Archive | Comfort Food RSS feed for this archive

Breakfast Risotto

When I was growing up, breakfast for dinner was always reliable when my mom was overdue for a trip to the grocery store. I knew it meant that we probably didn’t have another meal option, but I never minded. Bacon and eggs, pancakes, or French toast at any P.M. hour felt like breaking the rules, and I always considered it a special occasion.  Read More…

Beer Baked Beans

My slow cooker is one of the only pieces of kitchen equipment I tend to use seasonally. It’s used frequently in the fall and winter, usually for hot and heavy items like stews, and winds up taking a breather in storage from about May until September. Every time I use it, though, I amazed by its reliability and practicality. Read More…

Coffee Crusted Chicken

Like a good percentage of most average Americans, coffee plays a very important role in my daily life. It’s practically ritualistic and routine, but never taken for granted. While there is an aspect of my morning tradition that does prevent caffeine withdrawal, I mostly drink a huge cup first thing because I enjoy the flavor.

Other than water, it is the one thing I consume constantly so I invest in the good stuff. My coffee of choice is the Reading blend from Old City Coffee in the Reading Terminal Market. It is the perfect combination of a French blend and their namesake Old City Blend, producing a deep, smooth, toasty mix. I prefer it black, as to not dilute the delicious notes with cream or sugar.

While there are practically a million ways to take your morning beverage, most wouldn’t realize the grounds could serve as the perfect ingredient in a rub for most meats. This savory recipe appealed to my appreciation for coffee and opened my eyes to other ways I can get it in my system. Read More…

Frito Casserole

I’ve been hearing buzz about Frito Pie for years. As I jog my memory, I vaguely remember one of the Food Network’s many celeb-chef hosted shows featuring the kitschy dish. Since then, I’ve seen it on various menus including Honey’s Sit-n-Eat in Northern Liberties. Variations include a bed of Frito’s topped with ground beef, beans, salsa and cheese, like an inspired version of nachos. Some clever, and perhaps eco-friendly, folks simply utilize a single serving bag of Fritos as receptacle to eat in, pouring the toppings into it for an on-the-go treat. My mental image of the dish has always included an actual crust made with pulverized Fritos. Since I couldn’t find it anywhere else, I decided to make it in my test kitchen.

I bolstered my knowledge of cracker crusts with a little research and found a few savory options, as opposed to ever popular graham cracker base. Melted butter was called for as a binder to help the crumbs bind together so they may be pressed into a pie or tart pan. Pulsing Fritos in a food processor for a few minutes will leave you with oily granules, moist enough to come together under a little pressure. I felt ahead of the game as I placed my tart pan, neatly lined with a finely crushed Frito crust, into the 375 degree oven. Twenty minutes later my kitchen smelled like the Frito-Lay factory, and I was anxious to finish my dish with the meaty filling, so anxious that I disregarded the removable sides on my tart pan. Simply pushing the bottom up will give you the option of exposing the exterior of tart or filled pie; if you’re removing a delicate crust from the oven, though, it will only expose the vulnerability of your base and will leave you with an extra chore or two.

Though a good amount of Frito dust marred my oven, I was able to salvage most of it that was left on the bottom of my tart pan. I laughed off the misfortune the kitchen gods tried to dish out, took what was left of my grinded corn chips, and forged ahead. I may not have succeeded in my attempt to create an actual crust from Fritos, but looking on the bright side allowed me to create a recipe just as great as the one I envisioned. Read More…

%d bloggers like this: