RECIPE: THREE CHEESE GRITS (SO EASY!)

Do you need something quick, easy, and comforting for breakfast or brunch during the holidays? This super fast grits recipe is perfect for Christmas morning or any holiday brunch because it's not only delicious, it's quick to fix and affordable, too.

I call these my 3G Grits; it is the Gouda, Gruyere, and Goat cheeses that take these grits from everyday to gourmet. You can use whatever combo of cheeses you have... it is the perfect way to use the leftover cheese you have hanging around in the fridge.

three cheese grits

THREE CHEESE GRITS

INGREDIENTS

2 cups quick cooking grits or stone-ground grits; cooked to package instructions

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

Kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup Gouda, coarsely grated

1/2 cup Gruyere, coarsely grated

1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

Smoked paprika (optional, to lightly sprinkle on top)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Generously butter a shallow baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Make grits according to package directions. Stir in butter, heavy cream as the grits are almost done. Add the peppers, and stir in the cheeses, reserving a bit of each for the top. Stir until the cheese is almost completely melted and pour into the buttered dish.

Bake at 425 for 12 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately.

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COMFORT FOOD RECIPE: A CLASSIC IRISH BEEF STEW

On St. Patrick’s Day, we’re all Irish… and during the cold winter months, we’re all usually craving food that is warm, comforting, and hearty and Irish Beef Stew recipe has all of those characteristics. It really could not be easier to make and it is also very affordable so it is the perfect recipe for a St. Paddy’s Day (or any) celebration.

Note: Add the carrots and potatoes later in the process so they don’t disintegrate totally during cooking but you do want the potatoes to help thicken the stew as it cooks. For this reason, I add a few potatoes when I add the carrots and reserve the rest for the final 20 minutes of cooking time so they have some texture left.

IRISH BEEF STEW

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 -3 pounds boneless chuck, cut into 2” cubes (you can use stew meat or ask the butcher to cut into cubes for you)

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 white onion, diced small

2 cups red wine

2 cups beef broth plus a bit more, depending on how thick you like your stew

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 whole cloves

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs fresh thyme

3 sprigs fresh Italian parsley plus more for garnish

6 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2" pieces

4-5 Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2" cubes 

DIRECTIONS:

Tie the parsley and the thyme together in a bundle using kitchen twine to make it easy to remove. Set aside.

Add the flour, salt, pepper to a large zip top bag. Shake to combine. Add the meat to the bag and shake to coat all of the pieces evenly.

Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven and place over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the contents of the bag to the pan and brown, turning the meat frequently to cook on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Add the onion and cook for approximately 3 minutes, stirring often. Once softened slightly, add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more.

Deglaze the pan using the red wine, scraping up the browned bits of flour from the pan as you go. Stir until you reach a smooth consistency. Once you do, add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, clove, thyme, and parsley.

Bring to a simmer.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Check after 40 minutes. Stir gently and determine if you need to add more liquid. Add the carrots and a few potatoes. Cover and continue cooking.

After one hour, check again and add the remaining potatoes. You may need to add a bit more broth. Check the seasoning now and determine if you need more salt or pepper. Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes or until the carrots are fork tender.

When done, remove the cloves, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Serve over buttered wide egg noodles or with a toasted slice of crusty bread. Garnish with a bit of chopped parsley.

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RECIPE: WICKED DEVILED EGGS

I like these spicy deviled eggs for a BBQ; they really stand up to the bold flavors! Take my classic deviled egg recipe and add spicy Wickles Pickle Relish in place of the sweet relish. Sub Dijon for the yellow mustard and some hot sauce for an extra kick!

Wicked Deviled Eggs

WICKED DEVILED EGGS

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 45 minutes including 17 minutes for the hard-boiled eggs

INGREDIENTS

12 hard-boiled eggs (get the how-to)

5 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon dry mustard (like Coleman's)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire

1/2 tablespoon Sriracha

1 1/2 tablespoons Wickles brand spicy pickle relish (or add a couple of dashes Tabasco to your favorite sweet relish)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Pinch cayenne pepper

Paprika for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Carefully cut the boiled eggs in half. Set the whites aside to stuff. Put the yolks into a glass bowl. Add the mayonnaise and mustard. I prefer a thicker consistency but add more or less mayo depending on the consistency you like. Use a fork to mash it all together until somewhat creamy; if there are some bits of egg peeking through, that's ok. Add the salt, pepper and relish. Check the seasoning. Combine well. Spoon the yolks into the egg whites or make a pastry bag from a plastic zip top bag. Spoon the mixture into the bag and push it into the corner and squeeze out the air. Snip the end and pipe nice little swirls onto your egg. I can do this so trust me, it's not hard. Chill until serving time, at least 1 hour.

GET THE HOW TO ON THE PERFECT HARD-BOILED EGG

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PHOTO CREDIT: ARDEN PHOTOGRAPHY