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Apple and Mixed Berry Crumble with Custard Sauce

And here it is!  The finale to the Irish Pub meal consisting of the yummy Guinness Reduction Pork Tenderloin and Colconnan potatoes:  Apple and Mixed Berry Crumble with Custard Sauce.  It’s a mouthful to say and a mouthful of flavor!

I love to incorporate fruit into deserts – its a great way to get more fruit into your diet.   A few spoonfuls of sugar and spice give it the sweet appeal.  This custard also adds bone-healthy dairy.

I had never thought to incorporate apples into a berry desert – but here it is and the combination is a winner.

Thank you Chef Mike Morphew for all you’ve taught us this month.  And if you’re in the La Grange area, be sure and stop by Le Petite Gourmet kitchen shop – You will walk out with a myriad of ideas for your kitchen!

Apple and Mixed Berry Crumble with Custard Sauce

Perfect Irish Dinner Finale
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Irish


  • 2 lbs cooking apples, sliced
  • 1 lb package frozen mixed berries
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 finely-grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

Crumble Topping

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbsp butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Custard Sauce

  • 1 pint milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp cornstarch diluted in a little milk


  • Place the apples in a pan with 2 tbsp butter and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the brown sugar, lemon zests and cook until the apples are tender, add the mixed berries
  •  Pour into an oven proof dish
  • To make the topping place  all ingredients into a processor and pulse till it resembles fine breadcrumbs
  • Pile this mix onto the apples and sprinkle a little brown sugar over the top.
  • Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approx. 45 minutes.

Custard Sauce

  • Take the milk to a boil
  • Mix the egg yolks with the sugar, vanilla and cornstarch.
  • Whisk the hot milk onto the egg mixture then return to the pan.
  • Stir continuously until the liquid boils
  • Pour over individuals servings if plating, or serve on the side if serving buffet style.


Colconnan Potatoes

If you’re looking for a single side dish to add to that Guinness Reduction Pork Roast recipe from last week – here’s your answer:  Colconnan Potatoes. 

Potatoes are an Irish specialty and incorporating cabbage into them, creates a  tastefully beautiful dish.  Of course, a little bacon and a little butter certainly augment the flavor,  
Chef Mike Morphew shared this recipe with us during his thematic – Irish Pub food cooking class.  The result is a creamy and moist potato dish. 
 If you’ve been following Texicureans for a while, you know I love to know substitutions in case I don’t have something on hand, or the fridge is loaded with an item that needs consumed.  
So, here you go:  Half the potatoes can be substituted with parsnips.  Kale, chard, or other leafy greens can be substituted for the cabbage.  You can also add chives, leeks, or green onions.  
You don’t need the Luck of the Irish to make this dish, but turning on an Irish Jig during prep could make it more fun!

Colconnan Potatoes

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Servings 8


  • 2 lbs potatoes peeled and cut into even pieces
  • ½ cabbage shredded fine
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 lb bacon, cooked and chopped
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


  • Place the potatoes into water and boil as for mashed potatoes.
  • Drop the cabbage into boiling water and cook until tender and drain well.
  • Mash the potatoes, add the cabbage, bacon, and butter, mixing well
Keyword Potatoes, cabbage, Irish, St. Patrick's Day

Guinness Reduction

St. Patrick’s Day is a feast with deep cultural and religious roots. Like many other holidays, secular culture has taken it for a ride. Green beer and green beads does not an Irish make.

But who doesn’t want an excuse to cook, pour a Guinness, and transport to those verdant fields atop rocky cliffs. Sláinte!

Come along as we begin with a few Irish Texan connections. Careful, don’t finish your Jameson too quickly. We still have the main course — an authentic recipe from Chef Mike Morphew, M.C.F.A.

Irish Texans: Quick Facts to Share Around the Table

The Irish were among some of the early settlers in Texas, including Austin’s Old Three Hundred.  In fact, so many settled in central San Antonio, the area was referred to as Irish Flats. The towns of San Patricio and Refugio were settled in the early 1800’s by predominantly Irish.  In fact, in true Irish fashion, they were established on Saint Patrick’s Day – March 17th, 1836.

The Irish fought for Texas freedom – eleven died at the battle of the Alamo and fourteen were counted being massacred at Goliad with Colonial Fannin.  A full one seventh of Houston’s army that fought in the Battle of San Jacinto were Irish. Harry McArdle, Irish painter, created portraits of Sam Houston, Jefferson Davis and battle scenes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. The Texas State Capitol displays his work.

Other nineteenth century notables are Peter Gallagher, a Texas Ranger and organizer of Pecos County, Samuel McKinney – president of Austin College and John Mallet, first chairman of the University of Texas faculty. Texas remains home to many family lineages who emigrated from Ireland after their “American Wake”. Y’all should google that.

Now, for the experience we are thrilled to share with you. We know international treasures are hiding in plain sight among small town Texas. We love nothing more than to find the people and places that make us the best place in the world to be. This time, we went back to La Grange in Le Petite Gourmet’s kitchen. Why? Well, to learn from a Chef who cooked for the Queen of England, of course.


La Grange is where we found Chef Mike Morphew, M.C.F.A., a UK native who knows and loves Irish pub food. So, how did he get to Texas?  He married a Texan, of course! The pull of the Lone Star State is strong.

Texicureans were treated to a cooking session with Chef Morphew. The star of the show that Chef Mike prepared was Loin of Pork Stuffed with Leeks and Fresh Sage, smothered in a Guinness Reduction. Doesn’t the name just make you hungry?

Staying true to his motto that the fewer ingredients in a recipe, the better, the pork loin only uses 5 ingredients, and makes a fabulous presentation with the Guinness Reduction.

The starter to this creation was Curried Parsnip Soup.  Colcannon Potatoes and Cabbage with Caraway and Butter served as sides to the main event.  A desert of Apple and Mixed Berry Crumble with Custard Sauce topped off the evening.

We are grateful Chef Morphew now calls Texas home and was willing to share his time with Texicureans.  With him, he brings a long list of accomplishments that formed his immense knowledge of the culinary arts. He has worked for European hotels and instructed culinary schools. But his personal crowning achievement is working in the royal kitchen and preparing meals for the Royal family.

Texicureans invite you to don your green, invite some friends or family over, and share a simple to prepare Irish Pub meal. The recipes and full video “how to” for the Loin of Pork Stuffed with Leeks and Fresh Sage can be found at www.texicureans.com. There, you can join our recipe club for weekly updates.

Roasted Pork Loin with Sage and Leeks, Smothered in a Guinness Reduction

A True Irish Pub Main Course
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Servings 8


  • 3 Pound Boneless Pork Loin
  • 1 bunch Fresh sage leaves
  • 2 Leeks washed, shredded, cooked in butter until tender
  • 1 cup Pork trimmings diced
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Medium onion chopped fine
  • 1 cup Guinness beer
  • 1 pack brown gravy diluted
  • 1 pint chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Trim the pork loin and keep trimmings
  • Make an incision along the side to create a pocket
  • Rub the pork with salt and pepper
  • Put the pork trimmings in a processor with chopped sage and egg white and puree well, add the leek and salt and pepper, plus a little nutmeg, stuff this inside the pork loin and tie up, stab with a knife an insert sage leaves in the incisions
  • Place into a roasting tray and drizzle with oil.
  • Roast in an oven at 375 till cooked approx. 1.5 hours
  • Take out and rest the pork
  • Add the chopped onion to a pan with a little butter, cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add a little sage and the Guinness and reduce, add a splash of red wine and the stock
  • Reduce and then thicken with the gravy mix, season with salt and pepper
  • Slice and serve topped with Guiness reduction.


Keyword Irish Pub Food, Irish meal, St Patrick's Day meal,

Brandy Velvet

When I was in High School Band, my director always said, “your audience at a concert will best remember the first song and the last song, so make it your best”!

This tastefully decadent desert  – smooth, cool, and a delight to consume will do just that!  It’s the finale to end all finales.

You will need to slip into the kitchen to prepare at the last moment before serving, but by having all ingredients and the blender in one spot  you’ll  be back in “two shakes of a sheep’s tail”,  And when you start delivering it to the table, I promise the “ooh’s and aah’s” will make it ll worthwhile.

You can use coffee ice cream or coffee gelato.  I prefer the gelato for a purer taste.

The yield is 5 cups – its easy to double, and I suggest doing so if you have 5-6 people.

Brandy Velvet

Smooth and Decadent
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • ½ tsp dark instant coffee granules
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 1 pint coffee gelato (or coffee ice cream)
  • ¼ cup Brandy
  • 1/4 cup chocolate syrup


  • Whipped Cream
  • Grated Chocolate


  • Combine coffee granules and hot water, stirring until granules dissolve.
  • Pour coffee into a blender, adding gelato, brandy, and chocolate syrup.
  • Process until smooth and combined, stopping once to scrape down the sides.
  • Pour into glasses (I like martini) and garnish.  Serve immediately.


Keyword desert, coffee desert, chocolate desert, chilled, brandy, chilled desert, gelato, whipped cream

Family Snack Board

Many times, the simple things in life are the best things in life.  I think this is particularly true with children.

Celebrating Valentines as a family when you have young children around creates a beautiful memory.  Why not make it special by designing a meal in the form of a charcuterie board?   Include all their fave things to eat – with a nod toward good nutrition, of course.

Rachel Meier designed this board with her children’s favorite things in mind.  She created a simple masterpiece that is as fun to eat as it is tasty. Designed for Valentines, this board can be detailed for St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, a summer swim, a birthday party, and the list goes on and on!

Family Snack Board

A child's food fantasy
Course Appetizer
Servings 4


  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Cheese
  • Mini Cucumbers
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Powdered donuts
  • Mini chocolate chip muffins
  • Pretzels, melting chocolates, and sprinkles
  • M & M's
  • Candy Hearts
  • Peppermint sticks
  • Stroopwafels
  • Circus Cookies


  • Think of your children favorite things and colors for the theme
  • Prep everything – at least one vegetable and some fruit.  Cut the bread for the PBJ into a shape,unwrap cheese and open candy containers.  Dip pretzels in melting chocolate and sprinkle.  Cut letters out of cheese slices using small cookie cutters.
  • Assemble and enjoy!


The possibilities are endless - themes, ingredients, and colors!
Keyword charcuterie, charcuterie board, cheese, cheese board, meat board, valentines board, Childrens parties, Family gatherings

For the Love of Cheese

My niece, Emily Williams, and I started Texicureans because of our mutual love of the foods and cultures that make Texas like no other. During the last three years we have joined friends in many Texas home kitchens and ventured to their culinary cultural destination counter parts. We learned how to make Spanish Soup and biked the Missions. We enjoyed French Soup and visited the French Legation. You see, adventure isn’t just checking off a box. Adventure is also learning something new, tasting family ingredients, and sharing the hugs. That’s what being a Texicurean really is all about.

In English we only have one word to express affection for each other – Love.  Our mother language, Latin, is broader in nature with several terms – Amor:  affection, fondness, adoration attachment.  Caritas:  charity, high price, expensiveness, and scarcity.  Dilectio:  delight, pleasure, goodwill.

Valentines has always been a favorite of mine – from creating shoebox containers for classroom valentine greetings in elementary school to celebrating with family and a few friends.  For many years because we had sons at home and my sister was single with a daughter (Emily), we chose to celebrate with a family dinner.  One of our favorite activities was to go around the table and tell what we loved about each other.  Of course, it was edifying, but sometimes also surprising to find what we all found to be important about each other. When it comes to love, there is truly no place like home.

Valentine’s Charcuterie Tutorial

In that spirit of family love, Emily and I gathered in the kitchen for a tutorial on her making a beautiful charcuterie board. Aside from her corporate role in Austin, Emily owns a charcuterie business @emideecharcuterie. She creates beautiful trays, boards, and tables for all levels of clients. You can find her partnering with influencers or leading in-home and virtual workshops for all things cheese and accoutrements.

This month, Emily is going to demystify the process for anyone wanting to give charcuterie a try. Charcuterie boards and grazing tables have become a beautiful way to entertain a large group. Here’s an example of a board that serves 4-6.  You can gather these items at HEB or your favorite cheese shop.

Charcuterie Board A la Emideecharcuterie

Sharing Love
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 4 -6 people


  • 13"-15" tray



    • Brie
    • Manchego
    • Mozzarella Balls
    • Honey Goat Cheese
    • Garlic and herb Boursin
    • Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella
    • Aged white cheddar for crumbling


    • Prosciutto
    • Calabrese Salami
    • Italian Dried Salami
    • Sopprasata

    Other Components

    • Cornichons
    • Strawberries
    • Grapes
    • Raspberries
    • Honey
    • Strawberry Jam
    • Fruit and Nut Crisps
    • Watercrackers
    • Marcona Almonds
    • Fresh Thyme
    • Fresh Rosemary


    •  Place bowls/ramekins on the board, careful not to clump together. Four corners and one in the center is a good rule.
    • Place cheeses throughout the board, remembering to incorporate texture and to create balance of shapes and colors throughout – again, avoiding clumps of color/shapes in one area
    •  Create salami rose by layering 15-18 slices in a straight line, one on top of the other but about half an inch. Roll it up from the first one you placed down to the last. Place inside a ramekin and use your fingers to pull the petals outward (not upward) to make the rose “bloom.” If there is a gaping hole in the middle, roll up about 3 more slices and stick in the middle, and repeat with 1-3 slices if a hole remains until there is a “bud” at the center of the rose.
    • Place the prosciutto in ripples on the board and the calabrese salami in folds
    • The dry “log” salami such as Soppressata can be sliced in medallions and either layered in a line, or stacked a few on top of each other on one side of your board
    • Place the fruit – halved strawberries in groups of 3 throughout the board, four corners is a good model here too. Raspberries in two clumps on opposite sides of the board from each other for color balance. Grapes stay on the stem in a cluster and one small cluster on one side and another small cluster on the other side of the board. Wherever there is space!
    • Crackers can be conspicuously placed on the board, under things or stacked upright between two items. Or they can be served on the side
    • Honey, cornichons, jam, mozzarella balls with oil, and any other liquid-y item can go into the bowls/ramekins that were first added to the board. If you use the cookie-cutter trick in your Brie as a centerpiece (reference video,) add jam or pomegranate seeds to the cut out in the Brie
    • Add garnish to the top especially where there is a lot of white from the cheese to add some color/greenery and WA-LA a gorgeous board ready for you and your guests to gather around and enjoy!


    Keyword charcuterie, charcuterie board, cheese, cheese board, meat board, valentines board

    Chipotle Lamb Chops

    Lady Bird Johnson’s Lemon Pound Cake

    This month we are celebrating Texans who made it to the White House.  Lady Bird Johnson, Texan, and wife of the 36th President of the United States served this yummy lemon pound cake at her daughter Luci’s wedding in 1966.  She probably baked it in a bundt pan, but we took artistic liberty since it serves 16 to divide it equally into two loaf pans.

    This allows you to freeze one for later (always handy) and also to diversify your icings.  Of course we had to use her lemon glaze on one of cakes.  The other, I elected to use a ganache.  Lemon and chocolate are a natural together.

    I always thought Lady Bird was a class act – I think you’ll find this desert to fall into that category as well.  AND if you make it in the Spring, you could top it with an edible flower in her honor! A visit to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in the Spring is a delight.



    Lady Bird Johnson's Lemon Cake

    A lemon cake with a history and versatility
    Prep Time 15 mins
    Cook Time 1 hr
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Servings 16


    • ¾ cup Butter (salted)
    • 1 ¼ cup sugar
    • 8 large egg yolks
    • 2 ½ cups cake flour
    • 3 tsp baking powder
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • ¾ cup milk
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 tsp lemon zest

    Lemon Glaze

    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • ¼ cup butter (salted)
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • juice of 1 lemon


    • 8 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • tsp coarse salt


    • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
      Grease either a 10” bundt pan or 2 loaf pans, then dust with flour.
    • Cream butter and sugar with a stand mixer
    • In a separate bowl, whisk the 8 egg yolks together to break up the yolks.  Mix into butter/sugar mixture.
    • Whisk together cake flour, baking powder and salt.
    • Alternately add milk and flour mixture to batter, beating after each addition, scraping the sides as needed.
    • Add vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Beat for 2 minutes.
    • our the batter into the prepared bundt pan or 2 loaf pans and bake for 1 hour.  (Loaf pans need 35 - 40 minutes).  Insert a toothpick to test- must come out clean.
    • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    Lemon Glaze

    • Combine the powdered sugar, butter, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Use a hand mixer to mix until well combined.
    • Once the cake is cooled, drizzle the glaze over the cake.
    • Garnish the cake with more lemon zest if desired.


    • Coarsely chop chocolate. With a serrated knife.
    • Bring cream to a boil over medium-high heat.
    • Pour over chocolate, and add salt.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  
    • Stir with a whisk until smooth.  



    This cake is best stored at room temperature. Keep it in an airtight container for 2-3 days. If you want to keep it longer you can refrigerate the cake after 3 days or freeze it.
    This cake freezes really well.  Wrap well, using freezer baggies.  Allow the cake to come to room temperature before opening the package.
    Keyword Lemon cake, bundt cake, lemon loaf, ganache, lemon icing

    Cooking with Presidents: A small-town Texas chef’s rise and journey to the next chapter

    It’s tough to find a more place-based culture than Texas. Evidence of that can be found in the comradery akin to family when you meet another Texan in a different state or especially abroad. Simply put, a fellow Texan can make you feel home.

    It’s no surprise that when President George Bush and his family left for the Oval Office, his family kept Matthew Wendel close. As Mrs. Laura Bush states in the forward of Matthew’s recent cookbook: “Offering guests wholesome, delicious, and comforting food is a key ingredient of our Texas hospitality, and it’s our way of saying ‘Welcome, we’re glad you’re here’.” I could not agree more!

    It seems that with Chef “Matty”, the Bush family valued a Texan in their kitchen not exclusively for friendship, but to help them share our culture with the world through food. What an amazing partnership and service.

    That brings us to Matthew’s next chapter. You see, drill down that Texas place-based culture to our universities and allegiances bubble up in conversation like the springs under the headwaters of the San Marcos River. We have enough analogies and full circle moments to fill all the pages of this magazine. So, let’s condense. Matthew Wendel is a Texas State Alumni. The stars aligned for him to join Texicureans and the Texas State Alumni Association at the home of Kelly and Beth Damphousse, President and First Lady of Texas State University, respectively. (Eat ‘Em Up Cats!”)

    Matty’s Fried Chicken

    I had the honor of being in the kitchen with Beth and Matthew as we prepared “Matty’s Fried Chicken” from his beautiful cookbook Recipes from the President’s Ranch – Food People Like to Eat The last phrase in the title was coined by Laura Bush’s mother after enjoying many of his meals while visiting.

    Let’s set the scene in San Marcos. When I arrived at the Damphousse home, Beth and Matthew were busy prepping a Texas sized feast. I jumped right in the mix. There was salsa, guacamole, salad, biscuits, brownies, cookies, and the star of the show – Matty’s Fried Chicken. THAT is the recipe Matthew has graciously agreed to share with Texicureans.

    He took my one bane of cooking and turned it into an easy methodology with scrumptious results.  How did the fried chicken turn out?  AMAZING!  The flavor penetrates completely through each piece.

    Matthew’s full cookbook is published through the White House Historical Association and can be purchased at  https://shop.whitehousehistory.org/products/recipes-from-the-presidents-ranch or on your next visit to the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Visit https://www.bushcenter.org/ to plan your trip. Matthew’s book is a curated catalogue you will return to again and again.  Hint: “Matty’s Chocolate Chip Cookies” are probably the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever put in my mouth!

    Matthew Wendel’s Story

    “I am a Texan, born and bred.” Sound familiar? It’s how Matthew starts his book. Southeast of Houston lies the small Texas town of Danbury, where Matthew grew up.

    Warm and humble, Matthew exudes his love of cooking.  He’s not a trained chef, but he has a strong heart for good food.  Like so many of us, he was influenced by his mother as he snagged alone time with her in the kitchen in a home of nine children.  Matthew dedicates his cookbook to his mom by saying, “Your gentle ways taught me that food can feed the body and nourish the soul”.  He is certainly passing that heritage to all of us!

    He began cooking for the Bush’s in Austin while they were occupying the Governor’s Mansion.  When they moved to the White House, they asked him to join them, and he was there every step of the eight years.  This included cooking at Camp David and the Bush’s Prairie Chapel Ranch.  “Over the years Matthew, or ‘Matty’ as we call him, became part of our extended family”, says Laura Bush in the forward of his book.

    Food is Family. Family is Culture. Culture is History.  Matthew Wendel took food from Danbury to Texas State, to the Governor’s Mansion, to the White House and now to the world. His story is a wonderful example of how Texas transcends place.

    Matty's Fried Chicken

    Matthew Wendel, adapted from a recipe by Velva Wendel
    Used by permission from "Recipes from the President's Ranch - Food People like to Eat"
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine American


    • 1 Young whole chicken, cut up* (I prefer chicken under 4 pounds)
    • 2 tsp seasoned salt
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 2 tsp ginger powder
    • 2 tsp paprika
    • 2 tsp kosher salt
    • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 1 gallon storage bag
    • vegetable oil, enough for frying


    • In a small bowl, combine spices.
    • With paper towels, dry chicken pieces very well.
    • Lay out chicken pieces on a sheet pan.
    • Season both sides of each piece with the combined spices.
    • Add remaining spices to flour and pour into paper or plastic storage bag.
    • In a heavy skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil to 325 degrees.  Oil should not be more than halfway up the side of the skillet.
    • Add legs and thighs to bag and shake well so that the chicken pieces are well coated with flour.
    • Shake off excess flour and put in legs and thighs in hot oil.  Turn chicken pieces as they brown.  Dark meat should take about 13 minutes.  Remove pieces to drain on paper towels
    • Repeat until all the chicken is cooked.  White meat should take 8 to 10 minutes.  



    *I cut up the chicken just as my mother taught me, complete with the wishbone.  If you don’t want to tackle learning how to cut up a chicken, ask your butcher to do it for you.  
    Keyword fried chicken, chicken, fried, spiced

    Jalapeño Pie

    Jalapeno Pie

    Tasty, Quick, Appetizer
    Prep Time 5 mins
    Cook Time 45 mins
    Course Appetizer
    Servings 10


    • 2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
    • 2 jalapeños, seeded and sliced into slivers
    • 2 Cloves garlic, chopped
    • 6 eggs, beaten until frothy


    • Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Oil the bottom and sides of a pie pan.
    • Place cheese in pan. Arrange jalapeño slivers over cheese.
    • Whip eggs, pour over cheese, and sprinkle garlic over top.
    • Bake 45 minutes, remove, slice into pie wedges, and serve warm.



    May be baked a day ahead, warmed, sliced and served.
    Keyword appetizer, cheese, jalapeno, quick