Locked & Loaded Nachos

I like to think of myself as a nacho artisan. I’ve come a long way from my microwave nacho days where I would take a humble bag of tortilla chips, some taco sauce from a jar, shredded cheese and zap it in the microwave. Years later I took my nacho game to the next level by topping my nachos with fresh tomatoes, a dollop of sour cream, sliced green onions and black olives. Today, I am proud to say I have reached new heights in my nacho career. Game-winning, crowd-roaring heights – just in time for the Super Bowl! I present to you my Locked & Loaded Nachos. Tortilla chips (from Whole Foods…I told you I was not messing around) are topped with the finest and freshest ingredients on this earth. Black beans pureed with sauteed fresh garlic and red onion and then hit with little bit of lime juice. Fresh tomatoes diced to perfection and mixed with jalapenos, red onions, vinegar and cilantro. Guac. And the finishing touch – sliced jalapenos and radishes. Oh and artfully piped sour cream. Does anyone know a skilled nacho conservator by the way?

 

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Locked & Loaded Nachos

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Black beans

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper

Guac

  • 1 avocado
  • half a lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • salt and pepper
  • red pepper flakes to taste

Chips and assembly

  • sturdy tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 3 radishes, thinly sliced
  • sour cream

Heat olive oil over medium heat and add in red onion and garlic. Saute for about 3 minutes until the onion is soft. Transfer onion mixture to a food processor and add black beans, lime juice, and ¼ cup water. Season with salt and pepper and process until smooth.

Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, cilantro and vinegar in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine avocado, lime juice, salt, pepper and red onion. Mix until smooth.

Preheat oven to 425. On a sheet pan, lay out your tortilla chips and top with dollops of the bean mixture and shredded cheese. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Remove from the oven and top with guac, pico de gallo, sliced jalapenos, radishes, and a drizzle of sour cream. Devour. They’re insane.

Fish Tacos

Post-vacation depression (PVD) affects an estimated 97% of vacation goers annually. It can occur as early as your last day on the trip and linger for months, sometimes lasting until your next vacation. After returning from my honeymoon in Hawaii, I developed a severe case of PVD. It struck when I least expected— walking through hot bus exhaust set off memories of warm tropical breezes and even a dripping air conditioning unit induced flashbacks of sipping fruity cocktails in the swim-up bar. Needless to say, the transition back to reality has been rough. What can I do to cope? Fish. Taco. Therapy. In Hawaii, I ate some of the most insanely delicious fresh fish. The fish tacos were particularly unreal. Fresh ono nestled in a flour tortilla with shredded cabbage and served with pineapple salsa. It was a thing of beauty. Unlike beef tacos, fish tacos are more refined and don’t really require as many fixings. Fresh salsa, shredded cabbage and guac is all you really need. He me iki ia (you’re welcome).

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picstitch-15Fish Tacos with Pureed Tomato Salsa

(Serves 2)

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PVD set in early…

1 lb tilapia (feel free to use any white flaky fish such as mahi mahi, snapper or cod)

1/8 tsp ground coriander

1/8 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp smoked paprika

salt and pepper

olive oil

4 medium sized tomatoes, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 small onion, chopped

1 jalapeño, sliced

1/4 cup cilantro

1 lime

hot sauce (optional)

shredded green cabbage

Guac

Sour cream or Greek yogurt

Heat a frying pan with about a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Rub a little oil on your fish and sprinkle with spices and salt and pepper. Cook fish about 3-5 minutes per side, or until it flakes nicely.

Pureed tomato salsa:

Adapted from Bobby Flay

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Sautee garlic and onions in about a tablespoon of olive oil until soft. Add tomatoes and jalapeño and cook for about 10 minutes. Add cilantro. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender. Add the juice of 1 lime, salt and hot sauce if you’re feeling frisky. Serve tacos with warm tortillas, shredded cabbage, guac, sour cream and a wedge of lime. Alcoholic beverage accompaniment encouraged.

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Huevos Rancheros

Huevos rancheros, a popular Mexican breakfast dish consisting of fried eggs served on corn tortillas with beans and fresh salsa, loosely translates to “heaven on a plate.” It’s a fiesta in your mouth and the perfect protein-rich breakfast to fuel your Sunday. I didn’t plan on making huevos this morning, but I just happened to have some extra corn tortillas, a can of black beans, some eggs and fresh tomatoes lying around, so I just went for it. Huevos happens to be one of my favorite breakfast treats of all time. I would pass up pancakes, omelettes, french toast or waffles any day for huevos. I still remember an epic huevos breakfast order at Mother’s Market and Kitchen in Laguna Woods, California. Sigh. This version definitely satisfies a huevos craving, and why not keep things interesting and serve these with tequila mimosas? Muy delicioso.

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Muy sabroso

Huevos Rancheros 

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

4  6-inch corn tortillas

4 eggs

1 can of black beans

cumin

chili powder

cayenne pepper

kosher salt

1 lime

cheddar cheese

olive oil

1 large tomato

1 red onion

1 jalapeño

cilantro (optional)

sour cream or Greek yogurt (optional)

sliced avocado (optional)

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add half a diced red onion. Saute unil soft and then add a can of rinsed black beans, a few shakes of cayenne pepper, cumin, chili powder and a sprinkle of salt. Add about a 1/4 cup of water, lower heat and cover. Let the beans simmer for about 10 minutes. Mash them slightly with the back of a large spoon. Set aside. Dice your tomato, red onion and jalapeño. Place in a small bowl with the juice of one lime, a touch of olive oil, some salt and chopped cilantro. Set aside. In a small frying pan throw down a little olive oil and lightly brown your tortilla on both sides. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on one side and as it begins to melt, crack a single egg over the cheese. Season the egg with salt and pepper. When the egg white begins to set around the edges, flip the whole thing over and let in cook for about 2-3 minutes. Serve each tortilla with a side of beans, fresh tomato salsa, and a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt. Sliced avocado would be great too.

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heaven on a plate.