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Day Whatever: Complete Fucking FAIL

While Tom has been a blogging fool, I have been in hiding. I retreated to a blogger’s wasteland where there are no words to be found. The result of a failed challenge. Yes, folks you heard that right. A failed challenge. Basically I was doing so well. Sticking to my budget. Saving those pennies like a good girl. Well, I fell off the wagon. One hankering for nachos, and I was off to Waitrose faster than a crack whore can untie a baggie. I walked into the store that I had denied day after day and proudly put whatever I wanted into my basket. I knowingly committed gastro-financial suicide.

I blew my £10 budget for the final week in February by spending £21. 34 for one meal. One meal. Now for those of you who haven’t had American nachos before, basically it’s corn tortilla chips with a slop of melted cheese, ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, a glob of sour cream, and if you are really lucky, those sliced black “olives” that come out of a can. Normally in a bar, this gut buster would probably cost you $7.00. I decided to make my own from scratch, but for $26.00 more than it should actually cost. Either these were going to be the best damn nachos of the century or perhaps I am an idiot.

So the real question is am I unhappy that I sacrificed it all to stuff my face on an overly gratuitous Sunday snack? Not really, because they were actually pretty fucking tasty.

Nachos

Beef:

1 cup of beef stock
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried coriander
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp Chipotle chili powder
1 Tbsp Ancho chili powder
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp corn flour
500 g ground beef
1 tsp oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 fresh chilies, chopped
1/2 onions, chopped
olive oil

In a small saucepan heat the beef stock. Add the next ingredients on the list up to the ground beef. Keep on low heat and set aside.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onions, garlic, and chilies until tender. Add the ground beef and brown on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Add the oregano and stock mix and simmer until ready to serve.

Cheese:

This was an interesting one. I needed to create junk food from good product. Basically, traditional nachos are served with a thick, runny cheese “sauce”. Most of the time that’s some sort of neon orange “cheese product”, i.e. Velveeta or Kraft. I feel like I’ve read somewhere that these kinds of cheese products have some of the same chemicals that they use to make glue. Nice. And it sure explains a lot. But how do you make a tasty, yet “glue” like product from real cheese? As my measurements are usually always estimates, these are specifically vague because I experimented…but keep reading and it’ll make sense.

Butter
Flour
Cream
White vinegar
Mozzarella
Cheddar
Salt
Chipotle chili powder

Essentially, start with a roux. Don’t quote me on this, but I believe all roux should be equal parts fat and flour. You won’t need much. I think for this I melted a generous knob of butter and then tossed in a big spoonful of flour.

What you do need to get right is the liquid. Having more cream or milk on hand is always better than running short. If you do end up in that boat, you can always add hot water to thin it out. Always heat the liquid first, then slowly whisk in. I usually end up with something that’s a bit on the running side, because it will thicken considerably once the cheeses are added.

Before you get down with the cheese, add a very tiny bit of vinegar. This will help bond all the ingredients together.

Next, slowly add the grated cheese. Same principles apply here as with the liquid. Have more on hand than you need. That being said, definitely go easy on the mozzarella. I would say the ratio is about 1:10. If you add too much it will look and feel like hair gel or worse -that crap called Nads. Not ideal.

Finally, season with salt and a little Chipotle chili powder. The end result should be smooth, creamy, with a little bit of gooeyness. For the finale, spread your chips out on a plate. Top with the meat, cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, chilies, hot sauce, what have you.

Sit and be a pig.

5 Comments

  1. gastrogeek

    ha! I love doing that. Looks completely worth it and all.

  2. The Grubworm

    "Sit and be a pig" – best recipe instruction I've read in a long while. And those nachos sure sound tasty. Looks like a worthwhile challenge buster to me.

  3. Jen

    Sometimes you just have to give in to temptation.

  4. Tess

    Excellent melted-cheese-sauce tutorial. There's finally a genius vegan cheese on the market (Daiya) here in the States, & I attempted mac&cheese a couple times but didn't know what I was doing- I figured it would just work, right? Thanks, Jen-Jen!

  5. Jen

    Tess -I really hope the same technique will do the trick. Vegan cheese could be a tricky one. I really think the key to melding it all together is the addition of acid of some sort whether that be vinegar, vermouth, or beer. Just keeps everything in check. Like a nun with a ruler or a dominatrix with whip.

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