Sunday, October 9, 2011

Chili Pie

This is an excellent appetizer to take to a party or just make to sit and watch football or a movie.  It takes only a few ingredients and takes just minutes to put together.  My mom used to make this all the time for family gatherings and would sometimes have to make 3 so there would be enough.  While this is not the healthiest recipe, it's worth the extra calories.


1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 can of chili
Monterey-Jack cheese, shredded

Here's how you make it:

Spread the softened cream cheese in the bottom of a pie plate or similar size dish.

Pour the chili over the cream cheese and spread around.  I used Hormel Chili no beans, but you can use whatever chili you like.  I'd use about 1 cup or about an 8 oz can.  It's not an exactly science, so if you like more chili, add more chili.

Top with the monterey jack cheese.  You can put as much or as little as you like, but more is always better.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes to melt the cheese and warm it through.

It'll be messy to scoop out, but that's part of the deliciousness.

Serve with tortilla chips.  It's looks like a mess, but it's a yummy mess.  It also reheats really well in the microwave, so don't worry if you have leftovers (though I don't think you will).

The Verdict:

Mr. Picky Pants tried one bite of mine and decided it tasted like super nachos.  Considering that Chili Pie has NONE of the same ingredients as super nachos, I'm not sure how he came to this conclusion.  I think he already had his mind made up that he wasn't going to like this before he tried it.  Needless to say, this is a recipe that most everyone loves (Mr. Picky Pants excluded).  I promise it tastes nothing like super nachos, and it's a fun fall food to make for sitting around watching football on TV.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pot Roast

I grew up eating brisket that my grandmother and mother made for big weekend dinners.  When I started cooking for myself, I wanted something with more flavor so I started making my own version of pot roast.  I developed a rub for the meat and my own method.  This method allows for a moist and delicious roast without a lot of effort.  I usually make this on a weekday when I work from home since it just sits in the oven all day.


1-2 lb. chuck roast
Post Roast Rub (see recipe below)
1 onion, sliced
Carrots, sliced (or baby)
Beef Broth or Beef Bullion + Water

Pot Roast Rub
1/2 cup Paprika
1/3 c. Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
3 Tablespoons Onion Powder
2 Tablespoons Oregano

Combine together and store in an airtight container.

Here's what you do with the rub:

First I take a few Tablespoons of the rub and massage into the chuck roast.  Make sure to get all sides and nooks and crannies to get maximum flavor.

Brown in an dutch oven or other heavy pan in a little vegetable oil on high heat.  Flip to sear both sides and I try to get the sides also using tongs.  This makes sure the outside gets nice and brown and keeps the moisture in the meat.

Next, add the sliced onion and mix around to get coated with the spices in the oil.  Let it soften for a few minutes.

Add enough beef broth or bullion mixed with hot water to come about 3/4 of the way up the roast.  The amount will vary depending on the size of the pan, size of the roast and amount of onions, but I usually use around 2-3 cups.

Add some sliced carrots or baby carrots.  These get nice and soft when cooked at the end and also make the meat super sweet and yummy.

Cover and bake in a 325 degree oven for at least 3 hours.  I check mine hourly to ensure all the liquid has not cooked out.  If you see that the liquid is low, add another cup of broth.

I meant to take a photo of the roast completed, but I forgot.  And this photo of the finished plate really doesn't do it justice.  The meat comes out so tender that you can shred it with a fork.  Serve with mashed potatoes and rolls to sop up the yummy gravy.

I forgot to document how to make the gravy, so here's the recipe without pictures.


Drippings from the roast, strained
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk

1. Put the drippings in a pan (I use the same dutch oven I made the roast in) and bring to a low boil.  2. Add the flour to the milk and slowly pour into the heated drippings while whisking vigorously.
3. Bring back to a boil and let cook on a lower heat until it starts to thicken.

Voila!  You have gravy.

The Verdict:

Mr. Picky Pants really enjoys this recipe.  He doesn't really request it that often, but he eats it readily when I make it.  I think his favorite part of the meal is the rolls (thanks Pillsbury!).  I have to limit him on the number he can eat so he doesn't fill up on rolls and not eat any meat.  Mr. Picky Pants has commented on numerous occasions that this is the best roast he's ever had and I'd have to agree.  It's a delicious meal to make when it starts getting chilly and it's really a snap to make.