Polar Vortex Cooking: Pea Pot Pie

Not sure if any of you have noticed, but it is COLD outside. Cara Daffron of EdibleFeast.com joins us to share this slow cooker comfort food recipe. Her pea pot pie uses hardy and readily available winter vegetables and herbs like tarragon and thyme…plus it takes like three steps to make. Stay warm!

Serve this crust-less pot pie on its own or with biscuits. If you really want a traditional feel, you can bake the finished product in a pie tin with a simple pot-pie-style pastry top. To incorporate more protein into the dish and 2 cups of diced cooked chicken or turkey to the pot before cooking.

Pea Pot Pie

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The Endless Road Trip: Colombia–It’s More Than Just Coffee!!

Editor’s Note: Colombian-born, Oklahoma-educated, lover of avocados…sounds like an ES-er! Please welcome our newest contributor, Cyborg.

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking: “There’s more to Colombia than coffee (and drugs and violence)—say whaaa?” to which I say “Damn the media AHH!!” but there is. From a Colombian foodie to you, let me open your mind to a new world of opportunities and deep-fried dreams.

First of all, let me get this off my chest and I’m sorry for what I’m about to do but the world needs to know: America has robbed its people of avocado greatness. Last time I was in Colombia I decided to take photographic proof of what the real deal is so voilà. Buenos dias, avocado the size of my face!


OK, now that I’ve set the record straight, let’s get serious. Here are four can’t-miss Colombia foods.

1. Arepa Rellena


Where do I even start?  Imagine a corn patty that you stuff with eggs, cheese, shredded beef, and/or chicken and pretty much anything your heart desires; and then you deep fry it in heavenly oil. The result? Oh Em Gee you wanna call this place your new home. Not convinced? Spread some suero costeno on that puppy and it’s a first class ticket to foodtopia. Suero costeno is the Colombian version of sour cream but it tastes more like cream cheese, which gives it that perfect amount of slight acidity that makes you go NOM!

2. Plantain Platters


Now, on to some serious food for thought. What in the world is better than fried chorizo, spicy guac, thick bacon and meaty chicharrones??? ALL of the above served on a dish made of deep fried plantain is the correct answer!! Yes, this happens and it’s glorious!!!!!

Also, note the bean dip and hot sauce dip on the side cause–duh, who doesn’t wanna dip all of this stuff in hot sauce and beans? Man, if this doesn’t make you wanna book a ticket right meow, I know what will, and the answer is: Ajiaco.

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In Which I Succumb to Taco Tuesday

When I first moved to DC, I had the pleasure of living with not one but two lovely women who came from families with eight children.  As a member of a modest two-child family, I was endlessly fascinated by their stories of growing up.  One story that entered our household lore and has stuck with me going on six years later is the tale of the day that Rachel, who was near the end of her large family train, called her house on a Tuesday and talked to her mom.  It came out that her mom, dad and brother, the only ones remaining at home, were having fish for dinner.  Indignantly, Rachel exclaimed, “But Mom, it’s Taco Tuesday!”  To which her mom replied something like, “You think that we still eat tacos every week now that it’s just the three of us?”  It seems that Taco Tuesday was more a product of pragmatism than a reflection of her mother’s love of Tex-Mex cuisine.

For me, the food growing up was considerably less regimented. Sure, there were some favorite family dishes, but the level of predictability was considerably less pronounced.  My mother would plan the week’s menu over the weekend, and each of us would have a say.  New dishes were welcomed, particularly if the person suggesting it was also willing to cook it.  After I flew the coop, I met a man whose tastes are as varied as mine, and together we embarked on many culinary adventures (think homemade gyros, doro wat, and pesto pizza). It seemed that Taco Tuesday, at least for me, was not to be.

But…I now find myself the parent of two kids two and under, one of whom eats every three hours around the clock, and the other who is disinclined to entertain himself for hours while I practice Advanced Menu Planning and Execution.  That’s right.  I have embraced not only Taco Tuesday, but Pasta Monday as well.  But, I promise you this, ESers:  There will never be a Turkey Surprise Thursday.  I hope.

Oh yes, a recipe…so, when I am feeling particular adventurous  and my mini-sous chef is willing, Taco Tuesday can become Enchilada Tuesday.  It’s not too much more work, but looks considerably more impressive.

Easy Tuesday Enchiladas

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Comfort Food Time: Creamy Veggie & Bean Soup with Homemade Rustic Rosemary Bread

Ok, y”all. Halloween is over. The election is over.  It”s time to really delve into comfort foods like soup and bread.  Or better yet, both. My house recently smelled like garlic and freshly baked bread for two days. Let”s face it–those are the best smells on earth.

I adore soup and just had to share this recipe; it”s soooo good, and healthy to boot.  This is probably my favorite soup I”ve made so far!  Make it, for realz.

Plus, a bonus bread recipe!  I spoil you, so.

Creamy Veggie & Bean Soup

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Gridiron Grub: Southern Seven-Layer Dip

The beginning of fall is always bittersweet for me, because I love summer with all my heart. The silver lining to this new season, though, is that fall equals the return of football, which equals daydrinking, snacking, and of course, tailgating!

I love tailgating. Lounging outside in the sun, downing beer, and chowing down on indulgent snacks? Hell yeah. Now that I’m a Texas transplant, I have fully committed to the southern tailgate lifestyle, and I am here to tell you it is way more intense than anything I experienced in Washington. Here in Austin, a city with no pro sports teams, college football reigns supreme. It doesn’t matter if you attended UT or not, on game days you proudly sport all the burnt orange you can muster and hook ’em horns with the best of ’em. My boyfriend, Rob, is a born-and-raised Austinite and a huuuuge Longhorns supporter with a reserved tailgate spot and season tickets to all the games, so I knew it was important to make a strong “I’m committed to this, y’all!” statement among the other fans at my first UT tailgate.

Mulling over all the traditional choices got a bit tedious. Chips, queso, pulled pork, chili, salsa… I couldn’t make up my mind and didn’t want to just settle for one of those cliché (albeit delicious, don’t get me wrong!) choices. Suddenly it dawned one me: why not combine all my favorite fatty football foods in one epic dish?! If people can do that with Mexican food, why couldn’t I do that with Southern food?! And thus, the Southern Seven-Layer Dip was born.

Southern Seven-Layer Dip

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Fast Food Fixation: Homemade Doritos Crunch Wrap

Have you ever made something amazing in the kitchen that made you literally do a happy dance? This is happy dance evoking.
I don’t really go to fast food places.  I know that might sound a little blasphemous…like one of those people who say they don’t own a TV.  Sorry, but it’s the truth.  I do, however, see commercials for fast food (because I own a TV).  Some of it catches my attention and I feel like I have to recreate it.
I’ve been making crunch wraps basically since they came out at Taco Smell Bell.  They are more awesome when you make them at home, I’m sure (I actually don’t have anything to compare it to…never actually tried them at Taco Bell…hmph).  Lately, though, I have been seeing the Doritos shell tacos commercials and I gotta say, “I wants it in mah belly.”  Food cravings clearly make me talk like a crazy person. So, I thought: why not marry the two ideas and make a homemade Doritos Crunch Wrap?! You’re welcome, world.
Ok, this is really super easy, and it is mostly about assembly.  So let’s do this.

Homemade Doritos Crunch Wrap

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Cornerstone Cooking: Crunchy Black Bean Tacos

We love us a good blog-to-book success story (hellooooooo, agents — what ver happened to Friday Fuck-Ups, the novel?) So I was excited to get my copy of Cornerstone Cooking, the new cookbook from Nick Evans, sometimes ES contributor and the man behind Macheesmo.

Of course, leave it to a blogger to come up with the first cookbook I’ve seen in eons that is actually useful. The concept behind Cornerstone is one we can get behind: “learn to love your leftovers.” In each of his eight chapters, Nick offers up one “Cornerstone recipe” — the simple things that you should just know how to make perfectly (roast chicken, spicy black beans, grilled flank steak, baked potatoes, marinara sauce, lentils, homemade bread and vanilla ice cream). Then for each one, he gives you about a dozen more directions for how to use that cornerstone dish up over the course of a week. For example, how to turn those spicy black beans into black bean burgers, black bean soup, huevos rancheros, black bean salad, and our favorite — fried tacos!

Check out Cornerstone Cooking on Amazon, or keep reading for the recipe.

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