Football food: Make tachos, the lovechild of tater tots and nachos

Tachos are the lovechild of tater tots and nachos. (Credit: Oxmoor House)
Tachos are the lovechild of tater tots and nachos. (Credit: Oxmoor House)

Only those who truly love football and food with equal passion can appreciate a heap of Tachos. The guilty pleasure mashup dish is, in effect, the well-accessorized lovechild of tater tots and nachos.

Tachos shares the newly published “The Hungry Fan’s Game Day Cookbook” (Oxmoor House, $22.95) with other decadent, made-for-sports-watching dishes, such as Shepherd’s Pie Quesadilla Bites, an Irish-Mexican mashup.

BEST LOCAL SPORTS BARS FOR WATCHING FOOTBALL

The book’s author, sports mega-fan Daina Falk, who operates HungryFan.com, a site for sports-loving foodies, tapped into the game-day cravings of sports fans.

“There’s nothing better than cheering on your team at deafeningly loud decibels while chowing down on ‘sportsfood’ yummies,” she writes.

Which brings us to Tachos. Here’s the recipe. You’re welcome!

TACHOS

The following recipe and note are reprinted from Daina Falk’s “The Hungry Fan’s Game Day Cookbook” with permission of Oxmoor House.

“You’ve heard of nachos. You’ve heard of tater tots. Combining them creates sheer taste bud amazingness in the form of what I call ‘Tachos.’ The key to this recipe is that the tater tots must be served really crispy and hot. This dish is goopy, so you really want your tots to hold up to the cheesy yumminess like tortilla chips would.”

6 ounces dried chorizo, diced

1⁄2 cup Negra Modelo, or another dark beer

16 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese

1 serrano pepper, seeds and veins removed, minced

1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles, drained

2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

3 cups tater tots

2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

1⁄4 cup salsa

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

Freshly ground black pepper, optional

GDC full cover 0602acj.indd1. Cook the chorizo over medium in a large saucepan for 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp and the fat has rendered. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain, and discard the rendered fat.

2. Heat the beer in the same saucepan over high for about 5 minutes to reduce it a bit. Reduce the heat to low, and add the cheese, stirring often as it melts into the beer. Once fully melted, add the fresh and canned chiles, 1 tablespoon of the green onions, and half the chorizo.

3. Bring to a simmer for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, bake the tater tots in a preheated oven according to package directions, making sure to cook them to their crispiest.

5. Place the tater tots on a large tray, and drizzle the cheese sauce on top. Dollop with the yogurt and salsa. Top with the remaining chorizo and green onions and the cilantro. Feel free to sprinkle with some freshly ground black pepper, too, and then serve immediately.

Makes 1 large plate

Lean, green and supreme: a belly-warming soup for drizzly days

Stray veggies mingle in this yummy green soup. (Photos: Liz Balmaseda/ Palm Beach Post)
Stray veggies mingle in this yummy green soup. (Photos: Liz Balmaseda/ Palm Beach Post)

Here’s a soup that loves stray veggies, those dissed broccoli stems, the last of the spinach, that forgotten zucchini.

greensoup2 I call it my Random Veggie Soup because it transforms leftover, back-of-the-fridge produce into something delicious and healthy.

The beauty of this soup is that you can customize it with your favorite seasonings and stock. Of course, stock is not a required ingredient here. If you follow the flavor-building technique described below, you can make a luscious soup using just water.

One. Start by gathering and washing your random veggies, which can include herbs, stems, celery tops, even romaine lettuce. Separate the more dense veggies (carrots, broccoli stems) from those that will cook faster (spinach, kale).

Two. Chop aromatics (such as onion, garlic, celery, pepper, ginger) to taste. Drop aromatics into warm olive oil in a soup pot. Sprinkle in salt and pepper, plus your desired seasonings. (Sometimes I reach for warm spices like smoky Spanish pimenton, turmeric, cumin and/or Jamaican curry. Other times, I prefer lighter notes like coriander, cardamom, celery seed and dill.)

Three. Sauté aromatics over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. (Tip: I add chopped broccoli stems with the aromatics, so they can soften.) Once the onion begins to turn translucent, add no more than 1 cup of water to the pot, stir and cover. This is the flavor-building stage: flavors bloom as aromatics simmer alone, then in little liquid. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the broccoli stems are slightly tender.

Four. Add greens to pot, adjust seasoning and stir. If using zucchini, add now and stir. For a touch of acidity, add two or three grape tomatoes. Once veggies are well incorporated, add another 1½ or 2 cups of water to the pot, or just enough water to cover the veggies. Simmer for 15 minutes over low heat.

Five. Taste the broth for seasoning and adjust as needed. Once veggies are tender, scoop them into a blender with a slotted spoon, adding just enough liquid to cover. Blend at high speed, adding liquid as needed to achieve desired consistency. Serve into bowls, and drizzle with good olive oil and, if desired, croutons.

greensoup10I love a smooth, velvety soup, so I use a high-powered blender at high speed. But if you like a chunkier soup, use an immersion blender.

If you crave a creamier soup, add a splash of half and half and/or a dab of butter. For a vegan version of creamy soup, add ½ cup of cannellini beans.

 

 

La Sirena snags second wine Grand Award, reopens for season

La Sirena's wine program has earned Wine Spectator's top award. (Credit: Andrew Meade)
La Sirena’s wine program has earned Wine Spectator’s top award. (Photos: Andrew Meade)

Marcello’s La Sirena is more than your neighborhood Italian restaurant. It’s a global destination.

That’s thanks to the West Palm Beach restaurant’s extensive wine selection. For the second consecutive year, La Sirena just earned a rare Grand Award from Wine Spectator magazine.

lasirenaownersandrewmeade
Marcello and Diane Fiorentino

The restaurant reopens Wednesday night for its 31st season with an updated dining room and, according to chef/owner Marcello Fiorentino, expanded food and wine options.

“Some new dishes will be added to the menu,” says Fiorentino by email. “We continue to grow our wine list, adding 250 more selections than last year.”

Fiorentino, who spent three weeks in Italy last month as part of his annual search for culinary inspiration, has planned a new series of La Sirena’s popular wine dinners. The season’s first takes place next Tuesday.

To keep La Sirena’s fans updated, Fiorentino has added a blog to the restaurant’s website, LaSirenaOnline.com.

La Sirena: 6316 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561-585-3128; LaSirenaOnline.com 

Twitter: @LizBalmaseda

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Best sports bars to watch NFL, college football in Palm Beach County

(Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)
(Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)

Are you ready for some football? Want to get out of the house and celebrate your favorite team? Here are a few sports bars and restaurants that stand out for watching NFL and college football this season:

Duffy’s Sports Grill

Duffy's Sports Grill wings. (Contributed)
Duffy’s Sports Grill wings. (Contributed)

With more than 75 TVs at all Duffy’s locations, they are the ultimate sports bar. The restaurant will offer special promotions on their MVP card during football season, including the ‘MVP Big Game Giveaway’, which starts the first Sunday of NFL season and offers a chance to win tickets for two to the Super Bowl including airfare, hotel and transportation to and from the game. They also offer special ‘Football Starters’ appetizers and drinks specials.

Duffy’s Sports Grill: There are numerous locations throughout Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. Check their website for more information.

Related: Football Food – Make tachos, the lovechild of tater tots and nachos!

Renegades Country Bar

Renegades Country Bar &; Grill in West Palm Beach. (Palm Beach Post file photo)
Renegades Country Bar &; Grill in West Palm Beach. (Palm Beach Post file photo)

During Sunday Fun-Day, Renegades offers happy hour all day, a 17-foot drop down screen, and comfy couches for watching your favorite team! There’s also cornhole tournaments and lots of activities and specials throughout the day.

Renegades Bar & Grill: 600 Village Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-683-9555

Grease Burger Bar

photo grease burger bar
Grease Burger Bar in West Palm Beach.

The popular eatery in downtown West Palm Beach will offer up NFL game day specials on sliders, wings and beer. Fans can enjoy 14 flat-screen TVs and over 120 craft beer selections.

Grease Burger Bar:  213 Clematis St. West Palm Beach. (561) 651-1075

Johnny Mangos Tiki Bar & Grill

Johnny Mango's Tiki Bar & Grill in Jupiter is a great spot for kicking back and enjoying food, drink and sports events on TV.
Johnny Mango’s Tiki Bar & Grill in Jupiter is a great spot for kicking back and enjoying food, drink and sports events on TV.

Johnny Mangos is a tiki /sports bar, with lots of screens for watching the game. There are booths, tables, high tops and bar seating, along with an outdoors tiki bar. They offer beer buckets and wing specials during NFL and college games.

Johnny Mangos Tiki Bar & Grill: 71 E. Indiantown Road, Jupiter; (561) 747-1161

Kirby’s Sports Grille

Kirby's, a tropical sports bar in Juno Beach, serves delicious jumbo lump crab cakes. (Photo by Libby Volgyes)
Kirby’s, a tropical sports bar in Juno Beach, serves delicious jumbo lump crab cakes. (Photo by Libby Volgyes)

Kirby’s puts as much emphasis on fun as food. There are TVs, pool tables, video games and more. Sunday football specials include discounts on wings and beer buckets.

Kirby’s Sports Grille841 Donald Ross Road (in Plaza La Mer), Juno Beach, 561-627-8000

Bru’s Room

The interior of Bru's Room Sports Grill in Delray Beach. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)
The interior of Bru’s Room Sports Grill in Delray Beach. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)

Bru’s Room offers everything that a sports bar is known for including sandwiches, salads, chicken wings, burgers and more. The spacious restaurant has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating with lots of TVs throughout for watching the games. Bru’s also offers a ‘Fantasy Draft’ team package for groups of 10 or more, which includes pizzas, beers, free wifi and reserved space.

Bru’s Room: There are several locations throughout Palm Beach County. Check their website for more information.

Old Key Lime House

Old Key Lime House in Lantana. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)
Old Key Lime House in Lantana. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Built in an 1889 pioneer house, this locals’ favorite calls itself “a proud Florida Gator Bar.” These days, tiki bars and a palm-thatched porch front the Intracoastal where boats tie up to the long dock. During college football games, a big projection screen is set up outside by the dock for game-day watching.

Old Key Lime House: 300 E. Ocean Ave., Lantana: 561-582-1889

The Old Arcade:

This hidden spot on Atlantic Avenue is accessible by walking through the Caffe Martier. During football season, special TV projectors

The Old Arcade.
Some of the ingredients used in The Old Arcade’s blackberry, mint and bourbon cocktail. (Corvaya Jeffries/The Palm Beach Post)

will be set up for watching the games.

The Old Arcade: 411 E. Atlantic Ave. Delray Beach: 561-450-6169

Miller’s Gardens Ale House

Miller’s offers over 75 brews, including local favorites. During games, they offer pitchers of beer and beer buckets specials.

Gardens Ale House: 9800 Highway A1A Alt, Palm Beach Gardens; 561-691-1915

Did we get it right? Vote now, or tell us your favorite: (we just may update our list with your favorites!)

 

Openings: The Regional debuts at CityPlace sooner than you think

Top Chef: Lindsay Autry in The Regional's main dining room. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Top Chef: Lindsay Autry brings Southern soul to The Regional. (Bruce R. Bennett/ Palm Beach Post)

After spending nearly two years vacant, the cavernous CityPlace restaurant space is filled with the buttery aromas of baking Parker House rolls, freshly made, fruit-filled hand pies and home-baked club crackers.

The scents now wafting from The Regional Kitchen & Public House are evidence executive chef Lindsay Autry and her team are finessing details for next week’s debut.

The Regional is slated to open to the public for dinner service on Saturday Sept. 10. Several friends-and-family meals are planned for earlier in the week, followed by an invitation-only “housewarming” party on Friday, Sept. 9.

Hot stuff: The Regional's Parker House Rolls with seasonal butter, by pastry chef Sarah Sipe. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Hot stuff: Parker House Rolls with seasonal butter. (Bruce R. Bennett / Palm Beach Post)

The heavy lifting – the renovation, the décor, the principal staffing, even the arrival of 4000 premium wines in four shipments – is finished. Restaurateur Thierry Beaud (Pistache, PB Catch) and managing partner Autry have breathed warmth and light into the 10,000-square-foot space once occupied by Pampas Grille, which closed in October 2014. (Other previous inhabitants include McCormick & Schmick’s and Columbia Restaurant.)

Beaud’s TITOU restaurant group created cozy, manageable dining and drinking areas and a separate, funky bar/ lounge that can close itself off to the larger restaurant and party on its own. Even the hostess stand is unique — it doubles as a concierge desk, where diners can learn about local shows, shopping and other events.

The full reveal is a concept that’s driven by copious amounts of Southern soul.

To that point: The place will offer tableside pimento cheese with a variety of mix-ins. (And, yes, it involves Duke’s mayonnaise and homemade hot sauce.)

Executive Chef Lindsay Autry revs up the table-side pimento cheese. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Pimento cheese, please: It’s made table-side at The Regional. (Bruce R. Bennett / Palm Beach Post)

The menu alone is more than an eclectic listing of tempting dishes. It’s the abbreviated autobiography of a young, rising chef coming into her own.

“I’ve had a lot of time to write a million menus and scratch them all up. But what I feel really good about is that this menu is kind of an expression of all of my experiences as a chef,” says Autry, a Bravo “Top Chef” alum well known to South Florida dining enthusiasts. “I feel the menu is a true expression of me, not only as a chef but of me as a person.”

Pimento cheese, please: It's prepared table-side at The Regional. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Pimento cheese, with mix-ins.

Up to now, we’ve seen glimmers of this chef as she’s led other kitchens (Sundy House, Michelle Bernstein at The Omphoy) and headlined local culinary pop-ups and festivals. But this menu promises something greater: the work of a cook who syncs her chef-fy skills with her Southern heart.

The menu pays tribute to North Carolina-born Autry’s Southern roots, Mediterranean influences (from her Greek grandmother), and cooking experiences in South Florida and Mexico.

Such a mashup inspires menu items like Country Ham Carpaccio with cornbread sticks, apple slaw, clothbound cheddar and pepper jelly, and Roasted Bone Marrow with pickled shallots and crispy onions, and sweet-tea brined Fried Chicken Thighs with bread and butter pickles, and Grilled Snapper in Banana Leaf with green tomato salsa verde, and Red Wattle Pork Shank with creamed hominy and braised greens.

The Regional's bar and lounge is dubbed the Public House. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
The Regional’s bar and lounge is dubbed the Public House. (Bruce R. Bennett / Palm Beach Post)

As the menu suggests, The Regional incorporates fine dining elements without being stuffy or overly precious. Autry says this is her preferred balance in cooking.

“Most of my experience has been fine dining, and I still like fancy and pretty things, and I like being a chef and taking my time to cure things and cook for days, but I want food to be approachable,” says Autry. “And what I love is taking nostalgic things, like pimento cheese for instance, and taking my experience as a chef and making that even better.”

THE REGIONAL KITCHEN & PUBLIC HOUSE

651 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-557-6460; EatRegional.com