to realize that pizza allegiances border on religious zealotry to which we say, why restrict yourself when it comes to pie? Thanks to Jake’s friend Sandy’s suggestion we tried making a deep dish pizza in a cast iron skillet and, to no one’s surprise, the woman was right. It’s almost too easy, which is to say, why aren’t you making one right now?

Equipment Needed: Cast Iron Skillet, Frying Pan, Mixing Bowl, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Microplane,Wooden Spoon

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 4-6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Chianti, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Cabernet Sauvignon

Suggested Beer Pairing: Red Ales, less-hoppy Pale Ales, Brown Ales, Amber Ales

Ingredients:

  • 1 pre-made ball of pizza dough (we used a garlic herb dough that suited us just fine)(about $1.99/package)
  • 1 lb Italian sausage ($3.99/lb)
  • 1 small bunch of broccoli ($2.99/bunch)
  • 1  small onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 1 small red bell pepper ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 lb fresh mozzarella ($7.99/lb)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 2 TBSP fresh rosemary ($1.50/bunch)
  • 1 – 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes ($2.19/each)
  • 1/3 C shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese ($12.99/lb)
  • extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/32 oz)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat your oven to 400° F.
  • Mince your garlic cloves and rosemary together to get them as fine as possible.
  • Put a frying pan over medium heat and add a little olive oil to the bottom to help keep things moving. Remove the sausages from their casings, throw them in the pan and break them up with your spoon. Toss in the garlic and rosemary and cook until lightly browned (about 5-8 minutes).

Be careful not to overcook the sausage, it's still going in the oven once you're done here.

  • While the sausage is cooking away, pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into your cast iron skillet. Rub the oil around the pan so the sides and bottom are evenly coated. Proceed to spread the pizza dough across the bottom and up to the top of the skillet’s rim. Remember, this is a deep dish so you want to make a crust that can support the mountain of toppings you’re about to add.

You're gonna need to work the dough a bit to get it to stay up along the sides.

  • Cut your mozzarella into 1/8th inch – 1/4 inch slices and line the bottom of the crust. That’s right, traditional Chicago deep dish puts the cheese on first. Here’s a towel to wipe up your mind that just got blown all over.

We highly recommend splurging on the freshest mozzarella you can find for this one; it's a noticeable difference.

  • Slice up your onion and pepper into thin strips and cut your broccoli into small florets. Spread these veggies evenly over the top of the cheese.
  • Open the can of tomatoes and pour them into a large mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and some crushed red pepper if you want to give it a little kick. When the sausage is done pour it in with the tomatoes and stir everything together. Spoon it into the pie to cover everything and make sure to distribute the sauce evenly for uniform cooking.

Spread the sauce evenly and fill every space not occupied by cheese or veggies.

  • Pop that monster into the oven for about 20 minutes. You’ll have to check in on your pizza around 18 minutes and every couple of minutes after that to make sure things are cooking evenly. The crust should be crispy and the sauce should be bubbling when it’s done. Grate on some Parmigiano to finish things off and let it rest for about 10 minutes to allow the toppings to set up a bit for easier serving and eating; the skillet will keep it warm.

Turkey in Bed (aka Breakfast Pigs in a Blanket)

Look at 'em. Little turkey flavor torpedoes.

This breakfast bastardization of everyone’s favorite party finger food came to us after a long night of chicanery and the creative genius that can only come from one too many tallboys. To the benefit of the world and fat kids everywhere, however, they turned out awesome and are as easy to make as they are delicious.

Equipment Needed: Baking Sheet, Basting Brush, Small Bowl, Frying Pan, Tongs, Cooling Rack (optional)

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 8 – 10

Suggested Wine Pairing: You shouldn’t really be drinking wine with breakfast but we’ll assume you’re having brunch. Try a mimosa or fruity white.

Suggested Beer Pairing: You probably shouldn’t be drinking beer for breakfast either. Try an oatmeal stout, though.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls ($2.69/tube)
  • 12 turkey breakfast sausages (about $3.69/16 oz package)
  • 1/2 C grade A maple syrup (about $7/8 oz)

Preparation:

  • Put your frying pan over medium heat and put as many sausages in as you can fit without overcrowding; you’re probably gonna have to do two batches. The point here is to pre-cook the sausages a bit before popping then in the oven so they fully cook through in the same time as it takes for the rolls to bake. Give them about 4 minutes on each side and drain thoroughly on a paper towel when finished.
  • Crack open the crescent roll containers and peel apart the individual pieces. Place a sausage on the wide end and roll the dough around it. Put that little gobbler on your baking sheet and repeat until you’ve wrapped all of them.

Roll 'em if you got 'em.

  • Pop them in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove those puppies and baste each one with a healthy coat of maple syrup. Return them to the oven for about 3-5 more minutes until the rolls are a rich brown.

Brush the top of each one thoroughly for maximum mapleness.

  • Set on the cooling rack to let them firm up before serving (the dough may be a little soft because of the fat in the sausage).