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Fancy schmancy desserts for college kids

Last night I did another installment of the dinners on Wisconsin, where U of WI alums cook dinner for students. I had a nice crowd this time, not ALL girls – lively kids. I made them a combo of leftovers and fancy desserts; the main course was chilaqiles made from the last of the butternut squash black bean chili, frozen since the fall. I topped it with the goat cheese melted into cream sauce from the spinach-black-bean-corn-tortilla Mexican lasagna from Epicurious. The desserts were a cheesecake tart, topped with the last of my raspberries from last summer, and a salted caramel tart.

I told the kids I’d give them recipes with easy equivalents, so here goes:


6 – 7 cups chili – home made OR out of a can or jar
1 package corn tortillas, or half a bag of corn chips, unsalted if you’ve got them
1 1/2 cups grated cheese (I used cheddar, but pepper jack would be good)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
4 oz. goat cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
OR 2 cups sour cream and a little milk for thinning

If you are using corm tortillas, cut them into wedges and fry them in a little oil until crispy. Arrange them in the bottom of a big shallow baking pan (I used a 14-inch pizza pan). OR just dump in the corn chips. Top with chili. Top the chili with 2/3  of the cheese, and cilantro if using. Crumble the goat cheese into a sauce pan, add the cream and sour cream, and stir over medium heat until smooth. Pour this sauce over the top of the casserole. OR mix milk into the sour cream until it’s a pouring consistency, and use that. Top with the last of the cheddar and bake at 375°s until bubbling, about 30 minutes.

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