Nachos for Two

  
Contrary to what our friends might tell you, we don’t always cook a meal fit for an army. Sometimes, when it is just the two of us, we go the simple route and prepare a dish we can share without worrying about packing up leftovers. Besides, some meals, like our Nachos for Two, are best eaten immediately. So the next time you are craving something spicy, crunchy, cheesy and just downright delish, try our take on everyone’s favorite Mexican appetizer.  Read more of this post

Chili Cheese Coneys

Chili Cheese Coney

A quick and easy family favorite, our Chili Cheese Coneys dish up lots of flavor and are on the table in minutes.

Sometimes our friends and readers tell us that it seems like we never eat simple fare. We beg to differ! Here is one of our favorite dinners to make on a cold and hectic day. Whether you call them Coneys or Chili Dogs, it seems like nearly every community across America has its own recipe for this family favorite. We top juicy frankfurters with mustard, chili and a blend of cheeses for a quick and easy meal the whole crew will love.

PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 best-quality hot dogs or frankfurters
  • 8 best-quality hot dog buns
  • Mustard
  • 1 recipe of Busy Day Chili
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • Pickles (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Fill a sauce pan with 3 cups water and bring to a boil; reduce heat. Place hot dogs in water and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300°F. Warm buns in oven until slightly golden; remove from heat.
  3. In a small bowl, combine cheeses and set aside.
  4. Split open buns and drizzle with favorite mustard. Place one hot dog in each bun. Spread about 1/2 cup of chili over each hot dog and cover with cheese. Serve with pickles, if desired.

YIELDS: 8 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Spicy Baked Penne Casserole

Spicy Baked Penne Casserole

Simple enough to prepare in advance, our Spicy Baked Penne Casserole is a crowd-pleasing favorite. Packed with spicy goodness and a four-cheese blend, it will satisfy the pickiest appetites.

If you’re looking for a delicious pasta dish to satisfy picky eaters, our Spicy Baked Penne Casserole is big on flavor and cheesy enough to keep the kiddos happy. It is great for family meals, pot luck dinners or for a luncheon with friends. Simply prepare the sauce and assemble a day ahead, then bake the following day. Serve with a loaf of Bread with Herb Butter and a rustic tossed salad to complete the meal.

PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups penne pasta, uncooked
  • 2 strips thick cut bacon or 3 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 1/2 cups spaghetti pomodoro sauce or 1 28-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 spring fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring 12 cups water to a boil in a large pot, add pinch of salt to water. Cook pasta according to package directions, minus 2 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a large skillet, cook bacon or pancetta over medium-high heat until it begins to brown. Add onion, garlic and red pepper flakes, sauté until onion is translucent. Add ground beef, cook until brown. Add mushrooms, cook until reduced. Add sauce, seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stir. Once mixture begins to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Add basil during last five minutes of cooking, stir. Remove pan from heat and discard basil.
  3. Pour sauce into pot with pasta and mix well. Pour into 13- x 9-inch dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Mix cheeses in a medium bowl, then cheese mixture over top of baking dish.
  4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through.

TIP: Casserole can be assembled ahead of time. Refrigerate up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, bake uncovered as directed.

YIELDS: 6 – 8 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Creamy Polenta with Mozzarella Cheese

Creamy Polenta with Mozzarella Cheese

A centuries-old culinary classic gets an update with our blend of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

A simple peasant food during the reign of the Roman Empire, polenta was originally derived from starches like chestnut flour or chickpeas. Since coming to the New World in the 15th or 16th century, it has been made with ground cornmeal or maize. Now we update it with cheese and turn this centuries-old classic into a creamy, tangy side dish that helps extend almost any meal, such as our Grilled Portobello Mushroom Steaks.

PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound quick-cooking polenta (2 2/3 cups)
  • 4 ounces soft mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
DIRECTIONS
  1. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Add salt and slowly add polenta, in a thin stream, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Continue whisking until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese and butter. Serve immediately.

YIELDS: 8 servings

TIP: Refrigerate leftovers. It can be formed into small patties and fried in olive oil, then topped with a fried egg for a tasty breakfast treat.

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment

Breakfast Week: Bacon & Egg Quesadillas

Bacon and Egg Quesadillas deliver melt-in-your-mouth goodness your family will love!

These yummy breakfast quesadillas are filled with fresh veggies, smoky meats and creamy eggs & cheese.

There are few things handier or tastier than the melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness of tortillas filled with fresh veggies, smoky meats and creamy eggs and cheese. Serve these quesadillas at the table topped with our special sauce or wrap them in foil and run out the door. Either way, you’ll be glad you made time for this filling, yummy breakfast!

PREP: 20 minutes
COOK: 23 minutes

INGREDIENTS
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 pickled pepperoncini, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican four-cheese blend
  • 4 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup diced ham
  • Vegetable cooking spray
DIRECTIONS
  1. Whisk together first 6 ingredients. Cook in a lightly greased large cast iron skillet over medium heat, without stirring, until eggs begin to set on bottom. Draw a spatula across bottom of skillet to form large curds. Continue cooking until eggs are thickened but still moist. (Do not stir constantly.) Remove egg mixture from skillet, and set aside. Wipe skillet clean.
  2. Stir together Ranch dressing and salsa; set salsa mixture aside.
  3. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese evenly onto half of each tortilla; top evenly with one-fourth of egg mixture, bacon and ham. Top each half with 1/4 cup more cheese. Fold tortilla in half over filling, pressing gently to seal.
  4. Heat skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add quesadillas, in 2 batches, and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with salsa mixture.

YIELDS: 4 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment.