Thanksgiving Leftover Kentucky Hot Brown

Oh hai.

Welcome to the Slutty Food Blog, where I like to take seemingly boring holiday leftovers and slut them up with a sinful cheese sauce and call it a Kentucky Hot Brown.

Thanksgiving Leftover Kentucky Hot Brown

Seriously though – I know these pictures don’t tell much of the story, but you will just have to trust me on this one.

This is actually the third recipe I have written down in my notebook to share with you.  About a year ago now, I started planning out how I was going to start a food blog.  I started writing down recipes that I wanted to share and I had lots of recipe ideas that I had yet to execute so had some recipe testing to do – this was the third recipe that I tested and decided, ok, that’s it, I’ve gotta do this food blog thing.  This was the recipe that made me realize that I could wing it and be creative in the kitchen and succeed.  Until last year, I had always thought I wasn’t that type of cook.  But this one’s a game-changer for me.

So here we are.  These pictures are a year old now, and I’ve done what I can to spruce them up in Photoshop, but you’ll just have to trust me on this one.  I literally couldn’t share this recipe any earlier than now because when else do you have leftover stuffing + leftover turkey except this time of year?

(Also BTW PS, I realize I’m a little late to the leftovers game here, please forgive me.  It has been a hectic week.  I need a weekend from my weekend, nomesayin’?)

(Also PPS, because the last 5 days have been crazy city, I didn’t get to make this for myself, and now I has a sad, but bonus I have an extra turkey so there is hope for me yet.)

Speaking of which – my extra turkey?  Shout out to Whole Foods Market in Jenkintown for literally saving my Thanksgiving dinner!  So over a month ago now, Whole Foods opened up their holiday ordering program, where you can reserve a turkey, the size of your choice, and select the pickup date so you will be sure to have a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving.  I have done this for about 4-5 years now and I have never once been disappointed in the experience or the quality.  I love having a fresh (not frozen!) turkey for Thanksgiving and will probably never do a frozen turkey ever again.  So anyway, this year we weren’t hosting a huge amount of people so we decided to reserve a 7-10lb bone-in turkey breast.  I go to pick it up two days before Thanksgiving, and the biggest turkey breast they had left was 6.86lbs.  At first I thought damnit, that’s my fault, maybe I should have scheduled an earlier pickup date.  I was bummed, because to me this meant little to no leftovers.  But as I was driving home I got more and more irritated with this.  What was the point of me reserving it online ahead of time, if I couldn’t be sure that I’d get what I’d reserved?  If that was the case, I could have picked up a fresh turkey breast at any point in the year (they sell them year-round), and tossed it in the freezer and thawed it before Thanksgiving.  So I got home and wrote them a letter expressing my disappointment, saying that I would probably go a different route next year if I couldn’t be sure I was getting the size turkey I had reserved.  Because let’s be honest, anyone that cooks knows you have to plan for 1/2-1 lb per person, and at 6.86lbs, this turkey breast would barely cover it for my feast.

The next day I got an email from the meat department manager, saying how sorry he was that this had happened, and that he had just gotten another shipment of turkey breasts and he put a 9lb one aside for me free of charge.  Dude!  I can’t tell you how thankful and grateful I was!  I raced to the store to pick it up and thanked him profusely.  He literally saved my Thanksgiving dinner, and I couldn’t have been happier.

This is why I love Whole Foods.  They make things right.  I couldn’t be more appreciative.

So yeah, I tossed that 6.86lb turkey in the freezer and maybe I’ll make it at Christmas or New Year’s or something.

And this Kentucky Hot Brown will promptly follow.  I swear.

Homemade Kentucky Hot Brown

So let’s talk about a real Kentucky Hot Brown.  A real Kentucky Hot Brown is an open-faced turkey sandwich topped with bacon, tomatoes, and a decadent white cheese sauce called Mornay sauce.  I was fortunate enough to have a real Kentucky Hot Brown when I visited Lexington in January of this year:

Stellas

And it was amazeballs.  But before I had a real one, I developed this one, based off of an idea I had.  See my friend Ben had told me many times about the Kentucky Hot Brown, how when he goes home to Kentucky to visit he always has to stop by the hotel where it originated to get one.  I have seen many pictures and have loved it from afar before ever trying it, and then I came up with this slutty version.

We’re talking about leftover cornbread stuffing, smashed into a waffle maker to make it crispy.  Topped with layers of warm, tender turkey, and crispy bacon, and juicy tomatoes.  And then blanketed with a thick, cheesy sauce.  A little sprinkle of Parmesan on top, then under the broiler it goes to make it brown and gooey.  And there you have it, a Thanksgiving Leftover Kentucky Hot Brown.

No, it’s not textbook and no, it’s not traditional but yes, it is sluttacular and yes, it is good and yes you will say oh Cristin, Cristin thank you for sharing this recipe with me.  😊

Add this to your list of Ways to Use Leftovers, and thank me later.  Make this and post it on Instagram and tag me!!  @sluttyfoodblog

Thanksgiving Leftover Kentucky Hot Brown

Ingredients
Leftover turkey (see Notes)
Leftover cornbread stuffing (see Notes)
1 tomato, sliced to your preferred thickness
About 1/2 package of bacon, prepared to your liking (feel free to make more if you’re a huge bacon fan)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Minced parsley and green onions for garnish

Mornay Sauce:
1.5 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup heavy cream
2 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese (see Notes)
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (see Notes)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Start with the Mornay sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, and add the green onions and parsley and saute until the green onions have softened. Add the flour and whisk together, cooking for about a minute. Whisk in the heavy cream, raise the heat, and cook until the sauce begins to simmer and thicken. Once the sauce has thickened, add in both cheeses, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until well combined, then lower the heat and keep warm.

2. Reheat leftovers: For the turkey, reheat in the microwave on 50% power until warmed through. For the stuffing, preheat a waffle iron. If you have a Belgian waffle maker, you will need more stuffing, about 1 cup per stuffing waffle. If you have a thinner waffle maker, bank on using 1/2 cup stuffing per waffle. Mound the stuffing in the center, and press down real hard to compact it together. Cook until the stuffing waffle is golden brown – should be however long it normally takes to cook a regular waffle, about 5-7 minutes. When the light goes out, it’s probably done, but check it and see. When they are done, remove them to a foil-lined baking sheet that fits into your broiler.

3. Get ready to assemble!: Preheat the broiler to high. On top of each stuffing waffle, layer slices of turkey, slices of tomato, and slices of bacon. Then pour as much Mornay sauce as desired on each pile of deliciousness. Then, sprinkle with some of the extra Parmesan cheese. Broil for 1-2 minutes, but watch it – some broilers are hotter than others. Remove from broiler to a plate so you can devour it. Top with extra parsley and green onions for garnish if desired. Then grab a knife and fork and dig in!!

Notes
1. So since this is a recipe that uses leftovers, it’s kind of hard to approximate quantities out. Also, this is completely scalable – do you want a big Kentucky hot brown? Or are you on a diet (what craziness is this) and only want a small one? You decide. Just know that if you’re trying to feed like 4 people, you better have a good amount of turkey and stuffing leftover. If you don’t have enough leftover stuffing, then make a box of Stouffer’s cornbread stuffing fresh, and….
2. Roast a turkey tenderloin if you do not have any (or enough) leftover turkey. Turkey tenderloins are great by the way – I find them fresh at Whole Foods year-round. Season that baby up however you’d like and roast it in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 35-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
3. As for the cheeses, I would recommend actually weighing them, because the weight is different than the measurement. When I weighed 2 ounces of Gruyere cheese, it came out to about 3/4 cup; and when I weighed 2 ounces of grated Parmesan cheese, it came out to about 1/2 cup.

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THANKSGIVING !! How to Brine a Turkey + Day-Of Schedule

 

So I almost bought this shirt to wear on Thanksgiving.  Alllllllmost.

Fat PantsThanksgiving in my house is not about wearing dresses and tights and nice shoes and curling my hair.  No.  It’s about putting your eatin’-clothes on and vegging out.

We don’t eat dinner at 1, or 2, or 3, or 4.  We eat dinner at dinnertime – between 5 and 6.  We typically eat all day long; though this year I think I am easing up on the appetizers a little bit.  I’d rather save my appetite for the main event.

Anyway!  Today I’m going to teach you how to brine a turkey.

It might be a little late for those of you that have bought a frozen turkey – you are probably going to leave that sucker in the fridge until Thursday to thaw out.  But if you bought a fresh bird (in my opinion, there’s no other way to go), then you are in luck my friend.

Brining a turkey is super simple.  I’ve done it for several years now and I do love how it turns out.  Here is what you need:

  • 1 5-gallon bucket from the hardware store
  • Cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 head of garlic, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • Sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage
  • Peppercorns
  • Ice

Fill your bucket halfway with cold water.  Stir in the salt and brown sugar, and stir till it dissolves.  Then drop in all your aromatics.  Then gently lower your thawed frozen, or fresh, turkey into the bucket.  Cover with the ice, put the lid securely on the bucket, and keep it away from your dog for 12-24 hours.

Turkey Brine

So now that you know how to brine a turkey, I thought I’d help you out with the Thanksgiving Day Schedule.  I follow this almost every year and somehow manage to get things on the table around the same time, so something must be working!

Step 0 :: Take some help from the store.
What’s step 0?  Well I made a step 0 in case this is not something you want to do.  If you’re a superchef in the kitchen and you don’t need to take help from the store, more power to ya.  Me, I prefer not to be a martyr, and take help where I can get it.  This means I purchase pre-made gravy, a packet of Bearnaise sauce, canned or frozen corn, a box of cornbread stuffing, and a can of crescent rolls.  No, it’s not organic and no, it’s not paleo, but yes, it is classic Thanksgiving.

Step 1 :: Get the turkey in the oven.
On Thanksgiving day, several hours before you wish to eat, remove the turkey from the brine.  Set it on your roasting rack in a roasting pan and pat it dry with paper towels.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Stuff your turkey with the same aromatics you brined it with (don’t reuse the ones from the brine, use fresh ones) – a head of garlic, sliced lengthwise; a quartered lemon; a quartered onion; and sprigs of fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme.  Melt a stick of butter over low heat and drop in some more sprigs of fresh sage.  Brush your turkey with the butter, cover the turkey tightly with foil, and set it in the oven to roast.  The general rule of thumb is 15 minutes per pound at 325 degrees F, but you should check your individual turkey’s package instructions.  Also, I highly recommend the use of an oven-safe meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast of the bird, not touching the bone, to keep track of the turkey’s progress.  About once per hour, brush the turkey with the melted sage butter.  During the last half hour, remove the foil so that the skin gets crispy and brown.

Stuff It!

Step 2 :: Make the Cranberry Orange Relish.
If you haven’t already, that is.  You can make this the day before and it will just taste more fantastico on the day of.

Step 3 :: An hour and a half before dinner…
Peel the potatoes to make Parmesan Smashed Potatoes.  Cover with cold water and set on the stove over medium heat.  Follow the recipe from there.  These keep warm very well if they finish early.

Step 4 :: An hour before dinner…
Make your classic green bean casserole.

Step 5 :: A half hour before dinner…
Pop the green bean casserole into the oven.  Roll up some crescent rolls and put those in the oven 15 minutes later.  Make the stuffing.  Dump some corn into a small saucepan and warm over low heat with a pat of butter on top.  Finish the potatoes.  Make sauces and warm gravies.  Keep everything warm until go-time.

Step 6 :: Get that turkey out!
Bring out the turkey and let it rest for about 10 minutes.  Then carve it and plate it on a platter for serving.

Step 7 :: SIT DOWN AND EAT.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with all the people you love most.

And I hope you come back after because I have the sluttiest idea for leftovers ever…… 😊

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THANKSGIVING !! Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

I may lose my foodie card today, because I have to tell you that there is one food I have yet to master on a consistent basis – and that is mashed potatoes.

Most of the time when I make mashed potatoes, they are just ok.  They aren’t terrible, but they don’t knock your socks off either.  Sometimes I make mashed potatoes and they are pretty damn good.  But for whatever reason, no matter how hard I try, I can never quite duplicate those results.  Mashed potatoes are my forever work in progress.  But there IS one potato dish that I can make consistently well, no matter what, and that’s these Parmesan smashed potatoes.

I don’t even remember where this recipe came from, but every single time I make it, they come out perfectly.  And since we are calling them “smashed”, I don’t have to worry about that perfect, chunkless, silky-smooth consistency that characterizes mashed potatoes.  Nope.  Chunks are okay in smashed potatoes.  Totes ok.

But I must share a little tip with you that I learned the hard way…. DO NOT USE A HAND MIXER TO MAKE THESE.

Why?  Well for one, you’re not making mashed potatoes, remember – you’re making smashed potatoes.  So you must smash them.  With a potato smasher.  A hand-held (s)masher like this one.  No hand-mixers.  Nothing that you’re plugging into the wall.  You’re doing this by hand.  It’ll be your arm workout for the day.  You get to eat an extra helping of them because you’ll be in such a carb deficit after smashing these by hand.

Ok you get it right?  No hand-mixers.  Oh and why #2 is because you are never ever ever EVER supposed to use hand-mixers on red potatoes.  I can’t explain it scientifically but I can say from experience that a hand-mixer will ruin red potatoes.  If you feel like eating potatoes of a matte, soupy, gluey, porridge-like consistency, then have at it, but I highly recommend against it.  It’s pretty gross.  Scientifically, it has something to do with the wax content or something.  Idk.  I don’t care.  Google it if you care.  But you shouldn’t, because all you have to do is not use a hand-mixer and you’ll have good potatoes, which is what you really care about right now.  Get it?  Got it?  Good.

If you follow the directions and proportions exactly, these potatoes will turn out creamy, dreamy, silky, sweet, and delicious.  Good luck friends!

Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

Ingredients
3 lbs red potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and cubed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
1 to 1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions
1. Boil potatoes until tender and drain. I know this is a generic direction, but I have found over the years that I can never nail down a time limit for boiling potatoes. I rely on the fork test for doneness – draw a large chunk of potato out of the water with a large spoon, and stab the potato in the center with a fork, and lift it off the spoon. If the potato slides off the fork easily, they are done. If the potato sticks to the fork, it needs more time. Just babysit them, or rely on someone else’s directions for how long to boil potatoes. I can’t tell you how many recipes I see “boil 10-12 minutes and drain”, and there are times when 10 minutes is too long and there are times when 12 minutes is not enough. Thus, I rely on the fork test. Ok end rant and sorry.

2. While the potatoes are boiling, combine butter and milk in a small saucepan or skillet over low heat until butter melts. Return potatoes to the pot, then pour in half of the butter/milk mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Smash with a hand masher. If needed, add the rest of the butter/milk mixture to get the potatoes moist enough, and mash again. Taste for seasonings, and season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Mash until you’ve reached your desired consistency (more chunks or less chunks, up to you).

3. Add sour cream and Parmesan cheese. Fold in with a spatula, or use your masher to mix them in well. Taste for seasonings and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.

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THANKSGIVING !! Cranberry Orange Relish

It is finally here – it is finally upon us – one of my most favorite food holidays of the year! – THANKSGIVING.

Thanksgiving wasn’t always one of my favorite food holidays of the year.  There was a time once when I couldn’t have cared less about turkey, it was really just another day off where I got to sleep in and drive all over southeastern PA to spend portions of my day with different family members.  Which sounds like hell when I think about it now.  But then I started making a big Thanksgiving dinner myself, and I started to really love it.

If you’ve never cooked a Thanksgiving feast before, it can be pretty damn intimidating.  THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO.  I’ll admit, I’ve got a system down that I’ve developed over the years, and it typically ends up being a nice leisurely day until about an hour before we eat and I’m rushing around like a madwoman, cursing my small kitchen, wondering how I ever thought I could get it all on the table warm at the same time, ticked that I didn’t splurge for double ovens when I remodeled my kitchen 9 years ago (double ovens which will almost certainly be a must-have in my new house next year).  But nonetheless – every year there is that mad rush right before eating, and every year it turns out good and delicious.

I realize now I’ve made it sound bad but I promise it’s not.  It’s not that bad.  I’m just being dramatic.  I’m sure it’s even less bad if you have a kitchen bigger than my wingspan.

So let’s start with some easy stuff first.  Cranberry orange relish.  Why oh why would you buy that cranberry jell-o instead of making this?  This takes almost no effort at all.  All you need is a blender!

I’ll admit I’m not a fan of cranberry sauce, but I find this tasty; and those that DO like cranberry sauce find this stuff excellent.  I’m relying on their authority here.

My husband’s mother used to make something like this every year before she passed away, and when I discovered this recipe and made it for the first time, he was so excited that I was able to find something like what she made.  I make it every year and serve it in one of her crystal bowls.

The absolute best thing about this stuff is you can make it up to a day in advance.  Just blend it up and pour it into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Cross this off your to-do list early, and you will feel more accomplished heading into the Main Event.  Stay tuned for more recipes and advice over the next couple of weeks to help you plan your big feast!!

Cranberry Orange Relish

Ingredients
12oz bag fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 whole orange, cut into small wedges (peel included)
1/4 cup orange liqueur, like Grand Marnier

Directions
Pour half of the cranberries, half of the sugar, and half of the orange into the blender, and bland until combined well. Add in the rest of the cranberries, sugar, and orange, and blend until combined well. You are looking for a thick-ish consistency, like salsa. You may need to stop the blender and push the contents down several times before it takes and starts getting smooth. Add liqueur and blend one last time to combine. Pour into a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.

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Off-Topic Tuesday: Violence Begets Violence

Calling all parents :: how many of you out there are constantly terrified in the back of your mind that everything you do and say is laying a brick to the foundation of fucking up your kid?

I know.  It’s a terrible thought to have.  But we’ve all thought it at least once, right?

I keep seeing all these videos on that loathsome social media site they call Facebook (that I have broken up with several times over the years, and I think we are heading towards that path once again) of kids, shit-kids – shit-kids through no fault of their own, we all know the parents are truly to blame here – with complete disregard for authority and no respect for anyone, let alone themselves.  The video of the 4- or 5-yo girl flipping out and striking an adult repeatedly.  The video of the kid in the classroom picking up his teacher and body-slamming him to the ground because he took his phone away for having it out in class.  All these kids are really making me scared for the future.  I mean you gotta worry about that, right?  What will our country become once this nation of shit-kids turns into a nation of shit-adult voters?  I shudder to think.  (I also worry about all those kids that stand around recording incidents with their phones instead of doing something – but that’s another topic for another day.)

Anyway.  There seems to be a common theme in the comments section of these viral posts – “You know what’s wrong with kids today?  Nobody’s getting their asses whooped anymore!”  “These kids need a good ass-whoopin’!”  “If I’d have acted like that as a kid I would’ve had my ass handed to me!”  Everyone seems to think that the answer to solving this problem of violence and disregard for authority in our youth is …. more violence.

This deeply, deeply disturbs me.

Like this is the kind of deeply disturbing shit that makes me want to move to the middle of nowhere and homeschool my kid and keep her away from all the crazy that is out there.

I very firmly believe in not hitting children.  I believe that if children are brought up in a calm, respectful, loving home, then they will grow to be calm, respectful, loving people.  I am sure that you have to try harder with some kids than with others.  But I honestly believe that.  It’s simple psychology.  Has anyone thought that maybe – just maybe – the reason these kids are violent and disrespectful, is because their parents are violent and disrespectful with them?  Something to ponder.  If mom and dad are sending the message that you get what you want by hitting and body-slamming, then what else are kids gonna do, to get what they want?

It should be said that none of these blanket-statements apply to all children.  You can have two kids and beat the piss out of them every time they do wrong, and one could grow up to be a wife-beater and the other could grow up not to be a wife-beater.  This is where the “nature” part of “nature vs. nurture” comes in.

I have been blessed with a pretty damn good kid.  The moment they put her in my arms, and I realized what a true miracle she was, what a true miracle life is, I could not ever imagine striking her or hurting her.  I just could not.  I can think of two times in the past 6 years that I’ve struck her, and both filled me with such guilt and hurt for resorting to that, that I cried, and vowed to never do it again (one was out of frustration after telling her multiple times to stop taking a knife out of the dishwasher as I was loading dishes; I struck her hand and she looked at me with such shock and grief that I quit what I was doing and knelt down and cried and hugged her… the other time she was pitching a royal fit in the backseat and had been at it for the better part of 45 minutes – throwing things at me, reaching forward to hit me and pull my hair, and finally flung a blanket at me that covered my face as I was doing 65mph on the highway – I snapped and she got a smack on the leg for that).  We made it through the terrible two’s (and the terrible three’s – nobody tells you about those!) without beating our child.  And she is sweet, and kind, and loving, and polite, and respectful of authority.  My daughter lives in a home with parents that do not fight, parents that do not yell at each other or call each other names, parents that respect the opinions and thoughts of their child, parents that respect the opinions and thoughts of each other.  I’m not bragging, believe me, and she has her moments – her moments where I see my sassy self coming out in her, my argumentative nature finding its way into her tone.  And she has tested her boundaries and truly tried our patience, and we have raised our voices to get our point across.  We are not a perfect family, but we have never felt as though GOSH WE BETTER START BEATING OUR KID SO SHE KNOWS SHE CAN’T HIT OTHER PEOPLE AND DISRESPECT OTHER PEOPLE.

Hitting is, in its very nature, disrespectful.  It is violent.  And I do not understand those that think that the answer to solving the problem of violence in our youth is to add more violence to the mix.  “It is not right to hit people, so I am going to hit you.  It is not right to disrespect people, so I am going to hit you.”  This does not compute.

Despite that, though, the theme is so prevalent, that I actually caught myself thinking the other day – Am I raising my kid wrong?  Will she grow up to be one of these shit-kids because I’m not beating her?  Because I’m not laying my hands on her to show her who’s boss?  And those thoughts inevitably led to all the other thoughts I’ve occasionally had about whether or not everything I’m doing is fucking her up….  If I don’t feign excitement or interest every time she says “guess what!” will she think I don’t care what she has to say?  If I am irritated with her, will she grow up to think I never loved her?  If I snap at her, will she grow up to say I was mean?  If I am not patient with her every possible second of every single day, will she think I wasn’t a good mother?

It just makes you wonder, you know?  Who’s doing it right, and who’s doing it wrong?  Maybe there is no right and there is no wrong, and there is only “doing the best that we can”.  I’m not going to start beating my kid because some illiterate idiot who doesn’t know what a period is went on a rant in a Facebook comments section about how kids are fucked up today because they aren’t getting “they asses” beat.  But I am worried about all those people who think violence is the answer…. someday my kid will be sitting next to their kids in school.  And I wonder if she even has a chance.

Maybe I should just let her keep working on that sass.  It might be all she’ll have.

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National Nachos Day!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t need an excuse to eat nachos.  Give ’em to me all day err day.  But tonight, I am attempting to recreate the Holy Grail of Nacho Wonderland…. Distrito‘s nachos.  I’ve got just about all the ingredients waiting for me at home, ready to throw together and devour later.  After kiddo’s dance class.  That’s too far away.  In like 12 hours I will be stuffing my face with nachos.  I.  Can’t.  Wait.

Anyway.  In honor of National Nachos Day, I thought I’d take the opportunity to provide you with a one-stop shop of all the nachos I’ve made for you over the past year.  Aren’t I so nice?  I know, you’ve just been waiting for a post like this.  No worries.  I got you boo.

First – let’s recall my successful recreation of Blue Duck‘s cheesesteak nachos, one of the specials they had on their menu during March Madness….

Cheesesteak Nachos

Aw yeah look at her, she’s a beaut.

Next, let’s revel in my classic nachos – ground beef and spicy cheese sauce and all the toppings your little nacho-loving heart desires…

Classic Nachos

NOMZ.

Now for some of my favorite nachos to date – my recreation of Jose Pistola‘s nachos – because come on, what’s better than pickled red onions on top of melty cheese and creamy beans?!  Nothing, I tell you.

Jose Pistola's Nachos

NOTH.  ING.

And let’s not forget about my all-veggie nachos inspired by a recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, Pinch of Yum

Pinch of Yum Nachos

They are vegetarian, so they are healthy, so sayeth the Slutty Food Blogger.

And last but certainly not least, how about some pulled pork nachos for your BBQ-lovin’ mouf?  Hm?

Pulled Pork Nachos

There you have it folks.  Five, I say FIVE, sluttacular nacho recipes to inspire you to make up a plate tonight and celebrate with me!  I promise to take pictures of my recreation of Distrito’s nachos tonight – but they will be ugly, because it will be dark, because that loathsome time of year is now upon us, but you will see past the orange-tainted light, my friends, because I know you, and I know you can appreciate slutty food, well-photographed or not.

Now go forth and eat nachos.

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Burrata with Roasted Tomatoes

Happy November!!

I don’t especially love November, at least not like I love October.  But, my husband’s birthday, my daughter’s birthday, and Thanksgiving usually all fall within the same week.  It makes for a hectic week, but I love it.  Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday of the year bc food duh.  This year we are playing it pretty low key and staying home.  My sister and her fiance will come over but other than that, a nice, quiet Thanksgiving.

Stay tuned for my posts on preparing a perfect Thanksgiving dinner!  I will be sure to document it with better photos this year than what you will see over the next few weeks.  Cross my heart.

But mostly I dislike November because it’s the start of winter here in Philadelphia.  I hate winter.  So much.  I probably hate winter more than I hate anything else I hate.  More than bad drivers.  More than seafood.  More than smokers.  More than being told to stop cursing.  More than kangaroos.  More than my job a year ago.  I have so much hate for winter… and snow, and ice, and slush, and freezing rain, and driving in all that shit, and bitter fucking wind, and icicles, and late trains, and cold toes, and earmuffs, and static electricity, and not getting my street plowed, and having to warm my car up every morning… I pretty much just need to move south.  So I usually start to mourn the passing of nice weather around this time.  Today is no exception.

A few months ago I took my mom to New York City for a weekend for her birthday.  It was right smack in the middle of July, and hot as Hades, and we spent an entire day walking all over Manhattan.  We must have eaten at like 4-5 places but that was the point.  We were eating and drinking our way through New York for the day, and it was positively glorious.  (It was so much fun, that my mom and I brought my youngest sister along for another day-eating-and-drinking extravaganza a few weeks ago… and I’m already planning our next trip.)  So we end up at this one place called The Smith.  And I instantly fell in love with it because they bring two bottles of water for the table to share – one flat, and one sparkling, and sparkling water is my new obsession.  Then I saw they had a Manhattan on their cocktail menu, so I had to get one, and of course it was delicious.  But the whole reason we came was because my mom had been there before and ordered some appetizer that she wouldn’t stop raving about – burrata with bread and tomatoes.  I am never one to turn down cheese and bread, so I thought ok, let’s do this.

This appetizer was so tasty!  Listen.  Who would’ve thought that toasted bread, slow-roasted tomatoes, baby arugula, balsamic vinegar, and cheese would taste so amazing?  Ok I know.  It does sound amazing.  But really – the cheese makes it.  Burrata cheese is like mozzarella’s slutty cousin.  Burrata is creamier, sweeter, and softer than mozzarella.  Not that hard stuff that you grate for lasagna – that soft, fresh, delicious stuff you put on a sandwich.  I mean you cut into a cold ball of burrata, and the stuff just oozes with slut-factor.  I love it.  I can’t get enough.  And I sat in The Smith and thought I can TOTALLY make this at home.

It’s quickly become a favorite appetizer when having people over, and I will probably serve this at Thanksgiving later this month.  It’s practically impossible to mess up, so anyone can make it, foodie or not!

Burrata with Roasted Tomatoes

Burrata with Roasted Tomatoes
Servings: Depends on how much you want to share/make. For 1 ball of burrata, you could easily feed 4-6 people if it’s an appetizer being served with other appetizers.
Duration: 2 1/2 hours total

Ingredients
1 loaf baguette, sliced on a sharp diagonal
1 pint grape tomatoes or baby heirloom tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced in half
Salt and pepper
1 ball burrata cheese
Balsamic vinegar
Baby arugula

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lay the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer, carrying over onto a second baking sheet if necessary. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until slightly crispy, or a few minutes longer if you prefer crunchier, more golden baguette slices. When finished, remove from the oven, and drop the oven temperature to 250 F.

2. While the bread is baking, slice the grape tomatoes in half lengthwise and toss onto a baking sheet. Add the garlic cloves, salt, and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to combine. Put them in the oven and bake for 2 hours, turning once halfway through. When the tomatoes are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet while you prepare the dish.

3. On a platter or in a large, shallow bowl, lay down a layer of baby arugula. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top. Remove the burrata from its packaging, patting dry with a paper towel if it’s been packed in water. Place the burrata on top of the dressed arugula. Pile the roasted tomatoes up next to the burrata. Season the burrata with salt and pepper, and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Place some toasted baguette slices around the cheese and tomatoes, and serve with a blunt cheese knife and small fork for the tomatoes and arugula for serving.

Please share!