so i may have mentioned it once or twice that i’m trying to become a gym rat. and i have to say i’ve been doing pretty good at the goal.
why do i mention this yet again?
well becoming a gym rat makes me feel less guilty about eating stuff like this.
see i totally alluded to these the other day and now i’m finally sharing them with you. these are definitely a work in progress but it’s little tweaks (like perfecting the homemade tortilla chips) so i feel that i shouldn’t hold out.
i don’t know about where you live, but food trucks seem to popping up and are big time. i LOVE it. it should be pretty obvious that i’m a “foodie” (i still hate that term so let’s come up with something better) so having these food trucks around town is an awesome thing. this town still has a long way to go (i’m looking at you butchers and tapas bars…. please come here) but it’s slowly getting along. back to the food trucks… these nachos were inspired by the local taco truck. they featured them as a special and i knew i had to try them. i mean pulled pork and cheese and all kinds of goodness. how did i not think of this brillance before? so i tried them. and now i’m totally
ripping them off recreating their dish.
pulled pork nachos
- pulled pork – i would say about 1 – 2 c worth, drain it well so your chips don’t get super soggy
- tortilla chips – about 2 handfuls per person
- cheese sauce – recipe below
- fresh cilantro – about a good handful or two
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- pickled jalapenos – 2-3 tbs worth
- radishes, sliced thin – i used about 5-6
- layer your ingredients to make the most amazing nachos: tortilla chips then cheese sauce then pulled pork then cilantro then red onion then radishes finally some pickled jalapenos
- 8-12 oz cheese – i used closer to 12 oz and a mix of pepperjacks (habenero, roasted and green hatch)
- 1 c evaporated milk – buy a 12 oz can just to be on the safe side
- 1 tbs corn starch
- 1-2 tbs hot sauce, or less/more depending on taste
- combine the cheese and corn starch in a bowl and toss to combine. transfer to a medium saucepan and add the 1 c of evaporated milk and hot sauce. cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until it is all melted together and thickened. if it looks super thick to you, add a splash or so of the extra evaporated milk until you’re happy with it.
a couple of things…
in the sake of honesty, taco de paco adds beans to their nachos. i don’t eat beans so i don’t mention adding them in your layers. but hey. if you want to add some beans to these go for it.
this made 3 very healthy servings of nachos that served as our main (and pretty much only) meal of the day (like i totally took a 2 hour nap after eating). you could make smaller portions or double up your ingredients if you’re making them for more than 3 people.
can i have used totally any more times in this post? obnoxious i know but i really do say it too much. i should work on that.
oh and just in case you were wondering.. these are my first creation that i’ve come up with for this little blog which means you should totally make them asap to celebrate.
cheese sauce recipe very slightly adapted from: serious eats
i’ve decided to start a collection. what’s going to be in my collection you ask? well food stuff of course. more specifically, awesome measuring cups. why do i want to start this new collection? well because these owl measuring cups from urban outfitters are freaking super adorable. and i really really really want them. really anything awesome for the kitchen should be bought for this new collection. like these bowls. or this cookie jar (seriously someone should buy me this like now). ohhh look at this butter dish! or who can resist this creamer?
here’s the other thing about my new fantasy collection… it would be like a prop closet for the awesomest photos to be featured here. i mean it’s a win win right? who wouldn’t love to see this corn dip served out of a fish? i mean i personally think it would make it that much yummier…
ok well there’s not too much that could make this dip yummier. i mean for starters it’s like crack for me. like badly. i could eat an entire bowl of this. and by bowl i mean like a GIANT bowl. my friend chela makes this for get togethers and i think she should just start making me a personal bowl. for real. and i’m not the only one. i asked her for this recipe for a crawfish bowl and i’m pretty sure that all of it was gone before the first pot was pulled. in fact, i’m almost positive it was gone before everyone got to the boil.
chela’s corn dip
- 2 cans sweet corn
- 2 cans fiesta/mexican corn
- 2 c shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 fresh jalapeno, chopped
- 1/2 c pickled jalapeno slices, chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 4 oz cream cheese, slightly melted
- 2 tbs mayo
- 2 tbs sour cream
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- cajun seasoning to taste
- combine all ingredients and stir well to combine. let sit in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight for the flavors to meld together.
- serve with your favorite chips – chela (and i) would recommend fritos scoops or multigrain tostitos.
oh and in full disclosure over how much of this i can eat…. let’s just say that this was dinner one night. and although i think it would be perfect for a 4th of july party, i won’t be making it. because i might not share it with anyone else. for real. think i’m exaggerating? make it and you let me know if you could walk away.
recipe adapted from: my friend chela
…ok so it’s not really. but it is finally getting cooler around here and that’s what matters. see, when you live in the south and aren’t a big fan on 100F weather, you take what you can get. and i’ll take 40F nights and 70F days. i’d prefer it to be cooler all the time but hey… beggers can’t be choosers. (although i think that’s a semi-load of crap 🙂 ) colder weather is not just a great zac brown band song but also means that it’s soup and gumbo time!! holla!!
which i should just warn ya’ll… if i was forced to eat one meal every single day, that meal could quite possibly be chicken and sausage gumbo. seriously. no joke. i freaking love it. but that’s another time, another blog post.
but just as much as i love gumbo, i love me a good soup. i mean is there anything else that warms you quite like a good soup? i think not and politely disagree with you if you think i’m wrong. so this cold snap hits and i am so much about making a soup that words cannot quite contain the excitement. i’m all about making a soup. not a gumbo this weekend but a soup.
so i did.
once again, i originally found the recipe on pinterest. shocker i know. this one came via a pin by my friend alicia. yes, i repinned her pin. but that’s what it’s all about. this was a very straightforward soup but the title deceives you…. better homes and garden’s website (which is where it was originally found) calls it spicy chicken-corn chowder. but let me tell you. they miss the potatoes in the chowder. i mean i get it. it has chicken and corn and some jalapenos to make it spicy. but seriously. it has potatoes too. and how can you forget those little nuggets of deliciousness?? so i officially decided to call it, get this, spicy chicken, corn and potato chowder. super creative no? i know i know but give me a break.
anyway this soup/chowder was everything that it should have been. i mean it was spicy without being inedible. and the little nuggets of deliciousness known as potatoes… well they melted in your mouth. i mean who would think you would ever describe potatoes as melting in your mouth?? not me. but they did. they kept their shape and then just melted away. to be honest, i was leary about the chicken in the chowder. don’t get me wrong, i like chicken in soups and chowders and such but i wasn’t sure about it in what most people would initially consider to be a corn and potato chowder. i felt like maybe the chicken was that kid on the playground that didn’t have any friends so you invited them to the party because you felt bad for them. but no. maybe that’s how it started out but they ended up being a party starter. the corn provided exactly what the corn was there to provide… that little burst of corny goodness. i’m telling you… try this soup. it was bomb.com.
spicy chicken, corn and potato chowder
- 8 slices bacon, chopped (the package i bought had 10 slices so i used all 10)
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in bite size pieces (season with salt, pepper and slap ya mama)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 onion
- 1-2 jalapenos, diced (i actually used 2 1/2 because jalapenos don’t scare me)
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1/3 cup flour
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 large yukon gold potatoes (i used 4 potatoes because mine were not what i would call large. more like small/medium that wanted to be big time)
- 2 cups fresh sweet corn kernels (so it’s colder weather, that means it’s not summer which in turn means corn’s not in season. buy 2 cans of corn, you’ll thank me for the trouble saved)
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp cayenne (i used more slap ya mama because i didn’t know that i was out of cayenne until i went to use it)
- 2 bay leaves
- in a 5-6 qt dutch oven, cook bacon pieces (you’ll want to get them crispy). remove when browned nicely and set aside.
- add chicken to the bacon drippings; brown over medium / medium-high heat until it is cooked all the way through. remove from the pan.
- add the red pepper and onion (i put these through a whirl in my food processor because i’m not a huge fan of chunks of seasonings) to the pan. cook about 5 minutes then add the jalapenos and garlic. cook about 3 minutes. stir in flour and cook another minute.
- add the stock and potatoes. (make sure to stir/wisk well so you can get all the flour clumps taken care of). bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low. cook uncovered 10 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- stir in chicken, corn, cream, cayenne and bay leaves. simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- remove bay leaves before serving. top with jalapeno slices if you so choose to. you can also top with the reserved bacon that the original recipe never told you what to do with it other than set aside. i used as a garnish and it was DELISH. makes 8 servings.
you really need to try this soup. i’m just saying.
oh and a semi-tangent here… did you know that spike mendelsohn was competing on the next iron chef on food network??? i didn’t know that until this week and it really bums me out that he was eliminated. (sorry if you dvr’ed it and hadn’t watched it yet.) chef spike owns this really cool burger joint in one of my all time favorite cities, DC. it’s a place called good stuff eatery. if you’re ever in DC you should go check it out. they have really yummy milkshakes too – one of which is a toasted marshmallow kind!! he also opened a pizza joint next door. we didn’t get to eat there last time i was there but you can bet i’m going to try it next time i’m there. i just thought i would share that because i was so bummed to see him go.
go get to soup making! 🙂