Welsh Rarebit Lamb Nachos

Recently, I was invited to participate in a recipe competition hosted by the American Lamb Board. I think in all the years in writing for ES I’ve only ever cooked up one lamb dish. In a moment of weakness I agreed to participate. The premise of the contest is to create an original dish (do they even exist these days?) using a cut of meat provided to us by the good folk at Border Spring Farms in Virginia — in this case a dry aged boneless leg of lamb.

The more I thought about creating a dish with a slab of meat I’m not incredibly comfortable with, the more I became intimidated. I’m in this contest with a flock (ha! I apologize) of other DC-area food bloggers and these guys are pretty awesome. In the spirit of all things Endless Simmer I decided to do what I do best — nachos. We’re big fans of nachos, actually pretty wild about them here, so it seemed fitting I’d go this route. I just hope I didn’t disrespect the meat.

But I still brought a little class. Growing up in England, I always associated lamb with Wales. I would holiday there a lot as a kid and it wasn’t uncommon to see sheep and lambs in the rolling fields of the countryside as I was camped out in a tent in an adjacent field — welcome to my childhood. In that vein I thought I would bring a little of Great Britain to these nachos and instead of using plain old cheese, I’d go with Welsh Rarebit, in the hopes of allowing the flavors of the lamb to shine through.

Slow Roasted Lamb Nachos with Welsh Rarebit and Scallions

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Top 10 Things I Ate in College That I’ll Never Eat Again

I don’t consider myself a gourmet chef or anything, but I can make some pretty delicious magic happen in the kitchen now and then. I will admit that in the four years I spent away at college, I made some pretty questionable food choices. Often. And not just when I was inebriated, although I will admit that three flaming Dr. Peppers and a few Malibu and pineapples (and possibly a shot of Aftershock from an ice block luge) will lead to some horrifying 2am take-out orders. So this list isn’t comprehensive by a long shot — but I can guaran-freakin-tee you that I won’t be eating any of these things any time soon. Meaning ever, ever again.

10. Bread in a Can

Okay, maybe this one isn’t that bad. I mean, it’s not like I was eating the plain variety, because that would just be gross — I only ate the raisin. With cream cheese. But it’s bread — in a can. The ingredients themselves aren’t that heinous, but the idea of canning bread just seems, kind of, wrong? Okay so maybe I’d eat this one again. After a bottle of Strawberry Hill  (like anyone drank that after 12th grade, pshaw).

9.  Spray Butter

The label is misleading — show me one person who actually has a hard time believing this isn’t butter. But you’ve got to make choices in life. If you want to avoid gaining the dreaded “freshman 15,” you can either make healthy choices and eat real food, or go with hydrogenated spray oil masquerading as butter to save some calories. Or cut out the alcohol and eat actual butter. Either way. This is best when sprayed on some Light Wonder Bread with a slice of  Kraft Singles Fat-Free American “cheese” and then nuked in the microwave for 10 seconds to make a lovely “light grilled cheese sandwich.”

 8. Congealed Nachos

Fast food nachos are all fine and well, I’m not saying I’d never eat them again (because I totally would). I’d just never eat them 3 days after their inception, cold and congealed in a Styrofoam container dug out of the back of the fridge. Because money’s tight. Meaning you’re out of cash and the credit card machine at the pizza joint is down so you can’t use mom’s Visa. My nachos of choice were from Freebirds (no BBQ sauce!), so they definitely qualified as delicious before their demise. An empty jar of leftover pickle juice makes a great complimentary beverage here. (photo by Newbirth35)

7. Copiously Frosted Fast Food Desserts (Choose Your Poison)

Cinnabon® rolls, Dunkin’ Donuts fritters, Winchell’s donuts – choose your poison. Sometimes a tooth-achingly sweet, gooey confection is in order — when you’re downing 3 cups of coffee an hour to pull an all-nighter studying, you just need the sugar rush. And the trans-fat. My artery-clogger of choice was Woodstock’s Cinnabread – basically a cinnamon roll on pizza dough, slathered in frosting and served with an additional cup of frosting to dip into. This doesn’t fall into the “That’s so gross I can’t believe I ate that” category, more in the “How did I eat that regularly and not have a coronary?” category. Because this 18-year-old wasn’t too familiar with the term “moderation.” (photo by hullam)

6. Frozen Broccoli in Canned Cheese Soup

This was a favorite during my “vegetarian” period – a bag of frozen broccoli, nuked in the microwave, topped with a can of Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese Soup. And yes, the ingredients in this one are terrifying. Commonly consumed with a can of Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper.

The Top 5: Ice cream, tacos, and a truly sinful serving of Mac and Cheese

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Nachos Gone Wild!

With football season kicking into high gear, it’s about time for some serious snack talk. But you know us ES-ers aren’t gonna just crack open some Tostitos spicy cheese dip and call it a day. These 10 recipes are taking nachos to a whole new level.

1. Greek Nachos

Pita chips, ground lamb, and tzatziki stand in for the usual Mexican ingredients in this inventive Mediterranean take on Nachos.

Greek nachos recipe from elly says opa!

2. Chimichurri Nachos

It’s Argentina’s turn to get creative, topping their nachos with grilled steak and the country’s signature cilantro sauce.

Chimichurri nachos recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

3. Totchos

Yes, that’s tater tot nachos, and really, can anyone argue nachos wouldn’t be better when you replace the chips with crispy fried potatoes?

Tater tot nacho recipe from Riley J. Briggs.

4. Pasta Nachos

At San Francisco Italian restaurant Puccini and Pinetti, wonton wrappers serve as the base for Italian nachos topped with marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil.

Recipe for pasta nachos.

5. Grilled Nachos

Once again proving that any food that tastes good tastes even better cooked over a grill.

Grilled nachos recipe from Jenn’s Food Journey.

Next: Potato chip nachos, dessert nachos and more

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Do or Dine: Dumpling Nachos

We thought we’d found the limits of nacho creativity when we told you about wonton wrapper nachos, but then the chefs at Brooklyn’s new Do or Dine had to go and make dumpling nachos. Yep, their “Nippon nachos” are basically nachos made with dumplings instead of tortilla chips. Not dumpling wrappers—entire dumplings. Deep-fried pork dumplings are topped with melted cheddar, sour cream, salsa and scallions.

Game on, ESers — what’s the craziest food you can turn into a nacho? Eggs Benedict nachos? Foie gras nachos? Steak tartare nachos? I honesty can’t think of anything I wouldn’t want to eat in nacho form (And big up to Lorie Marsh, who has already written in with her amazing chili cheese nachos. Thanks, Lorie!)

A little more about the awesomely named Do or Dine: two front-of-house workers at Manhattan’s fancy-pants restaurant The Modern branched out to Bed-Stuy with one of the most creative high-end/lowbrow menus we’ve seen yet. They also officially win our search for America’s most creative deviled egg with this:


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An Italian Chef Walks Into a Nacho Bar…

Chef Richard Hodge really loves nachos. Unfortunately, he works at an Italian restaurant, which makes putting them on his menu impossible. Or does it?

Hodge recently invented a way out of this horrific dilemma: pasta nachos, a new addition to his menu at Puccini & Pinetti in San Francisco.

Instead of nacho chips, Hodge takes wonton wrappers, cuts them into triangles, and fries until crispy. Then he tops them with housemade fennel sausage, a little salsa marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese and bakes until the cheese melts. Once cooked, it’s topped with diced Serrano chilies, tomatoes, shredded basil and red onion. Italian nachos — they really do exist! Hodge was kind enough to share his recipe.

Pasta Nachos

Makes 4 servings

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America’s Best Drunk College Food

It’s that very special time of year when all of America’s college students put aside their textbooks to focus on a more pressing pursuit: who is best at putting a ball through a hoop. But at Endless Simmer we’re more interested in what they’re doing after the game. So instead of spending all week filling out some silly brackets, we decided to rank all 68 NCAA tournament teams by what really is the best part of college: the greasy, cheesy, meaty, ridiculously over-the-top local foods that you would ever only consider eating if you were in college, celebrating a win, and…well, drunk as hell.

68. Virginia Commonwealth University: Senior Bobble

A quesadilla kicked up a good few notches, with ground beef, peppers and crushed tortilla chips inside.

BoDillaz; Richmond, Virginia (Photo: BoDillaz)

67. Kentucky: MegaHo Burger

This triple-decker burger can come complete with gravy, cheese, jalapenos, mushrooms, bacon, tomato, pickle and lettuce — don’t forget the cheese-filled tater tots on the side. Only ranked so low because we have not confirmed that you can eat this and still walk out the door alive.

Tolly-Ho; Lexington, Kentucky (Photo: Tolly-Ho)

66. UC-Santa Barbara: BBQ Sauce Nachos

It’s unclear why so few other establishments have thought to combine juicy chicken or carne asads nachos with sticky BBQ sauce.

Freebirds World Burrito; Isla Vista, California (Photo: Tuan T)

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Super Bowl Grub: Pub Food Triple Play

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of bar food, my waistline can attest to that. However, the biggest conundrum I encounter when I find myself seated atop a bar stool with a pint of beer is what to order — there really are so many great choices. Chicken tenders, nachos, potato skins, how to choose!

From time to time I’ll have a light bulb moment and with what I’m about to tell you is, I think, one of my best light bulb moments ever, and just in time for the Super Bowl.

Potato skins loaded with nachos and topped with chicken tenders. Incredible.

Read on for the recipe.

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